Moving a teen to the US(6 Posts)
DH has just told me that his company, a multi national bank, has been mooting the idea of transferring him to the US, either New York or Boston. It's a long held dream of ours so many I am very open to it and I know that the children would also be keen.
However, our eldest will be starting GCSE course next year and I would appreciate some advice on what to do with her.
I don't know if the move would be permanent or if we'd be able to tie them to a minimum of say, 4 years ( to get her through to the end of school). Therefore, I'm thinking that she would need to be in an international school so that she could take GCSE's or work towards the IB. A condition of the move would be that the company pays school fees, at least for her, the others are younger so we have more flexibility, so that's not a consideration.
The options I see are
A) we move, put her into a decent US high school, stay for 4 years and then look at her coming back to the UK for Uni or doing uni in the states. Would she have the required grades for UK university?
B) We let her do GCSE's in the UK either by living with grandparents or weekly boarding local to where we live now and then coming over to the US in all holidays. This is my least preferred option and I would hate this.
C) move her to an international school. I have found the British international school in Boston which would be fine but I'm struggling to find anywhere in Manhattan that offers A Levels and virtually nowhere which does IB.
Basically, I want her to come with us, we all want to go but I need to make sure I haven't messed up her education if the move isn't permanent and she wants to come back to the UK.
She's a clever girl and a fairly high flier, although far from genius, top sets for everything so hopefully she wouldn't struggle too much and I would like her to be somewhere she can find her feet as I think a move would be harder than she anticipates
I'm in the USA and my kids are at a British International School owned by the same company as the Boston one. It's so easy to slot in and out of international schools as you change locations so for me, option c (assuming you can move to Boston) would be a no-brainer for the following reasons:
-Same curriculum, easy to pick up
-No gaps in knowledge (UK and US curricula are different and become more so as kids get older)
-International schools have years of experience in making new students feel welcome and settling in
-I have found international school students to be more accepting of people from different cultures (although most of ISB kids would be British I guess)
-US high school culture can be very different to the UK and can take lots of getting used to if you are new to the system
-If you leave before 4 years is up, you can slot straight back into a British school. I know plenty of people (found out about one friend today) who move kids mid GCSE because dh has been moved / promoted / made redundant etc.
B would not be an option for me either.
She would be able to apply for a UK uni with either high school grates or IB / A levels. Many unis would consider her an international student as she will have lived and been schooled outside the UK prior to applying but that's a whole other thread. Remember that Boston has some of the best unis on the planet so that might be attractive to her too (again, another thread).
How old are your other dcs? Would they be starting GCSEs by the time your eldest finished her A levels / IB?
Another option which you may or may not consider could be that you stay in the UK and your dh comes home every 3-4 weeks / works a week from home each month etc? I know people who have done this, your dcs stay in school and your eldest would be eligible for home status at uni. It's not for everyone (don't know if I could do it, plus I can see that you would like to live in the USA) but might be worth considering. Your dh's company would also find it more economical than relocating a whole family....
I believe the United nations international school in manhattan does the international baccalaureate
I recently chatted to a colleague of dh (UK to US move) about this exact issue - moving child at GSCE stage. How old is your dd?
If she is the age to start high school (14ish) you have more options. The british international school in boston is brilliant but you could also pick a public or private high school that does the IB.
Private school is expensive here as I'm sure you know. Some companies offer an educational consultant to help with private school applications/picking which public school district to live in as part of the moving package. Even if you get that, check back on here or ask local colleages of your husband for help, as I think some of those consultants have their own agenda (preferred schools etc).
Personally I'd find Boston a much easier city to move to than Manhattan, especially with teens. But that may be just me.
I'd recommend Boston over Manhattan (though there are other pp on here who are more knowledgable about Manhattan living who might be able to offer an alternative view). If you want to consider putting the younger children in public schools, you'll be looking at living outside Boston itself - either in a suburb like Newton or Brookline, or much further afield in one of the towns.
Thank you all so much for this. At the moment it is just at the discussion stage but I said to DH it hinges on sorting out the eldest and the company agreeing to pay at least a significant part of her fees. I agree, putting her into an international school is probably the only option and she wouldn't be coming in as a sole new girl. My preference is Boston, although I am not sure that we would be too much choice. Interesting that you mention Newton and Brookline as those are the 2 areas in Boston that I know and were where I was thinking of looking. My other 2 are much younger so I had public school for them in my mind but again, if we had fee support would consider alternatives although it might be nice for all of us for them to be at school locally where we can be part of the community
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