Opportunity to move to US from UK young kids

(18 Posts)
appleandplum Thu 18-Feb-16 09:01:06

My husband has the opportunity to move with his job to the US for a period of 3 years and then move back to UK. The company would help in terms of relocation, advice etc (so probably not massive financial risk). We have 4 dc, ds1 8, twins 6 and a 4 yr old. Here we are near to both sets of grandparents so get lots of help, dc very close to them. My eldest struggled at school at first but now has a good circle of friends. It feels like an exciting opportunity, chance to broaden children's horizons, (it would be a good career move) but at the same time I don't know if its fair to take them away from everything they know, family, friends and generally unsettle them. I would also be v isolated with 4 dc while dh at work. I'm looking for general advice, how it's worked out for others? Any advice/experiences greatly received.

Frazzled2207 Thu 18-Feb-16 09:04:01

No advice as such but I know that getting your kids back into good (state) schools on your return is likely to be very difficult and is probably a major factor to consider.
That aside, I think it will probably be a great opportunity for the kids, assuming it's a cosmopolitan city you'd be going to.

mrsmortis Thu 18-Feb-16 16:50:23

Where in the US? Rural Idaho is very different from a major coastal city and I think that would be a very big factor for me.

For your husband: You need to ensure that there is a clause in his contract that they will pay to relocate you back to the UK if they make him redundant (The INS will give you something stupid like 21 days to leave the country if he looses his job and you are dependant on it for residency). In a lot of states there is no right to work so they can sack you with no notice (and you can walk out with no notice). Check what would happen to your visa status if he should die too if you are going to be there on a dependant visa, it's a basic part of protecting yourself as an expat.

appleandplum Thu 18-Feb-16 22:12:17

Thanks, good things to think about. It's Chicago.

PitilessYank Sat 20-Feb-16 02:40:09

Chicago is a great city; I was there just this past weekend. People were very courteous, there is lots to do, and it is well-located for traveling to NYC and other places (short flights).

HerRoyalNotness Sat 20-Feb-16 03:15:52

Another thing to consider is the health insurance and what your potential copay a would be if any of your DC were ill. You have 4dc it can add up.

We're in Texas and tbh locals not friendly. Most of my friends, well all of them, are either expats or Americans who have worked down under. No one else, including school mums, are interested in being friendly.

Canyouforgiveher Sat 20-Feb-16 03:27:42

I live in the US. I think your children are at good ages for a move like this- good for moving over and good for moving back. But it will still be disruptive for them. It could be an amazing opportunity though for all of you.

I am in Boston which is somewhat like Chicago - big cosmopolitan city with lots of satellite towns/suburbs. I think you will find it easy enough to integrate into a community if you pick one with good schools so that it is known for family life (rather than a hip neighborhood for younger people - much as I would like to live in one myself). here in Boston people are very friendly, it is easy to make friends with other mothers, schools are very into creating a community, lots of activities etc.. I suspect Chicago would be the same. With children the ages of yours, I think you would make friends fairly easily. I am from Ireland and was thinking recently about the friends I have made here. 3 are pre-children, 3 are from work, the rest are all from having children in school together- our children are no longer in the same schools but we are still friends. I think Texas/the south can be more insular-more like small villages in the UK or Ireland. But the big cities like Chicago aren't really like that.

Good health insurance is critical. your husband really needs to look at this. you will get excellent care but how much you pay really depends on your insurance package-this is one of the more important things for him to look at.

Also holidays are different here. how many days will he get and will he get them immediately (rather than earning them).

MadamDeathstare Sat 20-Feb-16 03:39:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

appleandplum Fri 26-Feb-16 13:24:33

Thank you for all your replies. A lot to consider. We're waiting for the offer to see what's included and then make a decision. I think my husband's much keener than me, I'm concerned about disrupting the children after getting them settled into school here, missing family and it's such a big move, even just thinking of all our stuff we'd have to move!

appleandplum Mon 04-Apr-16 22:05:15

My DH has had the offer and healthcare is all included, i think it's a pretty good policy and he would negotiate on holiday to be same as uk, it's the same company he works for now just their US office. With so much to consider and pros and cons of moving and staying I just can't seem to move forward on making a decision. I want to say go for the life experience but am held back with unsettling the kids and being away from family. How do you make such a big decision?

