Tag Archives: International moving indsutry

A Moving Checklist – Australia

Steven Penton, Beauty Point, Tasmania.

 

There’s so much to think about when you move abroad. Moving your family, pets, bank accounts, jobs, schools….. the list can go on and on. One thing you can outsource is the actual process of moving as this can be handled by a company such as PSS International Removals, which has over 35 years experience in relocating homes to the other side of the world. We know exactly what essentials you need to remember before you head off Down Under.

Be organised. Don’t leave everything to the last minute. Draw up a list of the most urgent of your concerns. Some things can wait until you are in Australia, whilst others need to be taken care of immediately.

Prioritise! Decide if you are going to ship everything, because once the goods are packed and on the lorry they’ll need to stay there. If you want to hang onto particular toys (for the kids) or technology (for the teens) make sure you keep them to one side. Important documents, such as proof of medication use, will need to be kept with you.

Check your passport is in date and make sure the relevant visas are in place. You will not be allowed to enter Australia without the correct documentation. See here for more information about visas.

Make plans to arrange bank accounts for your arrival. You have up to six weeks to arrange a bank account in Australia using just your passport – after that time period you’ll need further identification. See here for more advice.

Shipping your car is easy with PSS International Removals who can help with this process. You’ll also be able to drive in Australia for up to three months with your UK license, after which time you’ll need to get a local one. More information can be found here.

There are very strict guidelines about what you can and cannot take into Australia. Again PSS can help you with this, providing a list of goods that will not pass through customs. This link details all relevant information.

You’ll also need relevant documentation for your household goods to get the all clear at the customs office. Again PSS International Removals can let you know what you can pack into those crates and what you’ll need to leave behind.

Confirm how long the shipment will take. When shipping your personal belongings to Australia the transit time between removal in the UK and arrival at your destination will be approximately 6-8 weeks for full container shipments and 8-12 weeks for part load shipments.

Confirm your new address. You will need to let PSS International Removals know where the removal is to be delivered to once it arrives in Australia. It really couldn’t be any easier. Please visit our website for more information PSS International Removals.

What You Need To Know About Living In Switzerland

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

 

Viktar Palstsiuk, Geneva

Viktar Palstsiuk, Geneva

Switzerland is in western-central Europe. It is land locked. Italy sits to its south, France to the west, Germany is in the north whilst Austria and Liechtenstein are to the east. The capital city (or federal centre) is Bern but the most powerful economic centres are Geneva and Zurich. Both of the latter cities have helped put Switzerland in the top ten of Mercer Quality of Living Survey 2016. 

Switzerland is an expensive country to live in but also one of the most developed in the world with the highest nominal wealth per adult.

So what else can you expect from a life in Switzerland? Read our guide below to find out.

Language: Switzerland has four official languages. German (spoken by 63.3% of the population in 2014); French (22.7%) in the west; Italian (8.1%) in the south and Romansh (0.5%).

Currency: The Swiss Franc is the currency of Switzerland.

Accommodation: It is incredibly common for people to rent properties in Switzerland. This makes it difficult for locals, and expats alike, to find somewhere to live. As in all competitive markets, being organised and ready to move is key, especially in the large cities of Geneva and Zurich. You may be asked for a great deal of information in order register with a landlord or leasing agency, so be prepared and plan in advance. You’re most likely to rent an apartment for a period of 12 months. You may need to give three months notice before leaving.

Healthcare: Unsurprisingly health care provision in Switzerland is outstanding. Individuals pay through health insurances schemes, which in law they are required to have. This can be an expensive business but it is essential for citizens and expats alike. There are varying rates for adults, children and babies but you will receive a high level of care for everything from GP appointments to major operations. You will need to take your insurance card with you every time you visit a medical institution.

