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Expats with young children, how did you do it?

Expats with young children, how did you do it?

May 15th, 2011, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,184
Our situation (and mindset) was probably different than the above posters. It was 1) Where CAN we go and then 2) When do we WANT to go? There was no sense getting our heart set on a region if we couldn't eventually move there.

When we chose the UK we had only been once before -- for a week, when I was sick, pregnant and miserable. We never visited the region where we currently live. But, I'm a "bloom where you're planted" kind of girl. Part of the plan was the adventure of it. We knew if we were unhappy we would move on. I appreciate the some people are planners and like to have all the details sorted but it definitely isn't the only way.
BKP is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 01:47 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 367
Very interesting thread. I would love to move to Europe, but am stuck in mid-life. Kids too young to allow retirement, but maybe we are too old to start a new career in a "multinational".
jujubean is offline  
May 15th, 2011, 04:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 843
uhoh_busted, good point about visiting long enough to get a true feel for the place (and the expenses).

BKP, I think we're alike in that mindset. We will do our due diligence, but also see this as a journey of discoveries, you-only-live-once type of endeavour.

jujubean, yeah, this is a great thread with a variety of perspectives, ideas, advice, etc. Hopefully future researchers will find it useful, too.
ChicagoDallasGirl is offline  
May 16th, 2011, 02:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,319

I run an expat support group in South France and am in regular contact with US families living here.

If you contact me at [email protected] , I'll put you in touch.

Alternatively, post on this expat forum http://the-languedoc-page.com/forum where there are several US members.

mpprh is offline  
May 17th, 2011, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 797
I've lived in the US as an expat and currently live in the UK, also as an expat. I can't help with information about children, but I can help with the rest.

The first step, is to find either full-time employment or enroll in a full-time degree course (providing you can afford it). That decides the 'where' for you! The way to find employment is either as a transfer with your American employer (if the have offices in Europe), or through an employment agency. There are unfortunately a LOT of bad agencies and picking the right ones is one of the challenges.

Once you've got a job, then visas, etc are fairly straight-forward. Yes, there a lot of paperwork, but nothing insurmountable. Getting a job too, isn't trivial, but not Mt Everest either. I've done it several times now and I'm in IT too.

Yeah, learning a new language while settling in adds to the challenge, but it's fairly common to hear different accents and different levels of fluency in most big European cities. Your jobs, due to the nature of them, will likely have to be in an english speaking environment anyway.

I was amused by StCirq's reference to speaking at a hardware store. I live in London and speak fluent English, but my local hardware shops are run by (1) a Chinese couple (2) an Algerian family. My fluency in English is pretty useless. And then ofcourse, I go to a garden centre run by English speaking people, and they insist on speaking in Latin (plant names) ;-). I can't win
ssachida is offline  

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