Tag Archives: family

A Guide To Education In The US

First Student #540 by ThoseGuys119

What to expect when putting your children

in the American school system

It can be something of a minefield when moving your children to a new country, especially when you need to think about sending them to school. Making sure they get the very best education is usually at the top of a parent’s wish list. Here’s a guide to the education options when setting up home in America.

The options:

As in most countries around the world, there is fundamentally a two-tier system of education in America offering both public and private schooling. What you choose to do will be entirely down to personal preference, location and of course, funding. Some companies will offer to pay private school fees as part of an employment package. International schools are also offered to many of those moving overseas as they can sometimes offer a similar syllabus to that of the UK and also relevant and transferable qualifications.

Most American public schools are governed by the local school district. Each school district is governed by a school board, which sets out general policies and keeps the establishment in line with national guidelines.

Children begin elementary school at five years old, starting in kindergarten and staying until grade 5. Middle school is grades 6-8 with high school starting in grade 9 and ending in 12. The age at which your child leaves school depends on the state that you’re residing in, but the general rule is compulsory education until 16 years old. After graduation students will go on to study at university for four years in order to obtain a degree.

Public Schools:

The good news is that public schools will be open to you should you choose this route. As with all public schools, some will be better than others. Property taxes in a large part pay to fund schools, so if you live in a wealthy suburb you will probably discover one with better facilities. It’s worth doing your research as standards can vary greatly and as there’s no national curriculum it’s worth checking what your child will and won’t be studying.

All children are entitled to public schooling and you’ll need to apply for admission. There may be a waiting list for some of the better schools so again do your research before embarking on this route. The great thing about public schools is that they are close to home so your children are likely to find new friends on their doorstep, which will help them settle in.

There are two additional public school options: Charter and Magnet Schools. Charter Schools receive more private financial backing. They are very popular and often have long waiting lists. Magnet Schools specialise in certain areas of the curriculum such as science, the arts or languages. A student’s admission is based on talent rather than grades.

Private Schools:

It’s no surprise that private schools in the USA tend to be better equipped, producing higher grades than the public sector. They have more flexibility around curriculums and often offer better extracurricular activities because they can afford to do this. Private school fees can vary from an average of $8,918 (£6,762) for elementary school and $13,524 (£10,255) a year for high school. The most expensive city for fees is New York, which wades in at $28,798 (£21,835).

The competition for many of these schools is fierce and places will not be guaranteed just because you live close by. If you want to go down this route be sure to check out criteria for admission carefully. Your child may need to sit a number of tests to gain a place and you’ll need to keep in mind the differences in subjects and content taught.

You can also include International Schools under the private schools banner as these too need to be paid for. Enrollment and admission can again be competitive but they offer a great solution for the expat child. Often multi-lingual schools provide similar curriculums to those in your home country as well as allowing students to gain internationally recognised qualifications, such as the international baccalaureate. Unsurprisingly teaching in these schools is excellent as are facilities. If you are considering boarding school they also offer this as an option.

If you are considering moving abroad, PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 35 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress-free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote.

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

How To Celebrate Your First Christmas Abroad

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

Heath Cajandig, Only Chance of a White Christmas

Heath Cajandig, Only Chance of a White Christmas

At a time when most of us are used to being surrounded by family and friends, celebrating Christmas many miles away from the familiar traditions, can be one of the hardest times of the year.

If you usually celebrate December with turkey and all the trimmings, finding yourself in a country that has its festivities on Christmas Eve (Sweden and Denmark) or in 100’ degree heat (Australia) might all be a little strange. You may even be somewhere where December 25th is not recognised as a national holiday.

The key to surviving the holiday season is embracing the new whilst keeping one eye on the past. Here we’ve put together a survival guide for those facing their first Christmas in a new country. Our eight point plan should keep you busy.

* Keep up with the folks back home: Time differences aside, there’s no reason why you can’t wish your nearest and dearest a Happy Christmas. Book in a FaceTime or Skype slot and make sure you’ve got those Christmas jumpers on.

* Decide which traditions are important to you. The weather may be different but there will be no harm in keeping to those themes that you’ve followed every year. The kids will appreciate a familiar set-up, as will you.

* Say ‘yes’ to a festive invite. You may not have your family around so if someone invites you over for drinks or even lunch, agree. This will give you a chance to meet new friends * and also see how those who live in the country celebrate.

* Cook the meal that’s important to you. If there really is no option but having turkey followed by Christmas pudding, just go with it. Sitting down as a family and eating familiar food will make you feel closer to home than ever.

