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Possibly relocating to America (New Jersey) - schools, etc; help, please!

(5 Posts)
miranda2 Fri 27-May-05 21:43:47

Dh has suddenly got an interview next week for a job in New Jersey!! I am panicking totally that if he wants to take it it will turn our lives upside down. I have a 2 week old baby fgs!
So I thought I'd ask the collective wisdom of mumsnet if you know anything about
1. relocating to America, and that area in particular
2. schools - ds1 is due to start reception this September (he is 4 in July); would this be the same in the US? What are schools like?
3. preschool childcare for ds2 (who is due to start nursery in September when I am due to return from my maternity leave assuming we are still here...)- is it any good?!
4. Cost of living - what sort of salary multiplier do you need to be on the same standard of living as here?
5. Has anyone relocated abroad and back again with kids this age, and what are the likely effects on them?
6. anything else you can think of that i don't know to ask...
Thanks in advance if anyone can help with any of this!

pinkroses Fri 27-May-05 21:50:29

Hi, I'm in the process of moving over to Florida. CAT me if you have any questions as I have looked into everything I can think of for the US

miranda2 Fri 27-May-05 22:26:59

Thanks, I'll do that! ANyone else?

Janh Fri 27-May-05 22:31:19

miranda, we lived in NY for a while - 20 years ago admittedly, don't know how much has changed, but cost of living there seemed lower then than here.

I believe a just-4 would go to either kindergarten or pre-k - official school doesn't start until 6.

You could CAT Kateandthegirls, who used to live in NJ (now in Florida).

Ameriscot2005 Sun 29-May-05 06:00:09

Relocating is easy if you have good support (ie money) from the employer. It can be quite hard as a DIY job, as there will be quite a lot of paperwork to be done before you can become a real person. New Jersey is quite a diverse place, so what it's like depends on where you are going to be living. There are lots of British Expats there, and it would be easy to connect with helpful people who can support you in the early months.

Schools officially start a year later than the UK, with many summer born boys being held back a further year. At 4, your DS will go into pre-school (ie nursery in Britspeak) - 3 or 4 half-days a week; pre-schools are always private. The quality of the schools depends on the area that you are living in, so one of your goals is to live in a good school district.

You can get all sorts of daycare, including daycare with pre-school and kindergarten programs. You are unlikely to be working in the US - a foreign spouse fits into very few visa categories that allow work.

NJ is one of the most expensive parts of the US. You would be able to get by on similar amounts of money to here, but if your really want to enjoy your experience, then you'd need a lot more. How long is a piece of string, basically.

My kids were almost 8, 6, almost 3 and 5 months when we left, and they were fine with the logistics of the move, making new friends etc. It quickly became "normal" for them. 4 years later, they were fine moving back too.

There's a lot more to think of, but of a very practical nature - where you are going to live, what kind of house, your visas, opening bank accounts etc. If the job works out, I suggest you join an expatriate site, such as Britnet , where you can get help from people who are going living it now.

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