Ancienchateau Tue 05-Apr-16 12:02:34

Your DC are young. They are unlikely to be unsettled long-term by the move. You might find they don't want to move back to UK but then children are usually pretty conservative imo. And anyway, they will settle back in again I am sure. Fwiw, we've been abroad for 3 years and my DC would love to move home again. Your family can come and visit and you'll be able to come back and visit them. It's only 3 years.

ksb76 Tue 05-Apr-16 16:22:40

There is a British school in Chicago too, so that might ease your stress of schooling for your children - while they will have to change schools, at least the curriculum will be the same.

appleandplum Tue 05-Apr-16 17:51:09

Thank you Ancient and ksb, i've looked at the British school in Chicago and would love them to go there but as it's private and wit 4 DC i don't think we could afford it but it would make things easier.

SweetAdeline Tue 05-Apr-16 18:01:24

We're moving to Chicago with two young DC soon! On a very similar package to what Madam described. DH is staying on his UK contract so keeps all employment rights he would have in the UK.

SweetAdeline Tue 05-Apr-16 18:05:08

We're with Cigna Envoy for health insurance (we're already abroad - Chicago will be our second secondment). No co-pays or excess or anything like that.

mummytime Tue 05-Apr-16 18:11:26

I lived in Chicago for a while and loved it. Very cold winters, and lots of snow. The lake shore is very nice in the summer.

I would happily put my DC into local schools, at least initially. My only concern would be if your eldest one had difficulties here, they might be more of an issue in the US.
If your husband goes on an L visa you can even work/do voluntary work.
If you go do take every opportunity you can, I had friends who went for a coup,e of years and only discovered at the end of their stay how much they enjoyed going to watch baseball.

cheeseismydownfall Wed 06-Apr-16 17:39:51

We are three months in to a 3 year secondment to the USA, with three children almost exactly the same ages as yours (minus the twins!). Our situation feels very similar (everyone very happy and settled back in the UK, lots of family nearby etc vs a good career move for DH and the excitement of the opportunity). Like your DH, my DH has a good package that includes all healthcare, UK holiday entitlement, a trip home every year for the whole family etc.

Like you we wrestled with the decision for a long time. What swung it for us in the end is that this really is a good career move for DH, and should mean a better financial position for us all in the longer term, not just while we are here. For us this (hopefully) means that we will be able to offer the kids better opportunities (the option, maybe, of private education when we come back, university, perhaps help with deposits for their first houses). When we thought about it like that, the long term benefit seemed to outweigh the negatives of unsettling them now. Plus, this really was the best time to do it - we should be able to get home again before our eldest starts secondary, but the youngest is old enough that we are out of the baby years and can get out and make the most of the opportunities of being here.

Overall, we are doing OK so far. Worry over the kids is by far the hardest thing (see my other thread about them settling). I'm also missing not working (I had super flexible freelance work at home which I really enjoyed and is going to be hard to replicate here), but its early days and I may well look for some work or take the opportunity to to some distance learning while we are here. We've been lucky that there is an active and very lovely expat community through DH's work which has given us an instant social life - I'm sure in Chicago you would be able to find yourself a tribe. So overall no regrets so far, although there have been some wobbles along the way.

Feel free to PM me if you would like to ask anything. Good luck with making your decision!

appleandplum Sat 09-Apr-16 21:23:44

Thank you everyone for your replies it's very helpful. Cheeseismydownfall thank you it's really useful to hear from someone who has gone through a similar situation very recently, it's a really good way of putting it thinking for the longer term.
I'm sure I will have lots of questions if we go for it (which it's looking quite likely) so would be great to PM.
Apologies Ancienchateau I typed your name incorrectly!

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