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DS wants to go abroad USA/Canada after uni- anyone with experience?

(21 Posts)
DalmationDots Mon 21-Oct-13 14:31:39

DS is considering going abroad to work after uni, possibly to the USA or Canada. He was out there for a few weeks before doing a research project and loved it. I have to say deep inside I am gutted. I can't imagine the months on end of not seeing him and not knowing much about his life. He also is likely to go for an indefinite period, he has no girlfriend or other real ties to the UK. The not knowing when he will return makes me uneasy (and the possible thought he may never come back to live here).

I have a younger DD who graduates this year and will be around, possibly living at home or nearby in London. I am on my own and while I want DS to not be held back, part of me does feel I will loose him just a bit. I know I am selfish feeling these things and I should be supporting his ambitions! I can't get my head around the fact he is building his own life I guess.

I feel it is a bit of impending empty nest syndrome. As timings have worked when he lived in halls, DD was still at home, then he returned to live at home for his 3rd and now 4th year (while DD went off to uni) so I have always had one of them about.

Anyone with experience? How does keeping in contact work and visiting with the hefty air fares? How have your DC found it abroad?

rightsaidfrederick Mon 21-Oct-13 18:18:05

I'd suggest that he might like to go to Canada on a Working Holiday Visa, to see what it's like first

There are equivalents for Australia and New Zealand, but getting into the US for work is really quite difficult.

rightsaidfrederick Mon 21-Oct-13 18:18:31

DalmationDots Wed 23-Oct-13 18:24:53

thanks for that, will send it on to him. He did 6 weeks in the USA but it was very plush and well-paid, and in New York so lots of exciting things to do. In reality, he is unlikely to land a post as good, or in anywhere like NY. He seems to be fascinating that US/Canada is so much better than the UK and needs his ideas to be brought down a few pegs.

kritur Wed 23-Oct-13 19:03:54

I have friends working in the US and one thing I'll say is the working culture is very different to the UK. Terms and conditions are much less favourable, fewer days holiday, less leave entitlement for maternity/paternity and far less job security (it seems easier to fire people out there). They now live in Boston but were originally placed in a bit of a hick town and really disliked the culture.

nevergoogle Wed 23-Oct-13 19:36:07

I went to new york after graduation for a kind of internship for 18 months.
It was a programme run by Bunac but I had to find the internship myself.
I have to say it was an incredible experience and my only regret is not pushing for a sponsorship to stay.
Please find a way not to hold him back, instead try to encourage him in what he wants to do.
My mum, dad and brother all visited once each. And of course now there's skype and facebook that keeping in touch is so easy.

nevergoogle Wed 23-Oct-13 19:38:20

Er hoping he lowers his expectations or be brought down a peg or two doesn't sound like a very helpful or encouraging attitude.

Josie314 Wed 23-Oct-13 20:26:41

My advice to you would be to find a way to support him, regardless of what you think. Fake it till you make it! If he really wants to go, he will. if you are negative about it he will just think you are holding him back.

I did the reverse - I'm American and I decided to go to France. My mom was very negative about it in the beginning, which upset me but wasn't going to change my mind. Also, if I hadn't gone, I think I would have been a bit bitter to her about it. She got on board though and we have maintained a great relationship even though I then moved to England for 5 years. Skype and phone cards are amazing things, and she came to visit me once a year (and I went home as well of course).

I think the most important thing is to keep positive and keep communication open.

UptheChimney Thu 24-Oct-13 08:18:56

I can't get my head around the fact he is building his own life I guess

Er, really? Did you not 'build your own life'? Gosh, I thought we had children to let them go, not keep them next to us for all our lives, our own emotional needs. I am the daughter of a mother who had loads of children for her own emotional needs, and it's not a burden I would wish on any child, and I've worked very hard, on myself not to do that with my DS (and his father died when he was little, so I've been on my own for yonks).

My DS is thousands of miles away, having fun, learning, making mistakes, working, playing, getting his language skills up to scratch. He texts or FBs me a few words every few days, so I know he's safe, but he's a graduate and a grown up -- he's 23, FFS gosh, how did that happen?

I'm actually secretly relieved he's getting into scrapes where I can't see!

I don't like saying this generally, but you really need to get a life for YOU. It is a fact of life that our children grow up.