Employment: According to the OECD Better Life Index, 80% of people aged 15-64 in Switzerland have a paid job. This is one of the highest rates in the OECD. 85% of men are in paid work, compared with 75% of women. EU citizens have the same working rights as those in Switzerland. You’ll need to think about languages however if you wish to work in Switzerland. Some large international companies may not require you to speak a native language but in smaller nationals might. The good news is that you’ll be paid well. The average entry level salary is £66,671 in Switzerland compared to £27,199 in the UK.

Climate: You might think that Switzerland is very cold and covered in snow. Of course, in some regions you’ll find snow-capped peaks over the Alps but much is governed by mild maritime air from the Atlantic. In low areas such as Lake Geneva, the Rhone Valley and Ticino you’ll find Mediterranean weather in the summer. 

Education: Swiss kids are very smart. The average student scored 518 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is higher than the OECD average of 497. Children begin at Kindergarten, then move onto Volksschule (Elementary school), Gymnasium (Secondary school), Universität (University) and Fachhochschule (University of applied sciences). Most children go to pulbic schools as private institutions are very expensive.

Transport: You’ll find a vast network of public transport in Switzerland with trains, trams, buses and boats covering the entire country. You’ll be able to drive easily around the country but if cycling is your preferred option, the routes are easy to find and use. Swiss Federal Railways run the train system. You’ll need to make sure you buy a ticket before boarding, otherwise you’ll be fined steeply.

If you are considering a move to Switzerland 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.

Doing Business in UAE

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.

 

Kamel Lebtahi, Dubai by night, Dubai as seen from the tallest building in the world

Kamel Lebtahi, Dubai by night, Dubai as seen from the tallest building in the world

A recent government report showed that there are over 5,000 British companies operating in the UAE. BP, Shell and Rolls Royce are all successful clients of the area. The good news for those wishing to do business in the UAE is that it is a country that welcomes new trade, and is also familiar with expatriates. In fact, the majority of the UAE population is made up of expatriates, with around 120,000 from the UK.

The UK government has also listed the benefits of doing business in the UAE:

– diverse economy continually growing and expanding

– proximity to other Gulf markets – acts as an entry route to other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries

– important market for re-export into other countries

– no taxation on personal income and capital gains

– English is widely spoken and accepted as the language of business

The World Bank  has also listed the UAE as 26th overall for ease of doing business in 2017 (up from 34th in 2016). The criteria included in this poll includes everything from dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders.

However, even in a region much used to expats there are of course cultural differences that it’s important to observe. Here are more details provided by the UAE embassy.

Working hours: The official UAE weekend is Friday and Saturday. Hours of business vary and during Ramadan, working hours are changeable.

Language: English is widely spoken but it is considered good practice to produce any printed material in both Arabic and English.

Cultural Norms: Politeness is highly prized in the UAE. Arrive on time for meetings but be aware that you maybe kept waiting. This is not a sign of rudeness. Greet the most senior person in the room first and always accept a drink when offered to you. Once you have agreed on business, this verbal agreement is seen as a bond and you will not be expected to go back on your word. Be aware that you shouldn’t schedule meetings during Muslim holidays or prayer times.

Dress Code: Be conservative. Men should wear suits and women outfits that cover arms and legs.

Finally, there are always lessons to be learnt from working with clients across the world. See here to find out which ones to avoid in the UAE.

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.

Tips For Finding the Perfect Country To Relocate To

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

 

Kevin Stanchfield  Downtown LA skyline. Just after sunset.

Kevin Stanchfield
Downtown LA skyline. Just after sunset.

With advancements in travel the world has become a much smaller place. With over 5 million Brits living abroad, emigration is certainly an attractive proposition to many. But where to start? Many people will have a rough idea of the kind of job they want to pursue or even the climate they want to live in. But other key factors such as language, proximity to home and living standards can have a major influence on choosing a suitable destination.

