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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.

Needabitofsunshine Mon 12-Nov-12 21:34:36

I haven´t read all replies...

You´ve got such an overwhelming amount of choice!

You have to look at your lifestyle, hobbies, dealbreakers in life - then work these into your possible locations. Your new home should enhance your life, rather than limit it, especially if you´re in it for the long haul and not just a jaunt for a few years. What does your family like to do at the weekend - want skiing on your doorstep, love the sun? Narrow it down by things like that. Too much choice can be utterly paralyzing!

Tbh any of the countries you´ve mentioned would be fine education-wise, especially if you have the option to have subsidised international schooling.

Don´t forget finances too - ideally you´d surely want a better standard of living and the ability to save? Professionally, it needs to be the right move too...

Good luck!

sliceofcakenowplease Tue 06-Nov-12 17:40:07

That makes me want to move to Canada madwomanintheattic. Although I think I'd stick to watching. I once went to hospital due to a game of tiddlywinks. Yes, tiddlywinks. I flicked a counter and it hit my ear, breaking the fourth smallest bone in the body with it blush Dread to think what'd happen if I tried skiing!

madwomanintheattic Sun 04-Nov-12 18:14:30

Heh heh. Dd1 had Nordic skiing lessons at school for pe last year (Canada) and dd2 had downhill skiing for pe. grin I signed up for a series of beginner nordic lessons and lasted one. My ego couldn't take any more. They put me in a skate class instead of classic, and in the first lesson they were all off uphill. I spent most of it falling over in every single way possible. It was awful. We do have the Olympic centre here though, so I guess their idea of a 'beginner' is very different to mine!! Ds played (ice) hockey for two years, having been unable to skate at all when we arrived. He's a proper whizz on skates these days, despite being nicknamed 'zamboni' for the entirety of his first season wink...

sliceofcakenowplease Sun 04-Nov-12 16:18:02

Thanks for the website. Very useful!

Thanks for the Australian information ninedragons. We're pretty much decided on it being Iceland/Sweden/Canada, however, it's early days for moving, so we're taking as much information on board as possible.

Thanks NotQuint. I'd love the DCs to learn skiing and winter sports, as it's too expensive here. Apparently schools have ice skating lessons? Or something like that? Whether it is or isn't, it would be great fo them to have that oppurtunity. Not for me though- I'd probably end up looking like an idiot as usual.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sun 04-Nov-12 10:17:34

I would chose Stockholm.

Fantastic for exploring Scandinavia and Europe. Fantastic for the kids to pick up skiing.

Near the UK for visits home. The language is not that difficult to learn, and most Swedes speak good English anyway.

Education is supposed to be good, and as far as I know, no extortionate tuition fees at uni.....

ninedragons Sun 04-Nov-12 10:11:33

I would move to Wollongong in a shot if my industry would support it.

It's a brilliant place, about 30% cheaper than Sydney but within easy distance (2 hour drive along a magnificent ocean road), brilliantly clean and uncrowded surf beaches, a large and respected university and all the stuff that feeds off a university town (tech start-ups, more immigrants and a less parochial attitude than prevails in many rural parts of Australia, cafes/bars/restaurants). Great bushwalking and outdoors activities.

Brisbane is a dump. It's utterly without charm or culture. Tower blocks with a muddy river snaking through, and politics straight from the 1950s.

Shame they haven't offered you Canberra. We were there recently and I thought if you didn't have family ties to any other city in Australia, it would be a superb place to raise kids. The schools are outstanding, there are two or three universities there, the jobs are well paid but housing is cheap (by Australian standards, anyway). It's not big, but it is clean and pleasant. Long way from the coast, though, if that is your thing.

natation Sun 04-Nov-12 09:31:21

I love this website for looking for flights. You can look at a whole month at a time, it offers you cheaper alternatives from/to nearby airports, you can search to/from "everywhere", you can search from/to countries. It brings up Ryanair, Expedia doesn't include Ryanair for example!

sliceofcakenowplease Sun 04-Nov-12 09:21:01

Oh well. Skavska it is! Probably the first time the DCs haven't been on Ryanair. Thanks for the information natation smile

natation Sat 03-Nov-12 22:04:00

yeh I bet Vasteras is 100km away too!
We flew Ryanair once to Barcelona only because it was the main airport with the trian link into the city, quite a rarity for them to use the major airport of a city.

sliceofcakenowplease Sat 03-Nov-12 21:44:03

Really? Oh. I swear it was to Arlanda. <rechecking, and rechecking again> Oh, now I know. Yes, in theory. Might not mean Arlanda. Ah! Vasteras, using a coach to get to the station! Totalled it up to be roughly £30 cheaper (although longer)!

natation Sat 03-Nov-12 20:32:58

Ryanair fly from Stansted to Skavska airport, 100km from Stockholm, I think the flight price would have to be pretty cheap to justify the expense of getting there compared to Arlanda.

PoppyAmex Sat 03-Nov-12 20:09:49

"poppyamex - what on earth makes you say the Portuguese are good drivers?"

They (we) are technically very good drivers albeit, like I pointed out, incredibly agressive and intolerant.

sliceofcakenowplease Sat 03-Nov-12 20:02:48

Oooh! More than a 100 posts!

It's part of Ottawa? They just stated 'Manotick' and when I looked it up, it didn't mention it, although being so close, it makes sense! I like the sound of villagey outer suburb!

Bue Sat 03-Nov-12 19:05:29

I love Reykjavik (sp?)! The dark, dark winters would make it a no-go for me but if you're not prone to SAD then it has a lot going for it I'm sure.