BeckAndCall Thu 24-Oct-13 11:05:49

I too, have a DS who went off to Canada on a work experience visa after graduation, became a ski instructor, met a (lovely) girl and is now deliberating whether to stay out there for just one more year or try to make it permanent.

I miss him dreadfully. But I wouldn't dream of persuading him against it - it's his life, he's seen here and there and can make a decision about where his future lies.

As a physics grad he will have opportunities he can pursue long term - presumably as a graduate your DS will have good skills too, so why does he need to lower his sights ' a peg or two'.'

For me, to make sure my DS is looking at all the options I've helped him research both visa requirements and job opportunities - that's my idea of being supportive. ( As well as lending him money to buy a decent car but that's a whole different discussion!)

Maybe I find it easier cos at the same age I did my own masters in the US and my parents allowed me to make my own decision about where to settle.

DalmationDots Fri 25-Oct-13 16:12:16

Thanks, lots of helpful replies.

The knocking down a peg or two does sound harsh, it is basically in relation to the fact he went out to on of the world's leading medical schools and was working there as a research placement student. Everyone else there had phDs/years of experience elsewhere, it was an amazing working environment.
While he has a chance of getting a job in a similar place, I am conscious that he has only experienced the luxury side and, like in the UK, the reality of many grad jobs and life can be very different and often involve working your way up. I believe he is very qualified and competent (and I am super proud of him!) but I am trying to be realistic and don't want him to be disappointed if he does go back to the US.

UptheChimney I am like any natural mother would be, sad that my DS will potentially be many many miles away. It is made harder that I am a single mother. I am sad and proud that he is growing up and creating his own life. I very much have my own very busy life and have always been encouraging of independence in my DC.
I have not portrayed any of my sadness too him. I have helped him research and look into the logistics and I have been positive. I know you were making a genuine point though, thanks for reminding me to not become overbearing!

UptheChimney Fri 25-Oct-13 17:40:18

I find that my research contribution to my DS's travel after graduation is researching how to send money to all sorts of places I've never actually heard of grin

eatyourveg Fri 25-Oct-13 18:36:06

ds wants to go off across the pond after he graduates but has no idea how to do it because of the visa restrictions. Are you allowed to apply for jobs from this end and then if you get it, the employer sponsors your visa application?

MariscallRoad Sat 26-Oct-13 00:21:34

I agree with you. I feel the same.
Why not moving there yourself as well?? and with DD as well? It might not be as imposs as you think. It might work for all of you. It is best you are all together in one place. I have relatives and friends who did so. Even brothers have moved near sisters in US. The costs of living are less. You may have skills that will help you to settle there.

Regarding your DS and DD, it is difficult for the younger to become independent now days because Everything is expensive and no affordable homes. Yes 20 years ago it was different. Most of my friends live with their DD/DS in their 40s.. and some return to live with parents bringing their wives with them ...

Yes, my DS had wanted to work in US after uni - he is 2nd y - but he changed his mind and now says he likes to work in Europe in electronics because it has a better future. DS had plans that I would settle there with him. I am single mom too.

DS tells me an easyjet company is going to start 175 tickets to US.

I have worked in US and I liked it v much. I know people and relatives who recently settled there in their 40s.

CanucksoontobeinLondon Sun 27-Oct-13 19:10:41

Speaking as a Canadian who has lived in the US in the past, I'd say he's better off in Canada, but then I'm biased! My British DH (who has also lived in both countries) says the immigration paperwork for moving to Canada is somewhat less complicated than the paperwork for moving to the US. Plus, in Canada we have Tim Horton's and their delicious maple dip doughnuts! Also, healthcare provision is cheaper and less complicated in Canada than the USA. The downside is the winters, which are pretty hideous in most of my beloved country. Has he considered moving to Vancouver? The weather is very very similar to the UK over there.

Just because he wants to move to North America after university does not necessarily mean he wants to stay there forever, incidentally. Yeah, he had a great experience when he was there for a few weeks, but a few weeks is a different kettle of fish from the rest of his life. There are a lot of cultural differences that he won't have noticed during his research project trip, and which may become apparent to him as he spends longer in the US or Canada. Good luck!

mathanxiety Sun 17-Nov-13 03:54:25

I am a single mother in the US whose children are in university or working many hours away and whose oldest DD has spent a total of perhaps 6 weeks at home since she first went off to university five years ago at age 18. I just packed DD2 off to a university that is 14 hours away by car and 14 lonely hours back. DS is a mere three hours away but I have no idea where he will be in a year's time -- however, I know for certain that I hope it will be in a place where he will have the best opportunity to further his career no matter where that takes him.

