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Anyone live/ lived in the San Jose area California? i have lots of questions!

(14 Posts)
Fuzzydeepdarkscarywood Fri 05-Oct-12 17:35:45

DH has been offered the opportunity of working in San Jose for 2 years, we have yet to decide if we want to go. It would be an internal transfer for his current company so there is a very good re-location package etc. I've never been to that part of California before and we are visiting in a couple of weeks to have a look around (he travels there every few months for work).
We have 2 DC, 4 year old DD just started reception and 20 month old DS. Schools and nurseries are therefore very important. As I understand it children start school a year later than here at Kindergarden which is 4 hours a day, is this correct? Is there any option to move up a year? I'm a bit concerned about DD having to start in the first year if she's already done reception here, mostly as when we come back after 2 years she would effectively be a year behind. Does anyone know where i can get info on the syllabus to see if this would be the case?
Also any idea about nurseries? Are they a similar type of set up to here?
I won't be working so am also interested in the social aspects for a SAHM.
And houses and rental prices and and and.....
My head is in a bit of a spin at the moment so was hoping for some insider knowledge!
If you've got through this and can help thank you thanks
Will have to log off in little while but will be back later.

NotMoreFootball Fri 05-Oct-12 21:53:05

Sorry I don't have any knowledge of California, but here in Tennessee they are very flexible with regards to moving children up and down between Grades to find the best fit. My son was in Yr 2 in the UK so went into 1st Grade when we moved to the US. After a few weeks it became obvious that he had already covered the majority of what was being taught so his school moved him up an extra grade over the summer holidays. I think this is common across the US but hopefully someone with direct knowledge of San Jose with have more info.

Fuzzydeepdarkscarywood Fri 05-Oct-12 22:05:39

Thanks Not, that's good to hear. DD is normally pretty well behaved and fits in well with others but can get somewhat disruptive if bored so if she had to repeat too much it could be a nightmare!
Is your DS much younger than those in his class? DD is an August born so could end up being almost 2 years younger than classmates if she goes 'up' a year. Just something else to worry about.
Do you enjoy being in the US? I've visited many times but clearly living there is a whole different ball game.

herethereeverywhere Fri 05-Oct-12 22:11:12

I know a lot about San Jose am off out now but marking my place and will be back later to answer your questions grin

Fuzzydeepdarkscarywood Fri 05-Oct-12 22:19:57

Yay thanks Here grin I'm off to bed soon so will catch up in the morning. All info is very gratefully received. (Can you tell I'm in a bit of a wibble about it all).

NotMoreFootball Fri 05-Oct-12 22:25:14

My DS does have some children in his class who are almost 2 years older as some children have been held back a year and he has skipped a year but so far it hasn't caused any social problems. The schools have Guidance Counsellors who run lots of (subtle!) friendship groups and everyone seems to love his English accent!
Like you, we will probably return to the UK in 2 or 3 years so his academic progress had to take priority over been with children his own age but the after school clubs have children of all grades in so there are plenty of opportunities to mix with younger children if needed.
I LOVE living in the US, everyone has such a positive attitude and, at least in the South, they are all very friendly. Also loving the huge array of shops and restaurants available!
We also came on an inter-company transfer so have fully comprehensive health insurance provided. This is an absolute essential, in six months my DS has had over $1000 worth of doctor / dentist treatments and he hasn't even been ill yet!! This is just from routine check-ups, physicals, vaccinations etc. Check out any compulsory vaccinations that California requires as you may need to start the course before you arrive in the US, I think it was Hep B that had several doses over 6 months and he had to have started the course before attending school here. Also had to get a GP's letter to confirm he had already had chickenpox so didnt need to get the vaccine for that.