With so much at stake, we’ve put together some tips to help you choose the right country:

1. Do your research. You may fancy life Down Under but if you don’t meet their strict immigration criteria you won’t get in. New Zealand too draws up a list of careers eligible for a visa, so make sure you read up on all the details. Those careers currently in demand are medicine, engineering and IT. The good news however is if you’re currently moving within the EU things are much easier.

2. Fancy learning a new language? There are plenty of places in the world where you can stick to speaking your native language. In fact, all countries have large expat communities so you’ll never be too far from a familiar conversation. However, you may want to be more adventurous. In countries such as Denmark learning the language is imperative. It’s easy to find courses through your local council who are obliged to offer courses to all foreign residents.

3. Read about the country in all its glory. You may have read A Year In Provence but does it really reflect what life is currently like in southeastern France? It’s unlikely. If you have a family, you’ll need to look into the school system and childcare facilities. Take some time to research housing and social welfare provision and different towns and cities within your chosen country. Expat Forums can give you interesting insights.

4. Look into the weather. Living in a warmer country is often a reason many people (especially Brits) choose to move to a new country. Sunny days may be great for a holiday but can you see yourself working and living in 40’ heat, which you might face if you move to UAE. Just like the UK the weather can be totally different around the country so when choosing a location, make sure you check thoroughly. Los Angeles may be gloriously sunny all year, but New York certainly isn’t.

5. Choose your lifestyle. What kind of life do you want in your new location? Beach barbecues? Balanced working hours? A busy social life? A large salary? Everyone will want something different but it’s important to be clear about what your priorities are. Working in Asian Pacific countries pays an expat on average $126,000 (£95,000) dollars, compared with the global average of $104,000 (£79,000).

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.

The Impact of Brexit on Brits Going 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

 

 

Wong Johnny Young female passenger at the airport, using her tablet computer while waiting for her flight

Wong Johnny Young female passenger at the airport, using her tablet computer while waiting for her flight

When Britain voted to leave the EU on June 23rd its effects were felt around the world. From stock markets readjusting and financial institutions reassessing, Brexit has had global ramifications.

The latest Office of National Statistic figures show that in 2014, 323,000 emigrated from the UK to countries such as Australia, America, Spain, China and France. 43,000 went to Australia, 23,000 to America, 16,000 to both Spain and China and 15,000 to France.

Whether Brexit will have an effect on whether these figures rise or fall remains to be seen. The long term effects are hard to predict. However, one country which has already noted a big rise in applications from Brits looking to move there is New Zealand.

Since the ‘Leave’ vote Immigration New Zealand have revealed that its websites received 5,500 visits a day since the referendum vote, compared to the average of 2,000 hits.

“We’ve seen a four times increase in registrations for all occupations which is significant and in some sectors such as health that increase has been about five times higher,” Matt Hoskin from Immigration New Zealand said.

Immigration NZ also revealed that a large proportion of those looking for more information included British health workers. Figures showed that before June 23,  57 health workers registered their interest in working in New Zealand, post Breit it that had almost quadrupled to 225 registrations.

But it’s not just New Zealand. Google data analytics too noted that those searching for the words ‘immigration to Australia’ spiked several times before after the referendum, but reached its peaked at 6.30pm, on Friday June 24th.

It’s unsurprising that Australia comes in for so much interest. It is the Brits number one choice when looking to move abroad. Many of those going are doctors and nurses who can work for shorter hours and earn more money. The General Medical Council noted that a total of 19,522 British doctors were issued with certificates enabling them to work abroad between 2008-2014. In fact, in the past two years 4,700 medical professionals per year have applied for the GMC Certificates of Good Standing.

Canada too had an upsurge in interest which was felt by a job search website, www.indeed.com. They noted that the number of UK queries for jobs in Canada was four times over the average in the 48 hours after the withdraw vote. Indeed also revealed that post vote, there was a 73% increase in those looking for jobs abroad in places such as America and Australia.

With uncertainty surrounding Brexit only time will tell whether this trend continues or indeed increases. For more information about making your move successful see our blog How to Ensure Your Move Abroad Goes Smoothly.

