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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)


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:

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.

pupsiecola Wed 31-Oct-12 14:31:25

I can't offer any in depth advice but before we moved to South East Asia we would have jumped at the chance of a move to Vancouver. Still hope to end up there, or perhaps Boston.

Good luck - sounds like you have a lot of narrowing down to do!

JurassicFart Wed 31-Oct-12 14:33:01

Wow, how exciting! So many opportunities. Would this be a permanent move then? If it is a permanent move I would probably be concentrating on places that are either close or a direct flight away.

If it's not permanent (say, under five years) I would be tempted to go somewhere really far flung.

I would also be tempted by Alaska, and by Poland (I have loads of lovely Polish friends). NZ might just be a bit too far away - do you get flights home paid for annually or anything like that?

LoopyLoopsOlympicHoops Wed 31-Oct-12 14:35:48

Out of that list I would look at:

Montpellier, Toulouse, Strasbourg (all amazing cities, love France, close to home of you want that)

Brazil (for interesting change), maybe Paraguay too

Australia (never fancied it until met a lot of Ozzies recently now am intrigued)

Sweden - supposed to be amazing scenery, brilliant lifestyle etc. Maybe a bit dull?

What are your priorities? What will the pay be like in each place? Will international schooling be included? Flights home? If so I'd definitely be looking further afield to somewhere really different, you might not get this opportunity again.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 31-Oct-12 14:39:26

I'd love to go to Vancouver. Have relatives in Melbourne which is also nice.

All depends on whether you want to move, if you want to move long term etc.

I did once look al emigration criteria for Vancouver when I was young!

Think about quality of life. Presumably they will pay you as a local so work out how far money will go, what sort of accommodation you would have etc.

sliceofcakenowplease Wed 31-Oct-12 15:05:39

Yes, we will get annual flights home, paid for by the company, but in our own holiday time. They also promise priority for business trips to England for the English staff, the same for other foreign staff for their own countries. They're pretty desperate to have us (not many people will do the subjects needed).

Our main priority is education. We are moving long term, so I have been looking at universities as well as school. However, the contract is only for seven years, although it's a long time, it allows us to experience something new. Family isn't much of a priority (not a good relationship with my parents, same for DH) but I'm worried that if we fly too far, it would be even worse for the DCs.

We currently live in London, in an okay house, but small-ish, and so moving to some countries would be downsizing. The only downsizing we'd need to do would be for Sweden, Dubai and Australia.

In English speaking countries (it's the same for foreign staff- if you speak Portugese and you move to a Portugese country for instance), you go for state education, but you can obviously apply for independents if you can afford it. If in a non-English speaking country, and there is a private school, they will give limited money assistance. As it is, we can't afford private school, but for some of the countries we move to, we will as we will be saving quite a bit of money.

They have offered to pay for all language or out-of-school tuition needed, including musical instruments- I'm amazed at the offer to be honest, it's what I've been dreaming of- as well as the schooling, they can learn an instrument (or more than one) for free, and we will be helped with independence schools, not to mention the annual flights and priority for English business trips. It's such a great oppurtunity!

I think we've narrowed it down to these-

Canada (where though?)

We're considering Australia or NZ. Not really sure- it seems so far away. Sorry for the extra long post!

sliceofcakenowplease Wed 31-Oct-12 16:35:14

By the way, thanks to everyone who replied, you've given me and DH a lot to think about smile.

amyboo Wed 31-Oct-12 17:38:39

Montpellier is lovely - good Ryanair flight schedule for getting back to the UK and great weather. My Mum has lived in the Languedoc region for 10 years so we know the South west area quite well. Toulouse is nice, but does have some of the typical problems that big French cities suffer from - unhappy suburbs, high rises, etc. i'd personally favour Strasbourg over Toulouse. I spent my Erasmus year there. It has some very good universities, great weather (cold winters, warm summers) is surrounded by fab scenery, skiing possibilities in winter, Germany and all its plusses are a 10 minutes trip over the border, good train links by TGV to Paris. It's quite a small city, but really pretty - a lovely mix of French and German influences - has good food, good shopping, good public transport... I guess you might find it a bit small after London, but I'd definitely consider it.

PhyllisDoris Wed 31-Oct-12 17:42:04

No help I know, but I would jump at the chance to live and work in any of those places! The world is your oyster - enjoy it!

sliceofcakenowplease Wed 31-Oct-12 17:55:52

Thanks amy France definitely has its advantages, and I'd been considering Toulouse, and Montpellier and Strasbourg were on the list but I wasn't actively considering, but that's definitely changed! In the Christmas holidays, I might try and book to stay in one (or both, depending on travel costs and times) so I can get more of an experience of it, and make it seem like a fun thing to be moving to the DCs, who seem excited but I'm a bit worried about. Alternatively, I'll do that with Poland or maybe Romania.

I know Phyllis! I've been given a great chance, as has DH, and hopefully the DCs think so to, to experience the world a bit more. I've always wanted to travel but having kids has limited it to within the UK, normally within England actually, and occasional trips to Paris, and once every now and then to other places, and like I said, I lived in America once. I just need to know what to choose to make the chance even better!

tadjennyp Wed 31-Oct-12 18:01:31

My dh's company moved us to Oregon which is lovely. It is much cheaper than California generally and the scenery is beautiful. Good luck!

C0smos Wed 31-Oct-12 18:13:28

No advice at all - but wow the world really is your Oyster lucky you. If its any help I did a big round the world back pack and visited many of the mon European cities on your trip. I would choose Canada over NZ and Oz, more culture, vibrant, beautiful etc. I was also surprised how much II liked the US.