CaliforniaLeaving Sat 06-Oct-12 02:15:26

San Jose rents are high (all those IT people) so from what we have been told by other expats in that area $2,000-$3,000 is not unusual for a decent area.
They don't really have the type of nursery that they do in UK. My Dd went to preschool, they can go from age 3 and are dry. She went two mornings a week it was attached to the local school that she now attends and you pay for it. This is new for here, this wasn't around when my boys were younger, they went to the same school Dd is in.
K they have to be 5 by sept 1st and in some it's a full day and other school districts do half days. Ours has switched, Ds1 went half days, then Ds2 went half days too, the following year the went to full days (7.30am to 2pm)
You should come over to www.britishexpats.com and read, lots of Silicon Valley people and information

Fuzzydeepdarkscarywood Sat 06-Oct-12 22:13:42

Thanks again, I'll check out the link when I get some time in the next few days.
In my day dreams about it I envisaged a nice big house with a pool but not sure that's going to be do-able grin.
One of the things that will be included is comprehensive health care. Having had to take DS to hospital in Florida earlier in the year I can see why this is essential!

turkeyboots Sun 07-Oct-12 07:13:02

It's a nice part of the world. My DF has lived round there for 10years now and we all love visiting. Can't offer anything useful, but it is lovely. Hot in summer though, but dry heat which is bareable.

Fuzzydeepdarkscarywood Mon 08-Oct-12 13:24:00

Thanks Turkey.
And a bump in case anyone else can help grin

Fuzzydeepdarkscarywood Fri 12-Oct-12 16:36:39

Friday bump grin

worldcitizen Sat 13-Oct-12 11:24:13

Fuzzy Congratulations for your upcoming stay in San Jose. That area and its surroundings has got to be one of THE best places to be in the U.S., and as I am saying this as someone who does not like living in the U.S. at all.
San Jose/Silicon Valley/Stanford and then all the surroundings with Berkeley and San Francisco Bay area, Monterey and Carmel etc.
The weather is fantastic, the Pacific coast is wonderful, the people are from all over the U.S. and from all over the world, you can become so healthy and fit in those 2 years, should you be interested in health and fitness.
Lots of outdoor opportunities and a "different" kind of America. Your children have a great age to be able to take advantage of all the positive American attitude towards children...lots of offers for mothers and little ones.
Sorry, that I do not have any links to offer, as I am not having a young child anymore, my daughter is American and lives close, but it is really easy to google and would get all the info you need. Look up California schools and the specific county.
2 years in that area is simply awesome!!!!!! Happy for you and jealous grin

Fuzzydeepdarkscarywood Sun 14-Oct-12 09:08:51

Aww thanks World grin, I'm feeling a bit apprehensive about the whole thing so it's lovely to read such a positive 'review'.
We're heading down the coast for a couple of days when as visit next week which I'm really looking forward to. The outdoor lifestyle is certainly one of the big attractions of the potential move. I just need to find a reason for us to spend loads of money renting somewhere with a pool.

worldcitizen Sun 14-Oct-12 11:09:18

Without knowing you, I will bet you will love it there. The whole area with its surroundings is a region loved by almost anyone and also by loads of Americans, which isn't necessarily true for New York and also not for the Los Angeles region.
I am sure New York is more hyped up by anyone else than by New Yorkers themselves.
I believe nowhere in the U.S. would you have a chance to enjoy such great climate, good and healthy food, loads of outdoor and fitness opportunities and beautiful scenic surroundings....I could go on.
I almost made it there myself when I ended it in the last 2 of a strenuous selection process for a post-masters fellowship at Stanford, but then I didn't get it sadangryenvy
I also love about that area as it is genuinely diverse, as in loads of Americans from all over the country, the rest of the world mingles there as well, you could dive into very intellectual and academic circles should you be inclined that way or you could find friends and mates in all sorts of other circles...
I would recommend to try to NOT lead a typical Brit expat life, rather make the best by getting as much info from those websites and links, and then try to be friends with all sorts of people.
Brit expat life is in my view usually very narrow, IYSWIM.

I recommend visiting Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, it is very special and also unique in the world. It is worth so worth it!!!!!!!
And the area is incredibly beautiful and the John Steinbeck House, should you care about literature, is very close by.

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