* Invite your family over to stay with you. What better time to have guests over than Christmas. If you’ve moved to colder climates, the chance to see snow, or maybe go skiing may be a great draw. Everyone dreams of a white Christmas after all.

* Encourage friends and family to send pictures and letters from home, detailing their year. You may have seen this all on Facebook before but new pictures and gossip from back home can certainly put a smile on your face.

* Over the festive period, keep busy. Plan to go to the cinema, out for dinner, to the beach or invite the neighbours around. There will be nothing worse than a quiet time, when you’re missing those you left behind.

* Embrace the new. You’ve made a big move so enjoy it. There’s something exciting about the unknown so go with the flow. You may enjoy it more than you thought.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Home Comforts – Staying in Touch

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

moodboard 10070055  Mother and son (13-15) at swimming pool, mother using laptop.

moodboard 10070055
Mother and son (13-15) at swimming pool, mother using laptop.

Moving to the other side of the world can stir up lots of different emotions. The excitement you first felt can be slightly dampened as you realise that your friends and family are indeed, thousands of miles away.

If you’d become used to a regular latte with your old school friend or a daily call to your parents, the thought of that no longer happening now you’re camped out in Sydney or Wellington, could heighten feelings of loneliness and homesickness. Thanks to modern technological advancements, the world, in terms of communication, is indeed shrinking.

Not that long ago, telephones were the only means of communication, along with snail mail, but with the internet common place and social media prevalent, there really is no reason why family and friends should feel neglected at such an important time in your life. There’s no reason either that you shouldn’t keep up regular contact with your nearest and dearest. Here are 6 tips on how to stay in touch.

1. Get online: Social media is a fabulous way to keep up with friends and family and there is so much to choose from:

– Facebook – Allows you to upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues. Go to https://en-gb.facebook.com for more information.

– Twitter – Allows users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets” as well as send pictures. Register at www.twitter.com

– Instagram – Enables you to share photos, taken on your mobile phone. Check out www.instagram.com

– Skype – Talk for free and live to family and friends with this video and voice service. You – just need a webcam and a good internet connection.www.skype.com

– Blogs – Writing a blog can be a great way to update people about what you’re doing on daily basis, upload photos and describe your day. Look at www.wordpress.org

2. Decide who to keep in contact with: Keeping up with your parents or siblings may be a number one priority, but how often do you want to speak to them? Is it important that you talk to your mum every day or can once a week work? Best friends too might want regular updates. Time differences can make things tricky, so see www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/ for exact timings.

3. Identify how you’ll ‘talk’ to everyone: While your 17-year-old niece might be happy with a quick Facebook update or a photo on Instagram, someone else might prefer a call or an email. It is worth showing an elderly relative how to use Skype, or if you both have iPhones, FaceTime, before you go. It will save them money in the long run and they’ll quickly see the benefits.

4. Prioritise the contact: With the opportunity to be constantly updating your status on each social media site it would be easy to lose entire days on the web. Organisation is the key. Set aside 30 minutes a day to talk to friends, update Facebook and ‘Tweet’ pictures. Planning will give a sense of routine and make you feel less isolated.

5. Invite people to stay: You live in a new, exotic location and your friends and family do not. Many people will relish the chance to explore a new tcountry and with somewhere to stay, the costs will be relatively low. Check out low cost fares to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa at www.travelsupermarket.com or www.skyscanner.net

6. Don’t forget the special occasions: Remembering anniversaries and birthdays, and keeping on top of the latest engagements and baby’s being born is important if you want to remain part of the ‘gang’. It’s easy to send special cards with sites such as www.moonpig.com who deliver to UK from the US, Australia and Europe.

PSS International removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves. Contact us now for a free estimators survey, online moving and baggage quote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case study: Moving to Cape Town, South Africa

 

"Camps Bay" by Tjeerd Wiersma from Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Camps Bay. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Camps_Bay.jpg#/media/File:Camps_Bay.jpg

“Camps Bay” by Tjeerd Wiersma from Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Camps Bay. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Camps_Bay.jpg#/media/File:Camps_Bay.jpg

For other useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

Why choose PSS International Removals?

Mrs Robinson originally saw a PSS International Removals van on Finchley Road in London and made a note of the relevant contact details. After getting in contact with the PSS team, she was impressed with the team’s experience and professionalism.

She was also eager to work with a family-run business that has many years of experience to give her the peace of mind that her belongings would be well looked after.