Manotick is actually part of Ottawa. It used to be a separate village but now it's a villagey outer suburb of the city. It's adorable, certainly quiet but only a 25 min drive downtown. (Public transportation from out there is absolutely terrible though - you'd have to drive everywhere.)

sliceofcakenowplease Sat 03-Nov-12 18:45:12

I've looked up Arlanda from Stansted and I think Ryanair does it too, and Easyjet (cheap and uncomfortable cheerful for me!) as well as SAS. All of them seem quite reasonable, so it's definitely easier!

Thanks again (or should I say tack?)

sliceofcakenowplease Sat 03-Nov-12 18:42:55

I agree natation, I wouldn't consider spending the money. If the education there's terrible, we won't be moving there. However, if we do move, then the support they give would be the equivalent to say £4,000, and in local schools that's 1/3rd of the costs, not including scholarships/bursaries, and even then, we aren't spending that. Like I said, it's an option if we find an amazing, amazing place but the schools are honestly terrible, and we know that it's the only place which would suit us (unlikely- we've found too many places to suit us!), then it's a possibility.

Thanks for all the information galwaygirl. I know they don't learn words like 'blue' but they probably will learn phrases etc; which can be more useful. Also, I know that the French children at our local school, when learning French, would go out of that lesson to do advanced French etc; and I know that in most okay schools, a child who comes over from another country with limited standards of English will get taken out of lessons to be helped. I'm guessing both/equivalent of both options might be available, or at least another form of support in or out of school?

So a Swedish school is a good idea then galwaygirl? I want them to be able to have a wide range of universities to choose from- as in, if they want to, they can stay in the country they would have been in for the last six/seven years or whatever, and I also want my DCs to learn the language, and a Swedish school seems the right way. Thanks. Also thanks for the info about the specialist sport highs, it's definitely a consideration, as she's very serious about it and is in the girls' football team for our area, so I think it's worth it. The school she's at currently believe so at least, and have approached us about scouting etc;

I haven't, as such, ruled out Uppsala- it's just I don't know much about it as such, even with some research, but I'll do some more. It certainly sounds ideal.

galwaygirl Sat 03-Nov-12 17:35:27

Just going back to the learning English in school thing - I think they'd be learning words like blue when they're 7 - can try and find out what level stuff they're doing at 12/13 as DH's niece is 14.

Arlanda airport is handy for both Uppsala and Stockholm and Norwegian and SAS fly to the UK at reasonable prices.

galwaygirl Sat 03-Nov-12 17:21:55

Forgot to add that children in Sweden learn English from 7 and they get all the US tv series and don't dub them so your DCs classmates even in a Swedish school should have good English - and the tv thing is great when you're a bit homesick yourself!
The main issue people have with settling in Sweden is finding jobs without the language - you wouldn't have this worry &#128515;

galwaygirl Sat 03-Nov-12 17:19:36

Hi again
You mention your DD loves football - Sweden has specialist sport high schools from 16 where they do extra sport training and the basic subjects needed for Uni entry. My SIL went to a basketball one and on to uni after and DH's niece looks likely to go to a football one as she is playin for her county. Women's football is much bigger there I think.
On the school thing, I would send them to Swedish school as they will get huge support for language and ultimately if they go to Uni there the course they want to do might be in Swedish. Also, you need to have a certain level of Swedish to enter Uni and I've heard some of the English schools in Stockholm have had problems with this.
You should check out as you will get loads of advice there.
For an idea of properties check out - houses are villas and summer houses are fritidshus
It's definitely affordable for a lot of people to have them.

You seem to have totally ruled out Uppsala? It has a great university an with that comes a lot of international staff meaning its a diverse enough place. You'd get more for your money house wise but are close enough to Stockholm for days out shopping and closer to the north for skiing if you're into that as well as the countryside.
I think you mentioned camping further up? Sweden has a law where you are allowed pitch a tent anywhere for one night even private land. You are also free to pick mushrooms and berries etc in the forest.

That's all I had to add for now! X

natation Sat 03-Nov-12 16:59:19

Take a look on the IB website. There are 3 schools in Ottawa listed as doing IB diploma, one is a state school.

Cahoots Sat 03-Nov-12 16:55:41

There are public schools in Ottawa offering the IB. Check here

I don't think there are any in Quebec that offer the middle years program and the Diploma IN ENGLISH. (but I haven't checked confused )

jkklpu Sat 03-Nov-12 16:54:01

PS poppyamex - what on earth makes you say the Portuguese are good drivers???

jkklpu Sat 03-Nov-12 16:50:07

Don't rule out Lisbon, if you're on an expat deal including school fees. Great lifestyle if you live a bit West along the coast nearish to British/international school where they do IB and get lots of Russell Group entrants. It's an international place, great outdoor life and lots of flights to UK/elsewhere (it's an Easyjet hub, for example).

PM me if you want to know more.

natation Sat 03-Nov-12 16:42:38

I have several Canadian friends, brought up in Quebec and BC, none of whom ever attended private schools. Remember it matters how YOUR children do in school, not what the overall school system produces. Maybe I'm just too stingy, I'd never consider spending £25,000 per year on private schooling, but our net income is about that too so that's another reason why I'd not pay that much.

There are IB schools in Sweden which are free.

I'd do the Maths before moving anywhere.

Cahoots Sat 03-Nov-12 16:03:32

Time for a stroll on google street view....

We liked Ashbury College in Ottawa, so a possible school if you lived in either Gateneau or Manotick. It's about $20k a year, not cheap but good and they offer the IB which may be a good option for your Dc's as its an international qualification.
You could commute to either Gateneau of Manotick from Ottawa (you would be travelling out the city so the traffic may be OK). Ottawa is a city but with a laid back feel. It's nothing like London but at least you have some city amenities. I bet Manotick would be very very quiet....

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