Best advice to prepare for moving overseas

(20 Posts)
jparwyn Wed 26-Jun-13 12:08:26

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alarkaspree Tue 11-Jun-13 14:54:49

Re. jabs, you should make sure you take a comprehensive record of all the vaccinations they have already had. You can get a copy of their notes from your GP. The US do some additional vaccinations but you can start school without having completed them all, you just have to make a start on the process.

I don't know the rules in Canada and even in the US it varies by state, but where we've lived, you have to have a form filled out by the pediatrician to say that your dc are able to attend school and have had their vaccinations. The school will say that they need it before the term starts but in practice they will be flexible on this if you have appointments set up.

If your dc have had chicken pox, you won't need the vaccine so try to make sure it is listed on their medical notes, or you can at least give the dates that they had it.

wentshopping Tue 11-Jun-13 14:41:42

You can, however medically exempt if you get a doctor's letter - ie you would need a medical reason why child had not had a certain immunization.

wentshopping Tue 11-Jun-13 14:39:52

Chickenpox and hepatitis A (course of 3) were the ones my kids had not already had. There may have been some meningitis ones too.
When you visit schools, they should give you a list - it varies from state to state. They will also need written proof of all vaccines dc have already had. The list may be available on school website? In my part of Texas the child cannot go to school without having had the required vaccines, or started any that are course of 2 or 3.

pocketandsweet Tue 11-Jun-13 14:32:26

Good lord what jabs do you need to move to the US? We are going to visit schools in a couple of days but I had not anticipated this problem at all. Thanks for the heads up.

Good point wentshopping, spent yesterday at docs with dcs ahead of our US relocation this summer...

wentshopping Tue 11-Jun-13 04:03:37

I would look at what vaccines your children will need to have to be able to go to school, then go and get them done in your familiar doctors' clinic, where they already know you and your children. Some are courses of injections, so at least get them started. I did not know about or do this before we relocated to the US 11 years ago. The trauma of going back and forth to get all those jabs still makes me sad. (Three dc, no proof of medical insurance at the first doctor visits). Thank goodness I had emergency chocolate.

Mosman Wed 05-Jun-13 10:19:40

My advice to sell as much as possible and travel light. I am dreading all our shot raring in two months time and I could have replaced most of it for the five grand it cost to ship it out

echt Wed 05-Jun-13 08:33:22

What Mutley77 said about children in schools.

Our move to Oz was different so DD(10) could start school immediately. We landed on Saturday and she was in on Monday - gagging to make new friends as she was very un-keen on the move.

<This has made me all nostalgic as her very first friend was at DD's 18th birthday party last weekend>

Mutley77 Wed 05-Jun-13 07:32:56

PS - my DD really felt quite rootless until she started school. I had anticipated having her out of school for 6-8 weeks but she was bored after about 2 and luckily the school agreed to take her after we had been here for 3 weeks (we had found a rental by then so the tenancy agreement was signed meaning she was eligible for a school place although we were still living in temporary accomm somewhere else). The commute was a PITA but DD felt better having a routine and starting to make friends.

Mutley77 Wed 05-Jun-13 06:30:58

We have just re-located to Australia. The practicalities were surprisingly easy to be honest - just have a good list and work through it. We rented out our house so didn't have to sell, which probably made things easier. We also forwarded all our mail to my parents and my dad has been pretty good and scanning and emailing everything / dealing with things as there have certainly been a few things that have needed sorting in the first few months after leaving.

WE also employed a financial adviser to sort out or wills and finances, insurances etc and an accountant to deal with our tax. Both have been really crucial IMO.

In terms of the actual move - I think it is far easier for the kids although personality probably comes in to play with that. My DD (8) has moved pretty smoothly although she has had some down days of missing her friends and our cat. She keeps in touch with friends and grandparents/cousins with Facetime and email which has been essential IMO. DS (4) is also pretty ok with everything although less easy to settle quickly as he isn't in full time school - which kind of creates them a community really.

I moved at 24 weeks pregnant with number 3 and has definitely been hardest for me. I worked P/T up to the day before we left and also had a really good network of friends and family living nearby which won't be easy to replace. From what I hear I will get through it and I do feel better it is me having the issue rather than my kids.

If you can I would go for this September - IMO dealing with that pending for over a year would be awful - we had the first inkling of a move end Sept, it was confirmed end Dec, and we moved end Feb. Any longer and I would have cracked with the strain of anticipation.

cq Sat 01-Jun-13 17:38:29

I envy you, OP, we have recently come back to the UK after 10 years on the road with our family. We loved every minute of it and are reallly missing the sunshine and the adventures.

Any regrets? Only that my kids do not seem very close to their cousins as they have only seen each other once or twice a year while growing up, but hopefully that will change as they spend their teenage years together.

