English company closing down, offered job in other countries- long!

(117 Posts)
sliceofcakenowplease Wed 31-Oct-12 12:47:38

DH and I work in the same international company (although we do completely different jobs- he's to do with tech, I do website design work). The English company is closing, but we've been offered jobs abroad with the same company, which allows us to work in English (although they stipulate that we have to go to some courses in the language previously).

The places are:
Dubai (not especially interested or happy about this, we're pretty sure not here, though if anyone can persuade me differently, I'll happily change my mind).

Canada (specifically Newfoundland, Vancouver, Ontario/Quebec border, a place called Manotick near Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton)

Israel (Tel Aviv)

Romania (Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca)

NZ (Auckland, Christchurch, Napier, Wellington, Hamilton)

Australia (Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne, Wollongong)

Portugal (Lisbon)

Lithuania

Japan (countryside area, just out of Tokyo)

Sweden (Stockholm, Uppsala)

USA (NYC, Washington DC, Phoenix, Austin, Denver, Boston, and the places which I can only remember state names for- New Jersey, Rhode Island, Iowa, Oregon, Kansas, Alaska)

France (Paris, Lille, Brest (I can't even imagine what my children would do with that name, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Montpellier)

Brazil (Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Teresina, Campinas, Belo Horizonte, Manaus)

Finland (Helsinki)

Paraguay (Asuncion, Luque)

Iceland (Reyjavik)

Czech Republic (Prague)

Poland (Krakow, Warsaw)

I can't get why they're closing down the English section, and yet they have sections in Paraguay or Romania or Sweden or anything!

USA, Canada, NZ and Australia have big plus points for speaking English. However, France is close to London (where we currently live), and Sweden and Finland are fairly close. I don't really want to live in Iceland, but I'd be willing to live in Finland. The Romanian cities/towns where we could relocate are quite small, as are many other places, and I'd like to be in a larger city. Israel would be fine as I have a few relatives there.

DCs are both 12 (nearly 13), however they currently go to an international state school (only local school available) and I have researched international schools (as well as local schools) for where we might live in each one. Tel Aviv has one, Dubai does, and I haven't got far enough with the others.

Japanese and Icelandic, and Hebrew, is meant to be hard? Which is a reason for ruling it out, because though my DCs show a talent for languages (both have been allowed to take extra language classes, namely Mandarin and Russian, and they are already doing German, French and Spanish). They are already learning French, but this is clearly the DCs worst language.

Canada would be okay, we have relatives in Ottawa and Kingston, but I'm concerned about the distance. I'd like not to have to move continents, but my choices, so far, are:

Canada
NZ
Australia
Sweden (Stockholm, my brother used to live there, although it's expensive and we'd probably have to move into a flat)
Poland (Krakow if we chose the actual place)
USA (NYC or possibly (if I'm brave) Alaska)

What would you do? (sorry about how long it is!) Staying isn't much of an option, we both have very specific jobs and are unlikely to find others here.

sliceofcakenowplease Wed 31-Oct-12 19:06:06

Yes HerRoyalNotness! I remembered something! (I'm known as Dopey in my family, which is why I'm celebrating...) It does seem worrying about the possibility of anti-English. Guess I couldn't pretend to be German or something? grin I'm glad that there's an English speaking part of the city, because although the DCs and DH are good at languages, and I am also fairly good, it's still quite daunting! Schooling is definitely food for thought, because at the moment the DCs go to a fairly good one (like I mentioned, it's international and allows them to do extra languages) and I'd like them to continue with that sort of standard. Private sounds too expensive for me, even if the company pay the 25-50% offered.

bran Wed 31-Oct-12 19:55:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bran Wed 31-Oct-12 19:57:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ivykaty44 Wed 31-Oct-12 20:05:02

Vancover
Auckland
Lisbon
Adelaide

would be my list and in that order

sliceofcakenowplease Wed 31-Oct-12 20:11:04

I don't know why I didn't consider the USA, I just kinda skipped over it. NYC sounds good from what you say, and from what you say, Alaska will suit. We are quite an active family, I kayak quite a lot, as does the rest of my family, and we enjoy camping, being outdoors etc; I am a bit worried though, because I've never lived in a place with a chance to have cabin fever, I've lived in cities for most of my life, and there's always a chance to go out to the park or the shops, so though I'm okay on short trips when I'm stuck in a tent/room, I'm not sure how I'll deal with actually living like that.

The offices will allow progression for me, but DH not so much in anything but the larger places (most places in the USA would, as would Tel Aviv and Lisbon, possibly Toronto, and maybe some more, I'll have to check). However, promotion for him will mean a minute rise but less of what he enjoys, so he isn't currently keen to actually be promoted, although being in a place where we have the space so there's a possibility that he can be, if we need the money. The English company is quite international with a few people who stay in London for a week but live in France, and other employees who were relocated from other divisions.