MaureenLove Wed 31-Oct-12 18:15:37

God not Finland

Graciescotland Wed 31-Oct-12 18:28:47

I'm currently in Toronto and really enjoying it. We were in Brisbane before this, which was lovely but so expensive and the tax regime for foreigners is definitely painful!

If you do look at Canada check out air transat, they're a cheapie airline that does a lot of direct flights to the UK. I do the Toronto- Glasgow leg fairly often for about £400 return.

sliceofcakenowplease Wed 31-Oct-12 18:31:03

I agree about Canada over NZ and Oz, it's close, but far away for it to be really amazing. I like the idea of the Quebec/Ontario border, and I just re-read the information given to us, and I forgot to add: Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Halifax. I know I'm an idiot! I think I went to Montreal once- and had a tour around an Olympic stadium thing and went up on a lift to it's top? And there might have been a Bio Dome and an Old Town or something like that, not to mention that in winter most of the shops seemed to be underground or something like that. I might be wrong though.

Why not Finland Maureen?

MaureenLove Wed 31-Oct-12 18:32:50

Finland dark introspective and small. Population is tiny. Plus language impenetrable

sliceofcakenowplease Wed 31-Oct-12 18:35:22

Posted becfore I saw you Gracie. So Brisbane is too expensive? As I live in London, Toronto would be (hopefully) ideal, because of its size, but I'm toying with the idea of going to a smaller place (like Krakow in Poland) so my kids have a less city life. Moving country's so hard- and I've not even decided which one- I'm dreading thinking about buying the house, arranging schools etc;

sliceofcakenowplease Wed 31-Oct-12 18:37:48

So the language is a problem? I heard it was quite difficult, but I didn't really think about that actually. I don't mind small though!

turkeyboots Wed 31-Oct-12 18:41:24

Wow, what a choice. I personally would leap at Strasbourg or Stockholm. Lovely cities. My sister went to Vancouver on holiday and never came back, she liked the place so much. But it would be European cities all the way for me. Most will have a International or British or American school in commuting distance and is a great community for a teenager to be dropped into as everyone has been there themselves.

Can you pick a top 3 and visit ? (paid for by company of course!)

PoppyAmex Wed 31-Oct-12 18:43:08

I'm originally from Lisbon and your children would probably love it - sun surf and just a couple of hours from London.

I also lived in Sydney for 7 years and Tel Aviv and loved it, but Israel can be tough on the language side.

Very envy

madwomanintheattic Wed 31-Oct-12 18:45:28

Calgary or Vancouver. Edmonton or Halifax (still trying to get to Halifax)

If you want a smaller feel, then Calgary or Halifax. (We live an hour outside Calgary, and dh works in the city, so yup, I am biased. We live in the Rocky Mountains. grin

Graciescotland Wed 31-Oct-12 18:49:44

I found it really expensive; rents are high we paid nearly $5K a month for a corporate let all in, buying a weeks worth of normal groceries would easily cost $400. The economy there is buoyant (mining/china) and it's apparent in the prices! Also they've done away with the tax free/ low tax allowance for foreigners so your paying full tax 32.5% (I think) from the first dollar.

We do have a bigger place here (that's cheaper) and the grocery bill has halved (still seems more expensive than the UK but I haven't lived there since 2010). Toronto is nice, like London it's a bit of a spread. We don't live in the downtown core (all condos and offices) but in a nice family area with an easy commute. Canadian property seems reasonably priced though.

HerRoyalNotness Wed 31-Oct-12 18:52:13

slice you are right in what you remember of montreal, that is indeed the place. The pq (?) party has just got in, super french, there is some backlash against english speakers right now, but expected not to last long. They have some policies to really isolate the english population, but my colleagues said they'll never pass the legislation as they are in the minority.

It is easy to live here. Transport is good, the city is compact, and not overwhelmingly large. There is a big english part of the city (westmount) with lovely old houses. Schooling is substandard compared to the rest of Canada, even when paying for private. Dependant on your visa (we are temp workers), you can access the English School Board, however, the french taught in the schools is very advanced, as they assume the base is there already. Private in Montreal run at CA$20k plus extra's. French private schools are much cheaper. I understand that if you are residing here, then University does not cost an arm and a leg.

The difficulty I see in your list, is that it is too broad. I don't envy you having to narrow it down! Good luck!!

sliceofcakenowplease Wed 31-Oct-12 18:58:30

I think I'll do that PoppyAmex. Although the company probably won't do that, I'll send the boss of my small London section an email, and he'll email the head office for the England section to find out, at least he said he would with any enquiries. Of course, if they paid for it, I might accidentally find myself staying in a luxury hotel...<dreams, realises dream is so unrealistic it's not even a dream and just some words on MN>

I also heard that about Israel. One person I met moved there with two children and moved back ages ago, she mentioned they had different streams or schools (can't remember which) for foreign language children until they were fluent enough. Or is it just my hazy memory of what she told me, and I'm completely wrong? Probably the latter, but you never know.

Now I'm dreaming of summery beaches in Lisbon... And not concentrating on moving (or, more to the point, feeding the DCs....)

Ideally we'd buy Gracie, but judging by rents that would be impossible in Australia! I've had a sneak peek at some houses online, and ones which I'd judge at the same level as ours are definitely a lot cheaper, so we could afford either a same sized house but with land (if in a place more like Manotick) or a nice large house (more likely, as I like city areas).

Again, thanks to everyone who replied. It's definitely opened our minds to more places.

Stevie77 Wed 31-Oct-12 18:59:31

I know Tel Aviv (and Israel) pretty well, PM me if you have specific questions

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