And I wish we could have got the PILs set up with a really simple laptop so they could Skype us - talking on the phone was never good with 2 and 4 year olds, but it got better over the years.

There are stresses with the move, and getting set up abroad with phones, broadband, cars, houses, furniture, Social Security numbers etc, but I have found coming home and doing all these things have been no less stressful. You know you just have to get through it.

You will find wherever you go there is an expat community, and they will be most welcoming and supportive - they've all been through it.

Are you getting a familiarisation visit? If so, I would try and make contact with a couple of families at your destination with similar aged kids, and arrange to meet them on your visit. With a few regular exchanges of emails you'll have a better idea of what to expect. We did this for a few families - one girl even came into school for a day with my DD and that really helped her look forward to the move. Even if you don't visit, this and the other websites above will get you into a network where you can find someone with similar age kids and start PM'ing.

Try not to worry about DD1 too much - acknowledge her feelings and reassure her, but know that kids are amazingly adaptable and resilient. It's us mums that suddenly sit back one day and think - 'Phew, I did it - all unpacked, DH in new job, kids happy at school - what do I do now?' That's usually the point at which I had a day of crying - mixture of relief, exhaustion, missing old friends, and wondering what to do with my life.

I'm still wondering. But I wouldn't have changed a thing about the last 10 years grin

pupsiecola Sat 01-Jun-13 17:24:03

Butterflies your transition to the US sounds great and very well planned. Great that the kids are looking forward to it. How long do you think you will stay there for?

We're going to Houston in Texas. We moved into a serviced apartment today with 100kg of air freight (toys, books, crafts etc) and another 60kg of luggage. Our packers will be in next week to load up all the furniture, which will leave next week. It will be in the US third week in July. We leave Singapore end of June, spend 3 weeks in the UK and then arrive the same time as our furniture. Air freight will leave Singapore end of June, arrive in the US just before we do. It should all come together so that we have a smooth arrival in the US. I think it's important to have a good beginning if you can.

We also did a PR trip to the US at Easter where the kids did playparks, basketball games and frozen yogurt til it came out of their ears (also visited their school, chose a house so they could even pick rooms and decide where their beds go so they can really see themselves there). They were really sad to leave Texas at the end of 3 weeks so although sad to leave Singapore, they are happy to return to Texas.

pocketandsweet Sat 01-Jun-13 11:10:44

thanks everyone. Off to check out those websites mentioned....

strandednomore Sat 01-Jun-13 11:03:43

Hi - I am writing a book about this very subject! I have just been writing the chapter about the actual move. There are a few good websites out there - eg ByeBye Blighty and also if you look on the websites for overseas relocation agents, which have lists of what you need to remember to do before you go. Everyone is different though - what to take, what to leave, what to store etc. As for your daughter, have a look at Expatchild.com (are we allowed to advertise websites on here?It's not mine but it's an excellent resource) for lots of tips on moving overseas with your children.

Hi - we reloacted twice - to Belgium and then to NZ. We transported everything to NZ by sea so it took three months to arrive. This meant we spent three months sleeping on blow up beds in a very empty house.

If you're doing similar make sure you pack toys for the kids and a few treasured possession so that you feel at home until everything else arrives!

My dds were 4 and just under 2 when we moved. The best thing we did was to get involved with the local Kindergarton asap. Make friends and contacts so you have people to talk to! I imagine Canada is a bit like NZ in that there will be a fairly big expat community.

I recommend looking at the expatblog website. Its a good way of finding people whomhave moved to the same place you are. You can learn a lot from there experiences.

Hth

pocketandsweet Sat 01-Jun-13 10:51:12

10x in17 years ! Wow. Pre-kids we were fairly transient but now it just seems like so much more of a big deal. You are right though. Where are you going in the States?

We're just about to relocate for the 10th time in 17 years. Best advice? Enjoy it for what it is.

Don't stress about where you're going to buy marmite, just try something new. It's all an adventure, make the best of it and count your blessings. Sounds really cheesy and cliched I know, sorry grin

Our kids are 8 and 4, dd1 moved once when she was 3 and dd2 was born where we are now (so our first 9 moves were in 12 years - eek!). This move has been a long time coming and we fly out of Singapore in 4 weeks to the US.

You'll get there no matter what happens, if you don't get all the shipping quotes in, if you forget to say goodbye to a distant friend, it will all happen. Don't stress, enjoy the process and enjoy discovering your new home. Good luck, I'm sure there will be plenty of advice on here for you.

pocketandsweet Sat 01-Jun-13 09:34:25

It's either happening for this September ( or less likely but easier to deal with next September). We happen to be moving to Victoria (Canada) but I think anyone who has already been in the position of shifting house/children/life to a new country cn probably give useful advice. I'm in the process of getting shipping quotes etc but any useful tips at all will be gratefully received. I have two dds...one preschool aged ( so less of a worry), older dd is 7 and is quite upset about the prospect.

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