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Possible move to the US - with teens / preteens. Would you?

(80 Posts)
TheExtraGuineaPig Fri 01-Dec-17 09:21:15

DH has been asked to think about whether he would consider a move to the US (California - silicon valley) in the next few years. Our kids are 10 and 7 now so they would be about 13 and 10 when a possible move would take place. What do you think? We have lived overseas before when they were very small but I had mentally committed to them staying in school in the UK from now on. I am worried about the effects for them socially of course but really have no idea how bad/ even possible it would be for them to move with regards their education and exams.

Any advice or experience gratefully received!

Jedbartletforpresident Fri 01-Dec-17 09:36:08

In a heartbeat. In fact, we are actively trying to get a move. DC are currently 12, 10, 7 & 7.

We've lived in the states before and wouldn't hesitate to go back. School in the UK isn't all it's cracked up to be!

Taffeta Fri 01-Dec-17 09:39:36

We moved to California 40 years ago when I was 10 and my sister was 13.

I was utterly miserable and tried to run away, my sister had the time of her life. I’ve other friends who made the move recently with DC aged 10, 13 & 17, and the elde two had a ball and the 10 yo struggled.

So from my experience I’d worry about the 10 yo.

TheExtraGuineaPig Fri 01-Dec-17 09:47:01

Thank you both! Taffeta, yes I would be worried about both socially (and I'm not even getting started on my career, friends, our ageing parents and all the other factors that make me want to stay). I would like to get an idea of what it's like to move them before / at the beginning of GCSEs though. Would they be at a massive disadvantage taking American assessments and exams? As I said we have lived overseas but my DD went to a British school then so the curriculum was the same. I think I'm focussing on education because it's much easier to think about than all the other stuff!

SandLand Fri 01-Dec-17 09:56:43

For how long?? Either to be back for GCSE's, or staying til Uni, yes I'd consider it.
If coming back when mid GCSE or A level, I'd be wary.

TheExtraGuineaPig Fri 01-Dec-17 10:03:07

Sandland - the plan would be to stay for a while - at least til Uni - assuming the job was going well

its5oclocksomewhere Fri 01-Dec-17 15:43:25

If you stay in the US until Uni time, then return to UK so they can attend Uni there, they'd be considered non UK resident for fees purposes. You need 3 years of UK residence before applying although I believe that's not set in stone and fees can be negotiated with the individual university depending on your personal circumstances.

www.gov.uk/student-finance/who-qualifies

VeryPunny Fri 01-Dec-17 15:46:21

I wouldn't, mainly because of children's education and uni - US fees scare me. Also to have an okay standard of living in Silicon Valley will require an enormous salary - what sounds like Megabucks won't actually go very far.

Kursk Fri 01-Dec-17 15:52:43

I made the move, best thing we ever did. I wouldn’t dream of moving back to the UK.

You can get around the non resident issue. All you need is 3years worth of council tax bills to prove residency.

misssmilla1 Fri 01-Dec-17 18:56:50

Kursk - how does that work? (genuinely interested as its something that applies to us) If you're based in the US as a non dom resident and paying tax in the US, then aren't you classed as a US resident? if you're listed on the council tax, then aren't you listed as a UK perm resident for voting etc?

Kursk Fri 01-Dec-17 21:07:40

You are correct, but a form of proof that you asked to provide is a council tax bill. So if for instance you move to the US and rent your Uk home as “bills included” you keep your residency evidence.

A loophole worth knowing

misssmilla1 Sun 03-Dec-17 00:53:45

Thanks! That's v useful to know smile

bananamilktasteslikemonkeysick Sun 03-Dec-17 01:09:10

I would actually base the decision on your intentions for post secondary. I know it seems weird, but bear with me! We moved (Canada not the US, but extrapolate!) with kids roughly the same age, (except three of them) and a total ignorance of the university situation. In fact, we didn't even really grasp it for a few years, when we realised that if we were staying, we need to start thinking about all sorts of financial issues... and then we quickly realised that we were about 12 years of university savings behind. So we've been literally scraping together every spare penny and flinging it in the school pot, and the first one has just gone off at 17. We have enough saved for the first year, and then $2000 to start the second year. Then ds will start, then dd2 will start.

Consider your timings extremely carefully. By the time we realised, dd1 did not qualify for home fees in the UK as we had not been ordinarily resident for three years.

