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(7 Posts)
espanol Fri 12-Oct-12 16:48:45

Hello - DH is in very early talks about a job in Seattle. There's a long way to go before it happens - they need to want him, we need to say yes - but it is looking possible at the moment. I wanted to find out a bit more about the city before we get too enthralled with the idea as I'm running away with myself daydreaming at the moment!

So any advice on living in Seattle with 2 small children (2 and 4)? Is it a good place to be? Any areas that are particularly good? Are the public schools good (would rather that than private personally but happy to consider private if state system not great)? Does anyone walk or is it all car? How big/easy are commutes within the city (his offices would be close to downtown rather than suburban)? Does it really rain that much? Are there many British expats? I don't want to live an expat life, but it would be great to know if there are a few Brits around/some way of networking with them in case I need to do tea and scones rather than coffee and muffins smile

Also how likely am I to get a part time job? Deal-breaker would be them also having to get me a working visa, but I don't want to work full time - no idea how popular part time jobs are in the US. It would be a corporate style financey type job (know there are plenty of cos I could work for, just don't know if part time possible).

We have both lived in the US before (not Seattle) and I have family in the US so have a good general understanding of living there at least, but that was pre-kids. And we have visited Seattle before and don't hate it!

Nandocushion Sun 14-Oct-12 06:03:08

Some more informative people will be along in time, but I didn't want to leave you hanging, so I thought I'd post here with the info that I do have some definite and unassailable knowledge about:

Yes. It really DOES rain that much.


(nb: you do get used to it, really)

espanol Sun 14-Oct-12 15:43:36

Thanks! I grew up near Manchester and spent summer holidays in Ireland: I know all about rain smile

kakapo Mon 15-Oct-12 09:31:51

Hello Espanol. I have just moved away from Seattle, having lived there for 2 years. I don't have children, so can't help too much on that front. Here are a couple of things that might help:

1) It does rain a lot. Not in terms of volume, but there is a lot of fine, misty rain, especially in the mornings. This often clears up around lunch time, but often doesn't! The late summer/autumn is beautiful, but I did find it a bit depressing in the long winter.

2) There are lots of parks in Seattle, which would be good for kids. There is quite a lot of crime etc though, so the DC can't really go out alone at age 4 (depends a little on the type of street you live in obviously). For eg, many local parks are closed to the public 11 pm- 5 am to reduce crime.

3) Washington is a really beautiful state - loads of stunning national parks and places to visit. You wouldn't go short on holidays!

4) I didn't have a car. The buses were fairly good, although a bit on the expensive side. I didn't get a licence there because the DMV (licensing office) was incredibly hard to get to without a car! And I would've had to sit a driving test (but I don't have a UK licence, so don't know if you would need to or not). The commute was fairly easy - good, regular bus.

5) I didn't pay much attention to the schools, but I did notice they start much earlier (e.g. the high school across the street from me started at about 7 am).

6) I'm unsure about the part time job. I went there for my work, and everything was pre-arranged. I do know from colleagues that part time jobs (and jobs generally) are fairly hard to come by, and I think there is a rule about employing American citizens before people on visas, where possible. I might be mistaken about that though.

7) I didn't meet many expats. And I worked at the University, a place where you would expect a lot of them. I'm sure you could find some if you wanted, but they were rare in my experience! This was something that was a little bit isolating for me - because expats are rare, I found that people come to know you as 'the foreigner' and that is your defining characteristic to all.

I'd be happy to answer any specific questions, sorry I can't be more help re the DC.

espanol Mon 15-Oct-12 21:15:38

That's hugely helpful kakapo - thank you grin

juneau Mon 15-Oct-12 21:18:35

I've never lived in Seattle, but when we lived in the US we went there a bunch of times and LOVED it. We always went in the summer and it was beautiful - not too hot, not too cold, no humidity like most of the rest of the country, beautiful mountains, blue ocean, national parks, fabulous Japanese food, fabulous seafood ... I go like a shot grin

NatashaBee Mon 15-Oct-12 21:21:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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