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Anyone out there moved to North Carolina from uk? Help!

(80 Posts)
Wherediparkmybroom Sat 16-Aug-14 08:12:20

Simply that, dh has been approached for a new job but it will mean relocating with an eight year old and an eighteen month old. Could anyone tell me anything I should know doesn't matter how trivial!

caitner Sat 16-Aug-14 08:57:43

I moved from GA. I did it as a childless teenager, though, so not quite the same.

Will the company cover all visa costs? What about moving costs? Immigration is expensive. If the move is permanent (so, not just a temporary contract), I believe that you will be eligible for NHS coverage on arrival.

I know Americans hear a lot of scary rhetoric about the NHS, but I've had nothing but good experiences.

Do you have any pets? I believe pets need to be quarantined for something like six months if you want to bring them into the UK (the UK is rabies-free).

I think British children begin school a year earlier than US kids, and I expect that they would want to put your eight-year-old in with his age group at school, rather than with the children who have been at school for the same number of years. Like I say, no kids, so I'm not positive.

You won't be eligible to vote.

I found the forums at very helpful during the immigration process. I don't know how active they are now, but it's worth a look.

Best of luck! I remember staring down the immigration process, and it wasn't fun. Completely worth it in the end, though!

Wherediparkmybroom Sat 16-Aug-14 14:38:16

Thanks caitner, I'm sort of worried about leaving the uk, silly things like could I take my dog into the us, would she need quarantining, what is the education system like at primary age, even would I make friends!

AlpacaMyBags Sat 16-Aug-14 14:43:58

You can take your dog - she will need to fly in the hold and will require a rabies certificate and fit to fly certificate. We used Pet Air UK to fly our cats over. My inlaws live in NC, it's a really lovely area (although some school districts aren't the greatest, you need to make sure you live in a good area to get into a good one - check out the greatschools website). We are just heading back from there now.

AlpacaMyBags Sat 16-Aug-14 14:47:45

In terms of making friends - my (limited) impression of that area is that everything is very orientated around family and church. So if you are religious, that may help you meet people. I'm sure the school would welcome you as a volunteer (assuming your visa allows you to volunteer - it should do).

Wherediparkmybroom Sat 16-Aug-14 15:39:40

I'm English c of v, will that cut it?

AlpacaMyBags Sat 16-Aug-14 15:49:49

No idea what the predominant churches are around there but I think that attending church and taking part in church activities will really help you find a social circle.

IreneR Sat 16-Aug-14 15:55:28

It's difficult to know where to begin (I'm a yank, myself, living in the South).

Where in NC will matter hugely -- Raleigh/Durham, Charlotte, or Asheville may be much more congenial than other places.

(Charlotte even has a British/American school. You can google that for more info.)

I think you'll find that people will fall at your feet over your accent, judging by DH's reception. (He's been out of the UK for ages now, but Southerners really hear the traces of his accent.) If you're interested in finding a church most like home, look for Episcopal churches.

Prepare yourselves for heat and humidity. The climate will be a shocker. Also, being able to drive will most likely be very important.

I'll be happy to answer anything I can about living here; I'm a stranger here myself!

spamm Sat 16-Aug-14 16:06:18

Think of it as an adventure. We did this 5 years ago, moved to Virginia from southern UK, and love it. We came with our dog and our four year old son, for my job.

You can bring your dog, on a pet passport. We flew with Virgin and they took care of our dog beautifully.

Remember that you need good healthcare insurance with the job - that should be a priority, because without it you could be in trouble.

What kind of visa will they give you? Will they sponsor you for a green card, for the whole family?

Be prepared for a big cultural difference - we may speak the same language, but that is about it. I love the US, but not everybody does, so think about what is important to you. For example, Americans will tell you they value freedom and individuality, but there are things that really do not exist here, like the right to roam or being able to walk your dog off the leash. However, I love the positivity and can do attitude - it is very noticeable and that is important to me.

