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Living in LA

(11 Posts)
5exybomb Wed 07-Jan-15 20:56:30

Hi we are thinking of moving to LA as my DH has a opportunity to transfer through his work. This would be a permanent move. We have been to the area alot for long 4 week holidays for 6 years- usually Santa Monica area but we only know these places as holidaymakers and am so scared about potentially moving there without knowing more. We have DS who is in boarding school, UK and would stay there as he only has 1 year left of GCSE's then DD would come with us. She is going to start senior school in September. I would gratefully appreciate any advice and info on the following:

1. When DS finished GCSE's what are the options to him if he wants to move in to the US education/ university system?
2. Are degrees in USA recognised in the UK, in case either DS or DD ever want to return to UK when adults?
3. What is the difference between public, private and independent schools in the US?
4. Is education in the USA state system good ie: better than UK, therfore is paying a waste of money?
5. Any one able to recommend any good schools in the area for an academic DD? Dont mind paying.
6. What areas would anyone recommend living- thinking potentially Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood or Beverly Hills.

Grateful for all contributons

Nolim Thu 08-Jan-15 07:05:33

1. Unless he has a green card or citizenship (i am guessing he won't have it) he cannot get in state tuition at a public university. So get ready for a huge bill.
2. Typically yes, but unfortunatelly employers in the uk are ignorant about the schools. I have heard hr people asking if mit (one of the best universities in the world by any ranking) is good enough or if they should simply ignore their applicants.
3. Public = state, private = independant. That it is.
4. I am convinced that us universitites are better than the ones in the uk.
5 & 6. Sorry, i dont know.

Nolim Thu 08-Jan-15 07:57:02

Let me elaborate a bit on post secondary public education in California:
It's a 3 tier system: UC (University of California, best), CA State, and community colleges(worst). A few decades ago UC was the pride of the state: world class public education. In recent years there have been significant cuts to funding so the cost has sky rocketed, but it is still very good, for instance UC Berkeley and UCLA are consistently ranked among the best in the world.
In order to qualify for In-State (cheaper) tuition you need to be a "resident" of the state. Here resident means not only living (and paying taxes) there, but to be a permanent resident(green card holder) or citizen. If you are on a worker/worker dependant visa (typically L or H) then you are considered a non resident alien.
Also let me point out the flip side of 2: if your kids stay in the UK for Uni and want to move to the US later, unless they go to Oxbridge their employer may not know if their university is a good one or no.

5exybomb Thu 08-Jan-15 12:17:56

Thanks
we would be green card holders- As part of my husbands transfer we are also planning on setting up a business and investing in the US are eligible for a green card through investment

5exybomb Thu 08-Jan-15 12:21:39

Sorry for all the questions but I have one other question, if DS enters US education system at 16 (post GCSE) which would be year 12 in UK what grade would he be entering into US system or would he go straight to college/ Uni? Here he would do A levels what would be the equivalent in US?
Thanks

Nolim Thu 08-Jan-15 12:43:42

admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/international/applying-for-admission/index.html

Check the british education section.

5exybomb Thu 08-Jan-15 19:08:09

Thanks Nolim
I have looked at that site and its the same as the UK- a levels are required to enter Uni, however my question is as DS will be entering USA system at post GCSE and pre A level, what grade would he enter, if any and if noi grade what or where would he go to achieve the required to get to Uni in US?
Thanks

lljkk Thu 08-Jan-15 19:18:17

A-levels equivalent in CA = last 2 yrs of High School including maybe some AP classes (Advanced Placement).

Someone already 16 on 1 September would typically go into 11th or 12th grade (there is some flexibility). So like going backwards! Everyone else will already be driving so expect to have to cough up for another car, insurance & driving lessons. Look at 11th grade as a social lark, chance to sample the local ways. He can sign up for PSAT (11th grade practice for the pre-Uni entrance exam called the SAT which they do in 12th grade) and can probably transfer his GCSEs to look like 9th-10th grade equivalents in California system, so that he can progress to get a proper US high school diploma.

We have this here thing nowadays called "the Internet" which makes it pretty easy for employers to look up how valid is any USA or UK Uni and the degree courses they offer.

5exybomb Thu 08-Jan-15 19:32:09

Thanks lljkk good point re: car will have to add this to the ever increasing budget/ costs! DS is excited at the prospect at learning to drive at 16!
I get it now that grades 11 and 12 are equivalent to our years 12 and 13.

lljkk Thu 08-Jan-15 20:10:44

Most his peers will have been learning to drive since 15.5yo and passed right after turning 16. He's going to get sick of hearing 'cute' if he has an English accent.

Keep in mind that most kids in 11th-12th grade that have no ability to attend Uni. 11th-12th grade aren't just for university preparation. They do setting by ability just like in UK. There are also a few ways to graduate a year early or get a high school diploma equivalent (GED) without completing 12th grade.

5exybomb Thu 08-Jan-15 21:28:49

Thanks lijkk, knowing my son he will love to be called cute! Ha

Can you complete the GED in one year, 11th grade? If you do can enter university after 11th grade and skip 12th?

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