The PSS team attended her property and gave her a free quote for shipping her belongings to Cape Town. Following the PSS quote, which was also the cheapest of those she obtained, she selected PSS International Removals as her moving partner.

The moving process:

When asked about her experience of the moving day, Mrs Robinson commented: “The PSS team gave me plenty of useful advice about what could and what couldn’t be shipped. That really helped us to organise the move and made sure the process was as smooth as possible.

On the move day the team were friendly and efficient, they packed quickly without any damage and overall the experience was brilliant.”

Advice for those thinking of moving to another country from Mrs Robinson:

When asked for any advice to fellow international movers, Mrs Robinson’s response was clear and concise: “Only use PSS!”

If you are looking to emigrate and want some expert advice, PSS International removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

As a minimum you should select an international mover that has achieved the highest level of service within the industry by attaining FAIM ACCREDITATION which is the only independent Quality Assurance standard for the International Moving Industry.

You should also ask if the company is a Member of the FIDI Global alliance, British Association of Removers Overseas Group, and BAR OVERSEAS, which is covered by the I.M.M.I. Advance payment guarantee scheme for your financial protection.

Contact

If you would like to find out more about moving with PSS International Removals, or to book your no obligation, home survey where we will send one of our estimators around to offer you advice as well estimate the items that you would like to ship, please get in touch:

Tel: +44 (0)800 988 3711

Email: sales@p-s-s.co.uk

Website: http://www.pssremovals.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pssinternationalremovals

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSSRemovals

 

Top 5 Tips To Help You Settle In To Your New Country

 

"Draw me a picture 120818-A-TA763-005" by Sgt. Lauren Twigg - https://www.dvidshub.net/image/652837. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Draw_me_a_picture_120818-A-TA763-005.jpg#/media/File:Draw_me_a_picture_120818-A-TA763-005.jpg

“Draw me a picture 120818-A-TA763-005” by Sgt. Lauren Twigg – https://www.dvidshub.net/image/652837. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Draw_me_a_picture_120818-A-TA763-005.jpg#/media/File:Draw_me_a_picture_120818-A-TA763-005.jpg

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Relocating abroad – to boldly go where you’ve never been before. The experience, knowledge and qualifications to not only move to an unfamiliar country but to integrate into a new culture can be quite a challenge. But acquiring a valuable skill-set whilst re-discovering yourself together with a healthy amount of wanderlust can provide a solid foundation for a future as a successful expat. But what if you have a family?

First things first – remain patient, very patient. Change isn’t always easy – particularly if you have young children. Settling in can take time so don’t rush or be too hard on yourself. Keep everyone’s spirits high and stay busy, enthused and positive.

Be open and flexible. At times, without realizing it, we can appear set in our ways – but when in a new country it’s at times important to take a fresh approach to life. Consider your personal and family goals and ambitions and be realistic with how you might go about achieving them.

Communicate openly with your children. At times, we may underestimate their emotional development, but even the smallest of toddlers often still sense when change occurs so make sure you explain to them what’s happening and let them know that their room will eventually contain their favourite teddy bear, toys and prized possessions again.

Don’t lose touch with friends and family. The fact that you’re now overseas doesn’t mean you’ve left planet earth. Ensure you keep all channels of communication open when you arrive at your new home. Should your children miss their friends then arrange Skype chats for them on a regular basis.

Turn your house into a home. It will make your children feel safe, comfortable and loved. Maintain similar routines to those you had back home and ensure your children recognise their spaces as their own. Create a communal, inclusive living room space and display some photos of everyone’s friends and family on the walls.

Become a social butterfly. As the new foreigners in town, it can be difficult to meet new people but by getting involved in the various communities that interest you such as sport, music, school or expat associations, you will very likely find other parents with similar interests who in turn will introduce you to their circle of friends.

Be open to offers of help. Sometimes we don’t like being fussed over but when in a new and foreign land, it’s important to make the effort to ask people who’ve been there longer to offer a hand and inform you about your new surroundings.

Discover the familiar. Seek out places and things that remind you of home or seem familiar in some way. Involve your children in their favourite activities locally, or introduce them to new hobbies. Maybe you might be surprised to discover that your daughter loves ballet or has an eye for painting?

Learn from your new country’s culture. Learn a few basic phrases in your new country’s language and teach them to the children. Being polite, respectful and saying please and thank you opens many doors in any language.

PSS International removals are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimators survey, online moving and baggage quote.