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Possible move- what to ask/see/do when we visit?

(15 Posts)

Will be staying for two weeks along with the DC and DH during Easter break, with the friend (who is also coordinator).

Aside from touristy stuff, what would be a good idea to check out and see- supermarkets, local cafes, that type of stuff? I want to get a general feel iyswim... confused

with a friend.

Oh, and I am meeting up with a blogger who lives there and has DC (unlike my friend, meaning that I can get w chance to ask about schooling and so on in person!) if it matters?

MasterOfTheYoniverse Fri 28-Mar-14 01:18:36

Pinpoint areas you could possibly live in before you go. Work out areas according to budget/commute & school catchments.
Use an online tool and do a mock selection. When you get there, have your friend drive you around those areas for a day or 2 to get a good feel.
Makes it easier to visualize from a distance if you start your property search from the UK.

Have fun with the kids. Make it a positive memorable experience so that you all look forward to coming back!

In Asia, every big city has free listings magazines & expat websites with monthly specials about "schools" beauty & health" "the definitive handyman list" etc....
Ask your friend to keep them for you or indicate which websites she uses.

Are you excited or scarred to move?
Its great that you get a chance to visit properly as a family before you go. Helps everyone project themselves there as a group.

A mix. There's not many expats out there tbh, which scares me, but I'm also fairly excited. Scared might not be the right word for it, more like I'm thinking of all the things which could go wrong but still wanting to do it? I guess I'll see when I get there.

I know where I will most likely be living as it's close to where my main workplace would be and is the most convenient in terms of supermarkets, banks, the schools and so on, as well as being close to where my friend is etc; so have searched as much as I can, looked at the supermarkets online, Streetview type stuff too. blush DH is being calm and sensible and I'm wanting to organise it a bit more... smile

Sorry, forgot to say thanks, will ask about magazine type stuff and will look around for the mock selection stuff thanks

westcoast Fri 28-Mar-14 23:28:12

The following is not meant to scare you at all, just to cover your basis in the "worst case scenario", planning is prevention! We have made moves to Shanghai, Cambodia, Santiago and soon Sao Paulo here is my list of things I do on scouting trips.

First make a list of all the things you need to do, then make appointments before you leave. This is going to be key to the success of your scouting trip.

Check out your healthcare options, what hospital you will go to in case of emergency? Visit the hospital and take a tour. Will they accept your insurance? Do you have to pay upfront then wait for the insurance company to pay you back? What does your insurance cover? What will happen if you have a major emergency and need to be media-vac'd? This happened to my husband last year, he ripped his ankle open and was in remote Patagonia and had to be helicoptered to Santiago for specialist surgery. I know the cost for the medivac was in the $USD20,000+ range plus the surgery and hospital costs, this was 100% covered by our insurance, I think the end bill was somewhere around $USD60,000. Do you require any specific medications? If so, is it available and at what cost?

Do you want to use public transport? Is it safe? If so, use it during your visit so you are familiar. What is the safest taxi company to use? If you get a car how do your get a licence? What does your insurance cover?

RE: Housing, visit the houses/apartments you might consider. How is security? How physically safe is the house? Will it hold up in an earthquake? How is the water pressure? What bills do you need to pay on top of the rent? Make sure your rental contract is a good contract, many landlords will try and screw foreigners over just because we don't always know the rules. If pollution is a problem can you buy air filters to cut it down inside your house?

Go the the area you will live and see how close the supermarkets are? Are there outdoor places for your kids to play in?

Go and visit the schools (make an appointment before you leave), sometimes a school seems great online but is totally different when you actually walk through, also make sure they have space. It is also easier to try and prepare children for a new international school if you can say "Hey remember when we met Mrs Smith who will be your new teachers? Wasn't she nice?" or "Hey your new school had a pool, cricket field etc., you must be excited for that!"

Are you taking your goods/furniture with you? If so does your shipping company have experience with the destination country? Are their applicable taxes on imports? What happens if the container is stuck in port? Who pays the fees? If you plan on shipping goods go and talk to the receiving company during your visit, and make sure they know what they are doing.

Check out internations.org http://www.internations.org/nepal-expats
It is free and we use the Santiago version, it is really helpful.

Good luck with your trip, have a great time!