Good luck and let us know if you need specific questions answered.

allisgood1 Sat 16-Aug-14 16:14:43

Which area?! I'm from there.

GreatAuntDinah Sat 16-Aug-14 17:01:05

I visited Durham and Raleigh and found them really scarily religious with a massive racial divide. Personally I wouldn't live there if you paid me.

Wherediparkmybroom Sat 16-Aug-14 17:02:08

It's near realeigh, really no dogs of the lead?

Wherediparkmybroom Sat 16-Aug-14 17:04:41

Is racism that prevelent? Sounds. Stupid but I'm a Londoner originally and rascisim bothers me

Sneepy Sat 16-Aug-14 17:14:19

Don't, just don't. We did it and it was horrible so we moved back. You get an enormous house and an enormous car and you spend all of your time driving your kids around, mowing your enormous lawn and buying things to fill up your oversized house. You never get to have a friendly conversation with anyone again, except for supermarket checkout clerks. You never go outside because it's either blazing hot or freezing cold AND they have tornados. I'm sure there were good things there but in 18 months I couldn't find them. Do miss my giant car though.

AlpacaMyBags Sat 16-Aug-14 17:16:06

Honestly I would say yes, you'll encounter racism. In fact we looked at buying a house there and when researching it online, as late as the 1970s it specified that no black people were allowed to live in the street. I often hear people referring to areas and streets as 'black' or 'white'. I remember reading about a school in Georgia last year, they held a 'mixed' prom for the first time, until then they had held separate ones for the white kids confused

GreatAuntDinah Sat 16-Aug-14 17:16:22

Durham was poor, run-down and predominantly black. Duke University, where I attended a conference, was massively rich and white (fees of $50,000 a year). When I told people I'd travelled on the bus at ten o'clock on a Wednesday morning they were hmm because they thought it was too dangerous. Only poor (i.e. Black) people take the bus.

Wherediparkmybroom Sat 16-Aug-14 17:20:47

It seems completely alien to me, I'm Hayes born and bred and pretty colour blind, also have terrible trouble keeping my gob shut! I don't really want my boys starting to differentiate between black and white, can't imagine having to put a dog on a lead but would we adapt! I have a pretty strong faith but a low threshold for zealots,

GreatAuntDinah Sat 16-Aug-14 17:28:15

I'm a rampant atheist so that probably didn't help but I found religion really in your face.

allisgood1 Sat 16-Aug-14 18:20:20

Which part? Ignore posters telling you to avoid it. Religion is not shoved down your throat and racism is no more prevalent than anywhere else in the south. My sister lives in Cary and it is VERY nice there.

caitner Sat 16-Aug-14 19:39:50

Sorry for misreading the subject line, I'm infamously good at minor reading mistakes that completely change the meaning! I meant well, anyway! ;)

The culture in the southern parts of the US is very different to the UK. Extremely conservative and religious -- and there can be racial tensions, unfortunately.

I would not personally go back to the US, especially not the south.

Wherediparkmybroom Sat 16-Aug-14 19:59:36

Thanks everyone, the town we are looking at is Cary if that helps does anyone live/ lived there?

winkywinkola Sat 16-Aug-14 20:01:56

Caitner, anywhere in the US?

What about California? Dh has a job prospect there in San Diego.

Sorry to hijack op!

PurpleBoot Sat 16-Aug-14 20:09:04

A bit out of date, but a friend lived in Charlotte NC in the 90's and hated it. Racial tensions, no one drove anywhere and high crime.... She was a high school teacher - a kid got out a gun in her lesson! She came home to a body on the pavement near their apartment which seemed in a reasonable area (I went to visit and quite liked it, but I was a tourist!)

PurpleBoot Sat 16-Aug-14 20:09:44

i meant no one walked anywhere!

Wherediparkmybroom Sat 16-Aug-14 20:10:23

What would be considered a comfortable salary?

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