The insurance thing sounds worrying bran. I don't drive much, DH normally doesn't, but depending where we live, we'll need to drive more. In England, would the same thing happen- an American who came over will be charged as a brand new driver, or with experience? Does anyone know what happens with other countries?

Thanks for the advice bran!

sliceofcakenowplease Wed 31-Oct-12 20:14:40

Interesting ivy. Lisbon is high on my list, as are places in Canada (so Vancouver) but I'm veering off the further away countries like NZ and Australia. Is the lifestlyle a lot better, or cheaper? Whenever I think about moving to Australia for instance, I know of some people who live in Sydney, but no one else, and no one really from NZ, so I'm sort of getting my views from their experience (not really clued up on moving overseas!).

Thanks for the reccommendations. A lot of people have recommended different countries but it's nice knowing what people think the best ones are, and in what order.

ivykaty44 Wed 31-Oct-12 20:25:49

See I would live in NZ and be happy, but Australia would do my head in - sorry smile

I really like vancover and spent quite some time there and feel it has so much to offer

When we came to Canada we brought our English Insurance details with us, which helped with the premiums. We pay about CA$1200/year for a brand new GLK350 Merc (small suv type thing). We don't think that's excessive. From what I understand, insurance is a lot higher for instance, in Toronto. (anecdotal from a friend who moved there recently)

Re NZ, and I'm from there, it is a lovely, lovely country to grow up in, and I would love to move back with my DC. However, it is very far away from anywhere, it is quiet, a bit backward, and insular (IMO).

I would like to go back for a couple of years at least, for my 2 to spend time with their cousins and enjoy the life they do, but alas our company has no work there. The closest we could get would be Oz, I've lived there too, the major factor that puts me off, is not the Ozzies, but the arachnids!! <shudder> <buys big girl pants>

Again, far from UK, but if you're not close to your families, that may not matter as much. Great weather, it has a wonderful laid back vibe, friendly (Brisbane), beautiful beaches, close to Asia for holidays, a puddle jump to NZ for a bit of a look see. I'd probably give it another go, I've lived near Sydney, and 2 places in Queensland, and enjoyed all of them.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 31-Oct-12 20:33:54

Australia - Melbourne is lovely and where we'd move if we did but when we looked into it . . .it is so very expensive in Australia now. Housing costs more, books food and clothes cost more. Only thing that doesn't is fuel. Lovely lifestyle but insular in the sense you have to fly. A long way to get anywhere. Good for a holiday but of decided it wasn't for us long term.

I'd still be tempted by Vancouver myself as I loved it. English speaking and lovely!

PoppyAmex Wed 31-Oct-12 21:07:26

No problem. PM me if you have questions about Lisbon or Sydney. smile

madwomanintheattic Wed 31-Oct-12 21:35:02

You want an outdoors lifestyle?
Calgary.
I've just finished a grant application for $30k of canoe, kayak and paddle board eqt. grin

On the water, climbing, hiking in the summer, and skiing all winter. What's not to like? grin

<pointedly ignores whistler>

What an amazing offer!

You've had a lot of interesting answers.

2 more things spring to mind:

You should consider the possibility that one of you ( more likely you DH from what I read) might get to a point where lack of opportunities for professional/personal growth might enter into play.
7 years is a long time. So choose a place where you would have more plausible opportunities to change jobs easily within your industry or make a career change + not have to struggle with visas/residency.
Try and make sure you BOTH get a full working visa and not a work visa + dependent visa.

Once you've narrowed it down on purely practical terms (financial/education etc....), maybe have a chat with the kids? At 12, they should start having clearer aspirations, dreams etc.... and may help you tip the balance?

Good luck and keep us posted!

I get moving fever every few years, I would find it very, very hard to make a decision for such a move.

Mayisout Thu 01-Nov-12 02:50:13

If you move to, say, Australia for 7 years with children the ages yours are then they will go right through secondary school and onto uni there. Their friends will be there and they will probably want to stay. So make sure you also would want to stay as it is a long way from the UK.

My DD is looking for work in Canada and I am v relieved as she was in Australia before, Canada seems much nearer.

Also NZ is lovely but not much work for your DCs when they leave uni.

USA, Canada or France I would say. But you need to visit and look at schools.
Canada and USA are both great places but the distances are huge so you need to check out where you plan to live, where are schools and be sure they are feasible distance-wise.

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 01-Nov-12 03:30:51

Gosh, that's very difficult, OP. You've got far too much choice.

I think I would consider the Dc's education, and your career prospects, and the cost of living. Those three issues would be at the forefront of my mind.

