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The4Sands

Moving to the US with a family

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So I've lived outside the US for most of my adult life. After I finished university in the States I traveled around the world for three years (which is when I met my husband). Then I was in the States for about a year, still living at my parents, planning our wedding and working through the UK immigration process. Then we got married and I moved here and have been here for 10+ years. All the domestic life stuff I'm accustomed to is British, including having and raising kids. 

 

I see a lot of advice for fiancés/fianceés wives and husbands about adjusting to life in the US on VJ, but I wonder if anybody out there has any advice for families moving to the US? I know I'm the American, but moving back and navigating the American housing market and school system and everything else that makes up every day life just feels very foreign and intimidating. My kids have only ever lived in the UK and they're relatively young (8 and 4) so any advice for managing their transition would be especially appreciated. Thanks!

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Haiti
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I think the biggest change would be education and healthcare. Not sure how UK schools match up to USA and then health care of course you would have to pay. I think this is state specific as different states have different education requirements (ages to start school etc). You are all set with how we operate in a fast paced country, our food, driving, etc. Your housing options would be living with your parents, finding an apartment or if you have enough money buying a house. You can find apartments online if you would be unable to see them yourself. As far as housing costs that again is state/county specific.


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4 hours ago, The4Sands said:

My kids have only ever lived in the UK and they're relatively young (8 and 4) so any advice for managing their transition would be especially appreciated. Thanks!

Speaking as someone who initially moved to the US at age 8 then moved back to the UK at age 10, the only thing I remember being an issue for both me and my younger (6) brothers was our accents because we were British. We were Northern, and people struggled to understand us. We very quickly assimilated and used generic American accents at school then, but it was a rough first couple of months. Relearning spellings and getting the grips with American cursive were annoying, as I was used to getting top marks in everything and suddenly was getting marked down for what I'd learnt as being correct and proper. I also had a massive objection to being forced to say the pledge of allegiance daily - because I'm British! - but times were different then and my mum wasn't the sort to kick up a fuss to get me out of it. Depending on how American your kids feel, they might be uncomfortable with this too.

 

Also, initially my school put me in kindergarten(!) because they had no idea where I should have been placed for my education level - in the end my complaints of being bored and my mum trying to point out that I was both too old and too educated for a classroom of 5 year olds meant I got moved into a more appropriate grade. I would recommend looking into getting some kind of assessment or education equivalency paperwork so you can make sure your kids are placed in the correct grade from the outset. This could just be an anomaly from my particular elementary school in the 90s and no longer an issue, but I thought I'd mention it nonetheless!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England
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There is a VJ person called @LauraDP     who did DCF a few years ago with 4 kids who was often in this forum. I can’t seem to find any posts, but I’m never great at searching. See if you can message LauraDP. 
 

Edit:  Ah...found her timeline https://www.visajourney.com/timeline/profile.php?id=138150

Edited by Wuozopo

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