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Moving overseas

(13 Posts)
Pinkpartysprinkles Mon 09-Dec-13 11:56:11

I posted this in the Nannies topic too as wasn't sure where I'd get more replies!

I'm a nanny, I've just been offered a new job in Malaysia - contracts pending.

It all sounds great and I'm really excited about it. All the big stuff seems ok - visa, accommodation, salary etc. The thing is the family keeps saying feel free to ask any questions but I'm really not sure what else to ask!

Have any other nannies here moved abroad, what did you find useful to know? What did you wish you'd checked before you moved? Anything you wish you'd taken with you or left behind?

Thanks for your help!


kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 09-Dec-13 14:08:05

Out of interest. Where in Malaysia are you planning to live?
I'd ask about health insurance and whether you;'ll have use of a car.
We recently left KL. The cost of cars is ludicrous because they really hold their value.
We bought a 13 year old Proton which cost us about £4000. The insurance was pennies but the initial outlay. Wow.

Pinkpartysprinkles Mon 09-Dec-13 21:03:17

Hi Kreecher, I'll be in KL. I know the family has a car and driver for use during the day. I'm considering getting one for personal use but I wasn't sure if it would be necessary, is public transport reliable enough for getting around the city?

FatOwl Tue 10-Dec-13 00:22:26

I live in KL

On the plus side, it is a great hub for traveling, and there is a great expat community. Like many places, it is hard to break into "local" circles

Unless you are living right in the city, public transport is unreliable and doesn't really "join up" - eg the end of the monorail line is a good walk from the main central station. You will need a car to get around, or have to rely on taxis. (cheap but unreliable). The roads are ridiculously dangerous and not sensibly laid out.

I'd want to know exactly where you are living, whether you will be allowed to use the family driver for personal things?
How many children are you looking after/ages?

And (sorry) have to ask, is the employer local or expatriate?
If they are local, it is common practice for them to want to keep your passport. They will say it for security and a requirement of your visa. It isn't and it is a huge red flag- but very, very common practice among the local wealthy population.

Do you get flights home? Once a year for holidays or only at the end of contract?
How much time off do you get? It's a great place for travel, and we do get a lot of public holidays, but those are peak travel time and everywhere is very crowded.

KL just made the top 10 most dangerous cities in the world - ahead of Manila and Jakarta which is a bit alarming! Crime is on the rise, and westerners are not immune.

Can't really comment on nannying, but happy to answer KL questions.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Tue 10-Dec-13 07:58:38

Fatowl is right to ask about wether the employer is local or expat as they may have very different expectations of your role and hours you must work.
Local families may also have a very different conception of privacy and generally speaking interpersonal relations. Don't want to paint a tainted picture but that's the reality.
There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that they should keep your passport. If they trust you with their kids, they should at the very least trust that you can look after your belongings, no?
Register with the british consulate as soon as you get there.

How did you find the job. Are you placed through an agency in Uk?

Pinkpartysprinkles Tue 10-Dec-13 10:34:18

The family is British, they've been in Malaysia for a few years, I got the job via a very reputable uk agency. I'm not concerned at all with regards to the job and what duties I'll be doing. It's more my personal situation, knowing that I can get around and make the most of my time there and hopefully meet people to do that with!

Health insurance is definitely something I'd not considered so thank you for pointing that out.

Sounds as though buying a car will be necessary, is it possible to get one cheaper than £4000 or is that really about as low as prices go? I know that fuel is pretty cheap but was hoping not to have to spend a huge amount on getting one in the first place.

I'll be based in the Mont Kiara area.

FatOwl Tue 10-Dec-13 11:03:19

Mont kiara is not on public transport, you will have to rely on taxis or get a car

There are two international schools nearby and has is very busy traffic. Lots of expats, restaurants etc, but you'll have to watch out for snatch thefts (like anywhere in KL)

FatOwl Tue 10-Dec-13 11:06:44

Health provision is fine, but you need insurance.

Pinkpartysprinkles Tue 10-Dec-13 12:13:26

I heard that you need to be very self aware as mugging can be quite frequent, I'm fairly confident in that I've lived in London for a few years and managed to avoid anything like that but I'm aware that I'll need to be extra cautious for a while until I know where I am a bit more.

Was there anything you took with you that you thought later you needn't have bothered with or didn't take that you wish you had? Since I'm coming over by myself I was only planning on using my luggage allowance and not ship anything, shouldn't need loads of stuff but obviously want to pack wisely.

kreecherlivesupstairs Tue 10-Dec-13 12:55:54

I am a Londoner by birth and have ived all over the world. I was not prepared for the constant, low level crime.
I had two bags stolen and my car window smashed by someone with a machete.
I would advocate super plus lillets if you are a bleeder.

MarjorieAntrobus Wed 11-Dec-13 02:34:23

You can buy just about everything here in KL, though clothes and shoes in large sizes can be hard to find. Most foodstuffs and most toiletries are easily available (though see Kreecher's point about tampons).

If you don't have the cash to buy a car you could do a longterm rental. Can hire a small hatchback for under £300 a month. No worries about repairs, insurance, tax, selling at the end.

I'm glad Fatowl asked the question about your employers. When I read your OP I was wondering about that. You will be in a minority as a British nanny and it might be difficult to find nanny friends. I hope it isn't difficult but it might be because childcare here is more often provided by live-in maids.

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 11-Dec-13 05:31:33

Def shoes if you are above about a 5. Painful memories <size 9>.

Pinkpartysprinkles Tue 17-Dec-13 20:34:34

Thanks for all the tips.

The job certainly seems good and I'll be working for a very normal family so hoping to just be able to get on and mix in with everyone rather than trying to join/create a deprecate nanny network.

Luckily I'm a total short arse and only have size 4 feet - might actually feel like I'm normal height over there hopefully!

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