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Move to Saigon for two years with husband and three kids?

(7 Posts)
marabella Fri 07-Oct-11 14:01:58

My husband has been offered a job in Saigon (two years). The schools seem good (british international) and will be paid for by the company (we have three children) and we will be able to have a comfortable lifestyle in the expat area. We are both quite adventurous and like to travel + like the idea of being in an international invironment, meet new people etc., BUT I am fearing it will be too hot and humid, lots of traffic, scooters everywhere and not a great lifestyle for the kids in a big city like that (althougt we will travel to the seaside and around Asia when we can). We have talked about it for a long time now and it causes me sleepless nights as I can not decide what to do. The kids are in very good schools now and are happy where we live. What would you do??

Yourefired Fri 07-Oct-11 14:06:28

Go, try it. Negotiate break clause in employment contract if possible, say at one year incase it's not for you. Also get a number of paid-for family flights home if possible. You don't mention children's ages. I'm assuming young enough to slot into school life on arrival and on return.

strandednomore Fri 07-Oct-11 14:07:52

You could try posting this in Overseas Living as you will probably find someone who lives there or at least has visited.
When we were moving abroad to a potentially difficult location, I found the best thing was to talk to someone who lives there and try and get them to be really HONEST.
If you are up for the move, Saigon sounds good on paper - but I know from my own experience that just because somewhere is nice to holiday/travel in does not make it an easy place to live.
How old are your children? If there is a British/International school there, this means there must be a good expat community and there will probably be plenty going on for them with regards after-school activities, swimming, parties etc. Do you want to work? What are the opportunities? If you do decide to go, realise that the first 6 months at least will be hard for you - but it always gets easier as you get to know people. Read up on culture shock and take it seriously!
If it helps, I spent 4 years in Manila as a child and loved it. Wouldn't have changed it for the world. But that was 35 years ago and I know things like traffic etc will be very different today!

strandednomore Fri 07-Oct-11 14:09:19

Oh yes sorry another consideration - will you be able to get your children back in to their schools on return? How would you/they feel if you couldn't?

beachholiday Fri 07-Oct-11 14:15:20

The traffic in Saigon is indeed insane but you will not be driving yourself. The area the expats live in is outside the city and much more peaceful. I lived there for a few years. Happy to answer any questions if I can, if you want to PM me.

marabella Fri 07-Oct-11 14:43:29

Thanks for your replies! Yourefired, the children are 5, 9 and 12. Good idea with paid for flights home! Strandednomore, You are right, there will propably be a lot to do with regards to after school activities and so on because of the international school. We would not move back to the UK, but to Scandinavia, where we come from originally. Thanks beachonholiday! I will propably PM you with some questions. Thats kind of you. Did you live there with kids?

tothemoonandback Fri 07-Oct-11 14:45:35

Saigon terrified me initially but I grew to love it. I was only a traveller though not living there.

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