Fathom the kids perspective, take lots of photos of them on your trip and have a day or two when you do stuff for them if you can. We did a looksee trip to Texas a year ago and used it mostly as a pr exercise for the kids (luckily it was an easy move and dh knew the place really well, it was mostly narrowing down houses and schools). Although they were sad to leave Asia, they were looking forward to our move. We discussed it lots and looked over photos often before the "big goodbye".

Agree with doing your research online first. My first move overseas was in 1995 which makes me feel ancient but there was no online information. Do all you can before you go and use the trip to confirm that information and get gut instincts. Find out about healthcare, districts to live in, traffic hotspots, public transport, commutes, childcare and schools, sports facilities, supermarkets, where you can buy the stuff you'll miss, etc etc on forums before you go.

From, not fathom, sorry!

MasterOfTheYoniverse Fri 28-Mar-14 23:48:31

I just saw your other post and that's not the usual postings I had in mind!
That's a whole different ball game! I'd say the fact alone that you consider going is already proof that you are in a very positive frame of mind!
Sound like the job is worth it and if that makes you happy, the rest will fall into place.

I think you need to prioritize identifying the following:
-a good Dr/hospital/clinic with English speaking staff & health cover.
- will someone at work help setting up utilities, provide an occasional help with the language until you find your ground for the first few weeks?
-are there expat "clubs"/after school clubs? not sure how old your children are? if not school age yet, these might be a good meeting point to organize a few play dates.

The interNations forum is a good place to look for more "remote" postings.

I think that if you have made up your mind about moving the family you will make it work. When things go wrong we fix them.
A move always puts a strain on relationships. It is also an incredible bonding opportunity for your family cell so don't sweat the small stuff and make the most of your time there.

Okay, thanks so much! Public transport- the buses are meant to be safe but cramped. Will find out about taxis, good idea. Not looking to drive when over there.

My friend bought most furtniture over there from places like Furnitureland, and having looked online, the costs for the furniture appears to be comparatively cheap (although it's cheaper over there anyway).

Have arranged an appointment with the British international school there, which should be good, and the DC have looked at the Flickr photos and one of the YouTube videos of some of the assemblies and so on, plus the website too.

I know the hospital (and proximity to the neighbourhood we'd be looking in to rent, quite close) and have got a quote for health insurance! Pricy! Although as in general it appears cost of living is significantly lower, it's affordable. No specific medications required, and the one we're looking at would include worldwide evacuation, prescriptions, medical equipment hire, outpatient treatment and consultation, plus health screenings. I've written down the emergency number too.

Have registered for InterNations but have to wait two days apparently to see if they let me join (?) so have tried to find the most I can without joining, but I'm impatient to look around the full forum/information, it looks very useful! thanks

Have found a taxi company number and night number, have saved and written it down. Also found a bank with an ATM accepting the card I use.

Okay, there is the best hospital- called CIWEC Clinic, across from the British Embassy, great reputation, used loads by expats and visitors, on call around the clock doctor, staffed mainly by foreigners, which sounds good. Also a CIWEC dental clinic, with a USA dentist. Also a nearer and slightly cheaper one, called the Nepal International Clinic, also a great reputation for visitors and expats.

westcoast Sat 29-Mar-14 00:46:56

Internations takes some time to process your application, mostly they are trying to weed out spammers.

RE: Furniture Internations has a "market place" where expats list thing they want to sell, that might help you with furniture, appliances.

Search Facebook for local expat groups, often they have groups, for instance in Santiago we have "Gringos Garage Sale" and we buy sell and trade as people are coming and going. Also "English Speaking Moms" is a group in Santiago that has parents/children meet up. Nepal might have something similar.

Random thought here!!! I stock up on pads/tampons when home as I have found the imports expensive and local products are not as good.

SouthernHippyChick Sat 29-Mar-14 16:03:30

Seemingly obvious but ask the right (ie properly informed, unbiased) people the right questions!
We had loads of unsolicited well meant v confidently delivered advice for example from people with kids younger than ours on schools. So they had no real clue about our options but didn't say so. As an expat, you can be rather infantalised at first and can lap this up inthinkingly and make serious errors as a result or was it just me?

Thanks thanks

Got on Internations but haven't got access to much about Nepal/Kathmandu at all (due to not paying for Albatross) but the forum looks useful! smile

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