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Plannig where to move to can any expats give some advice?

(16 Posts)
sharklet Mon 15-May-06 14:22:54

We're in the UK at the moment - but we will be moving over seas in a couple of years. We have some choices and are pondering our options. Just wondered if anyone is livingin any of the countries in our favourites list so we can maybe get a feel for what its like.

We're lookig at Japan, Alaska (USA), Norway, Germany (Ramstein), Italy (Aviano) or maybe Holland (Den Haag) Anyone???

KateF Mon 15-May-06 14:29:34

That's an interesting list sharklet! I'd love to go to NZ, Australia or South Africa but dh, having been all up for it has gone and changed his mind. Would still be interested in people's comments though.

moondog Mon 15-May-06 14:30:52

Why are you going and what will you do there for starters?
Can you speak any other languages?

Earlybird Mon 15-May-06 14:33:58

sharklet - are those places where there are US airbases? A cousin of mine was in the service in Italy and loved it. He's now at Rammstein, and it's OK, but Italy was his dream location.

Do you feel the cold? Alaska is gorgeous - wild and amazing wildlife...but I wouldn't want to go through a winter there.

meowmix Mon 15-May-06 14:38:39

Norway is so lovely but so so remote too i find. also on the chilly side I'd wager. But its family-centric, beautiful countryside and I've always found teh Nowegians v friendly and nice.

personally I don't gel with Germany so wouldn't be my choice. Japan would be amazing but v hard - such a culture shock.

sharklet Mon 15-May-06 14:43:21

Bang on there EarlyBird!! DH is in the US airforce and we'll be moving with his job. Those are our favourites from the list of places we'll be allowed to transfer to. Icelnad was on there but aparently the base there is closing which is gutting as I really wanted to spend a couple of years there!

Anyway currently Japan is my favourite form the list. We'd be on the northern Island of Okinawa (SP) the only draw back is we'd have to live on the base in japan (due to the status of forces agreement) whereas in may onf the other countries we'd get to live in the community which we'd obviously prefer.

sharklet Mon 15-May-06 14:44:23

i can speak some french and smatterings of german - but would be very glad to learn. Was hoping to carry on some of my freelance work whereaver I go that and I'm plannign on taking a TEFL course.

moondog Mon 15-May-06 14:46:30

I'd gp for Italy meself.

sharklet Mon 15-May-06 14:52:18

DH was based there for 7 years before we met and he loved it. He'd love ot take us there, i suppose I'd really enjoy it and it wouldn't be too far home. I still fancy the idea of a completely different culture for a while. If we did Jpan it would only be 2 years, and then we can go somewhere else after that.

Pruni Mon 15-May-06 14:57:23

Message withdrawn

Earlybird Mon 15-May-06 15:12:41

sharklet - Personally, I really wouldn't want to go to Japan to live. I understand the exotic appeal of somewhere completely different, but everytime I went on business, I was thrilled to be there and thrilled to leave. I think it's a very difficult culture to integrate into, and also very difficult to have any degree of independence when things are so alien.

KateF Mon 15-May-06 16:07:22

I grew up mainly in Berlin and West Germany (as was) as my father was in the RAF. Loved it and had a hard time integrating into UK life at 13. My father was a linguist and spoke excellent German so we were well integrated into the German community. I believe Ramstein is a huge base - Dad used to buy me candy from the PX when he visited it.
Out of your list I'd go for Italy. Norway would be great for the summer but I couldn't do the winters!

skerriesmum Mon 15-May-06 16:33:54

About Japan... Tokyo or another large city would be easiest in terms of integrating, also international schools etc. but living on a segregated base in Okinawa would NOT be fun... the locals hate the military there. I remember 10 years ago I was living in Japan and the big news story for a long time was about a local woman being raped by a soldier and the whole thing hushed up...
Another vote for Italy!

collision Mon 15-May-06 16:38:08

We lived in Italy for 3 years and believe me it is a different culture!

Beautiful country and you will obv have a different experience to what we had but the beauracracy is hard and tax is 40% and the people can be hard work....but the weather is lovely!!

SSSandy Tue 16-May-06 09:20:44

I would go for Norway or Holland. I'd like to visit Japan but not really live there. Alaska might be a tad boring, don't you think? Norwegian men are a sight worth seeing and I really like the Dutch.

MaryP0p1 Mon 29-May-06 11:06:24

we live in Italy and are very happy here. So I'd recommend it. I agree with Collison the culture is very different. The other thing I have found since being here is that the there are other local expats here, all working together in the boatyards. They seem to have kind of isolated themselves and mix together both in and out of work, often living together. Not a problem as such however I met one in the market the other day. He had been here 6 years and still didn't speak Italian! I found that a bit shocking but not unexpected from what I know them.

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