And don't even talk to me about pension savings. For that we are about twenty five years behind, rather than twelve. There are some things they don't tell you about emigrating lol. grin it's worth actually investigating this stuff on a 'what if' basis - we did it all the wrong way round and did it basically saying 'oh well, we can come back if we want to - let's go and see what it's like for a few years!'

eeanne Sun 03-Dec-17 01:11:28

Silicon Valley is a great place to live if you have the right income. Beautiful weather and great public schools. California has a large network of publicly funded universities (University of California and California State University systems - probably 15 campuses between to two at least) where in-state residents pay much lower fees than the typical US private uni costs.

Assuming the compensation package is good I’d go in a heartbeat OP.

bananamilktasteslikemonkeysick Sun 03-Dec-17 01:14:00

misssmilla - I actually fell foul of the residence regulations because I was serving in the British military outside the uk. grin I had to go to the ombudsman to appeal (and eventually they ruled in my favour) but I was obviously a UK taxpayer and had no choice but to live abroad as that's where the British had sent me in service of my country lol.

CakesRUs Sun 03-Dec-17 01:26:02

I'd go for it. Sooner rather than later.

BeALert Wed 06-Dec-17 13:10:32

I wouldn't move them at that age personally. Mine are 12-16 atm and I think the UK and US school systems are significantly different at this age.

cheeseismydownfall Thu 07-Dec-17 04:59:46

I would definitely consider it IF you are open to it being a permanent move. We are currently in the US (kids are 10, 7 and 5) and there are significant differences in the education system here, which will become more significant every year. I honestly can't see how you could switch back to the UK at any point before higher education without put your children at an academic disadvantage, unless there are in a British school in the US (or an IB program, if you have an IB school locally to you in the UK - there aren't that many).

Also bear in mind that timing a move home with two or more children is very difficult - if you wait until it is a good time for one (say, the start of uni), it is very likely to be a bad time for the other (who will come back in the middle of GCSEs or starting A-levels). The only way to avoid this is to wait until they have both finished education in the US (which is 4 years here, not 3), at which point you will probably find that your children have deeply integrated into the US and won't want to go "home".

Also remember that until you get a green card your right to live in the US will be entirely dependent on your DH's job. If something were to go wrong (redundancy etc) you would have to leave the country very, very quickly. Not so bad with young children, but it places you in a vulnerable position if your kids are older.

This is pretty much why we are going to be heading back to the UK in the next year, even though DH and I would like to stay longer.

OlennasWimple Thu 07-Dec-17 23:10:59

Yes with a 10yo, with a 13yo I would have to be very happy with the education offer out there and its fit with the curriculum that they have been following so far. For example, would they be expected to sit an exam in Spanish, but they have been learning German so far?

shoeaddict83 Thu 07-Dec-17 23:17:21

I moved to the USA when I was 11 and my brother 8 as my dad was in the forces. I’d just done my first year at secondary school and my Mum worried about taking me out to go to school in the USA. In the end my dad persuaded her it was a once in a lifetime opportunity so we went for 4 years and it was the best decision ever. We travelled the entire east coast, had opportunities and made memories we could never have done here. We don’t regret it one bit and if I could I’d move back in a heartbeat.
Honestly go, you won’t regret it and the kids will love it!
We thrived at school and loved experiencing the American school system, came back just in time for me to do my GCSE’s. Didn’t harm either of us! Good luck and enjoy it!

shoeaddict83 Thu 07-Dec-17 23:20:01

The only extra thing we had was a private French tutor at home as they did Spanish in school and we had to sit either French or German back in uk so my parents paid for a French tutor so the language lessons aren’t an issue when we moved back

LovingLola Thu 07-Dec-17 23:21:23

With Trump in charge America is the last country on earth I would want to live in.

Rainbowandraindrops67 Thu 07-Dec-17 23:24:00

The school system is too different - it would be fine to go from the uk to the us but you couldnt then come back to the uk and expect them to sit gcse etc - they’d be way too far behind

OlennasWimple Thu 07-Dec-17 23:26:55

you couldnt then come back to the uk and expect them to sit gcse etc - they’d be way too far behind

This isn't a universal truth... There are plenty of US public (ie state run schools) that stretch able children and teach to a similar standard as UK schools

Rainbowandraindrops67 Thu 07-Dec-17 23:32:43

The school year systems aren’t aligned - it’s nothing to do with the quality of the teaching/school
Simply that a 13 year old uk child is taught things that isn’t on the syllabus until 14/15 in the us

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