Your DCs are nearly 13, did you say? So they are in Y8 and just coming up to the stage where they get locked into one country's qualification system. If you want them to do GCSEs and A levels you'll need an International private school in most of your places. For instance, if you and they go through the US system then they'll graduate High School but not have UK qualifications, so it'll be a bit more complicated (though not impossible) to get into UK universities, if that's what they want to do.

Do check things out very thoroughly. For instance, I live in Malaysia at the moment and non-citizens are not allowed to attend government (ie state) schools, so expat DC here have to go private. I know that Malaysia isn't on your list. All I mean is don't assume anything that you take to be normal or obvious in the UK translates across to your new country.

People say Vancouver is great. Also that Australia is v expensive at the moment. Also that Dubai has a good expat scene (though cabin fever v likely there).

AllThreeWays Thu 01-Nov-12 03:44:18

I would suggest Canada, If Canada, NZ and Australia are the top due to speaking English, then Canada is the closest. As an Aussie the standard of living is highest in Canada IMO

ripsishere Thu 01-Nov-12 03:58:18

IIWY, wherever you decide to go, I'd find a school that offers the IB programme, our DD has been in the Brit system, IB, Brit, IB and is now, once again following the English curriculum.
Not sure how long we'll be here so I am a bit miffed with DH for accepting a job in a school that doesn't do the IB.
Anecdotal advice given to me by a Brazilian friend is avoid the country. According to her, children get kidnapped ridiculously frequently hmm

fraktion Thu 01-Nov-12 04:26:55

If you're thinking British/EU Uni for your DCs stay in the EU.

If you want good bilingual schooling that has an IB option go for Paris or Lille. The other French cities will have bilingual schools or a European stream but they would then be locked into the bac.

I would be very tempted by Stockholm, although it is expensive, or Lisbon which is a lovely city.

If your DC weren't near Uni age I would be going further afield but EU residence means EU fees...

galwaygirl Thu 01-Nov-12 06:38:19

If you're thinking long term and get language classes then Sweden is a great option. There are international schools that teach most subjects through English and are free. A big plus would be free Uni - and not just free but financial support to go!
In Sweden the state provide language classes for immigrants for free too. Kids get extra support in their home language - again for free.
Swedish is a Germanic language so the German should help them pick it up. Sweden is cold and dark in winter and gets lots of snow but they Get fantastic summers and lots of people have summer cottages by the sea or lake that they move out to over the summer.
It is close by for visiting friends and family in the UK. Mortgage interest rates are low so as long as you have a 15% deposit housing is affordable - especially compared to London!

Bonsoir Thu 01-Nov-12 06:54:28

You need to research the reasons why your company may or may not keep on operating in any of the destinations on offer. And choose somewhere with a vibrant economy - you will have a much better family life.

mummytime Thu 01-Nov-12 07:09:23

Okay as someone has mentioned University, I'll point something out. Having been out of the UK for 7 years your DC will be charged Overseas fees for university. So it might be a good idea to go to a country where theUniversities are good (fortunately idiots somewhere like the US, you should qualify for the same benefits as home students there).

Bonsoir Thu 01-Nov-12 07:13:11

mummytime - if the OP's family stays within the EU, her children will only ever be charged home fees.

Snorbs Thu 01-Nov-12 07:23:39

My brother and his family moved to Vancouver a few years back. It seems idyllic, particularly if you're outdoorsy people as there's just so much to do. My niece and nephew seem to be flourishing in the schools as well. The winters can be a but heavy but it's a city that's prepared for a bit of snow.

If it was me my first choice would be somewhere in Canada. There's always the French-soaking part if you want to feel you've definitely moved somewhere foreign smile

Certainly I'd choose Canada over the US at the moment. I think there are still going to be a lot of economic problems there. I've got friends who moved to NZ and that also seems fantastic but it's just too far for me.

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 01-Nov-12 07:31:36

Also, mummytime, even if you have been out of the UK for quite a while, if you can prove good connections to the UK eg house ownership, and a job to come back to, then even seven years is not too long.

My DS was out of the UK for two years and got home status once we provided all the information on passports and DH's contract etc. My friend's DD had been out of the UK for eight years and got home status because her parents could provide enough evidence of a connection to the UK (ie home ownership, plus temporary secondment, plus intention to return etc).

RTchoke Thu 01-Nov-12 07:37:21

Oregon is a lovely State, quite liberal for the US with stunning countryside. Not too expensive either. Boston is a great city too with easy access to skiing in winter and lakes/beach in summer. The US obviously has great universities bit you pay a lot for them.

I would be drawn to the US but if I wanted to stay in EU then Starsbourg or Montpelier or Lisbon.

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