There are fantastic opportunities for go-ahead people with good qualifications in the US and knocking someone down a peg or trying to get them to lower their expectations is imo throwing a most unnecessary wet blanket on someone's enthusiasm. A great attitude will take a recent graduate far. If your DS is at all resilient he will take reality in his stride. Only one thing is for sure, if he doesn't try he will never achieve what he wants.

If I thought any of my DCs weren't planning to build their own lives upon heading off to university I would pay for therapy for them.

I skype with my DCs and also with my family in Ireland, and we use phone cards. We also have FB. It really makes a positive difference for DCs to have their mother supporting their independence and their decisions.

UptheChimney Sun 17-Nov-13 14:51:50

Mathanxiety, thank you for saying this. It really discomfos me to hear if parents wanting "knock down few pegs" their children's ambitions. It's tough enough already.

And my DS is currently travelling the world. He could live in Europe, the US or NZ, because of his late father's multiple nationalities! He just celebrated his 25th birthday in Melbourne. We skyped. I miss him, but he's an adult, and I push him to take advantage if this wonderful world. I'd be mortified if he thought I was trying to knock his ideas down, although sometimes I do just try to get him to think through the practicalities of his ambitions. But all aimed at helping him achieve those ambitions, not to limit them because I'm now on my own.

kateandme Sun 17-Nov-13 15:52:21

be brave.its hard letting them go.but there is a time where you have to.if its his choice then help him make the right one.dont be all bustling with worry and waht ifs.maybe help him make the right decision.he will thank the practical advice.
could you sit with him sort out budgeting,living,jobs.if hes already made his decision be there,feel part of it.he will love you more for that.
of course if he isnt sure then you need to be there for that feeling hes having too.tell him that it will be totally different.dont be shy to tell him realities,its better for him to no pitfalls now than if he gets there and cant come bacl.
dont be afraid to show him you would miss him.he needs to know that too.
skype is a wonderful thing.visit him and vice cersa.
i dont think it can be made any easier if he does cant accept it but maybe its just about getting through it.for his sake.he will ned his mum no matter what he whether he moves or not it will be big decisions going off in his mind im sure.

hellokittymania Sun 17-Nov-13 16:35:17

Can I just share?

I come from quite a dysfunctional family. I have SN (viisual impairment and other needs) and my family was very negative and overprotective. I was given heaps of money but not taught any life skills and nobody had any expectations of me. My mother got a boost from people telling her what a good mother she was for taking care of her disabled daughter.... I went to study in Italy and really struggled, mainly due to family's attitude and lack of life skills.

I ended up rebeling and have been in Vietnam for 7 years. It was the best decision I ever made. I have grown so much and had so many experiences. Vietnam was and still is a tough place at times, but I think I surpassed my expectations on what I could do. My mother has contact with me andbut I still have to deal with her worrying far too much, being negative. It bothers me though when she does this.... Hey, I still can't cook and have to work hard to accomplish little things, but I do my best. grin

I moved to the UK in September and found that to be....challenging. I am a citizen but not really "British". My famiily left when I was 5 so had to get NI number, etc, etc. I have no idea where I'll be in the future. Foreigners can't own businesses in Vietnam sad sad If they could, that's where I'd be. I love Asia.

hellokittymania Sun 17-Nov-13 16:46:08

Crossing the road in Vietnam

My "mother hen" likes watching this grin

mathanxiety Sun 17-Nov-13 17:19:54

I meant to add, I have a friend whose DS is the same age as mine. They went to school together from age 5 onwards and hung around in the same group. All the other friends are off in college and have plans. Some are doing well, some are bumping along, but all have a sense of purpose and all are buoyed up by the idea that they are carving out their place in this life, all the while living in dorm rooms with people who fart loudly and play music til all hours and eating university cafeteria food and using communal bathrooms. Young people who have some sort of dream will put up with so much as long as they have a bit of ambition and encouragement. My friend's DS dropped out after one term at a community college close to home, and still lives at home, sitting on the couch all day every day with no plans. He had a part time manual job but he lost it. She is turning grey worrying about this son of hers.

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