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.

What You Need To Know About Living In Malta

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

 

Bryn Pinzgauer, Valletta, May 2016

Bryn Pinzgauer, Valletta, May 2016

Malta is situated in the Mediterranean close to both Italy and African continents. This close proximity to such diverse cultures has – and still does – influence the country greatly. In 60AD St Paul brought Christianity to Malta but by 870AD the Arabs invaded. Until 1530 Malta was an extension of Sicily after which the Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem ruled until 1798. France too invaded but in 1800 the British took over and ruled until 1964 when Malta gained its independence. In 1974 Malta became a republic.

To this day, the British are well received in Malta and many older people reside there thanks to the warm weather. Malta consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. Malta is the largest island and its capital Valletta is on the north-east coast. If you’re thinking of moving to Malta here are some essential facts and figures.

Language:

The official languages of Malta are Maltese and English. Maltese or ‘Malti’ is a unique language (the only language of Semitic origin written in Latin) and over time words from the English, Italian and French dictionary have been incorporated. Due to its close proximity to Italy, Italian is widely spoken too.

Currency:

Malta introduced the Euro as the official currency in 2008. It is also the official currency of the neighbouring island of Gozo.

Accommodation:

There are restrictions on property ownership in Malta. If you are an EU citizen or foreign national you can only buy one property in Malta. You can only buy it if you intend to live in it and not rent it out.  However, there are certain areas on the island where these rules do not apply. House prices across all the different styles of homes including apartments, terraces, maisonettes and town houses have continued to rise. The average price for a 3-bedroom house costs €350,000 (£254,686) and 3-bedroom apartments from €140,000 –  €400,000 (£101,916-£291,150).

Healthcare:

Malta has an exceptionally good healthcare system and all residents, including those from the EU, and with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are entitled to free healthcare in government health centres and hospitals. There is also a thriving private healthcare system too with many citizens taking this up alongside the public system.

Employment:

As a citizen of an EU country moving to another EU country you won’t need a work permit to take up employment in Malta. This also means you have the same rights as national workers including those related to working conditions, pay and social security. In some instances, working for Maltese companies could prove problematic for expats as having a working knowledge of the language and customs can be an issue. That said, with the travel and tourism trades, ICT, gaming and finance big news in Malta, English-speaking candidates can apply.

Climate:

Set where it is in the Mediterranean, Malta has very sunny summers with around 12 hours of sun per day. Summers are dry and hot, but it can be windy. In the winter, sunshine hours amount to just 5-6 but it is mild and generally not too cold. Rainfall is low too, 568mm a year.

Malta’s climate is typical of the Mediterranean and is strongly influenced by the sea.

Education:

As a former British colony the Maltese school system will be familiar with those settling there from the UK. School is compulsory from the ages of 4-16 years. Children start at kindergarten, then go to Primary, Secondary and onto High School (or Sixth Form college) where students study for their A levels. There are also private schools, which are often linked to the Catholic church, and a selection of international schools.

Transport:

For such a small island Malta has a very high proportion of car drivers, who like the Brits, drive on the left. There is also a public transport system that is heavily reliant on taxis and buses. National and international driving licences are accepted should you wish to hire a car whilst you are there.

For more information about how PSS International can help you make your move to Malta visit https://www.pssremovals.com

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 33 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.

 

House hunting in Canada – what can you expect to buy

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

Heidi G, Sunshine Yellow  Edmonton, Cloverdale

Heidi G, Sunshine Yellow
Edmonton, Cloverdale

Choosing Canada as your new home offers you a wide range of exciting lifestyle changes. One of the biggest will be buying a property in the city or town of your choice. As you’d expect the bigger cities tend to have the highest prices however, in Canada the annual weather, in particular the winter, dictates costs. On the west coast, which has milder weather house prices are higher than the colder east coast.

In June 2015 the average price of a house in Vancouver was  $922,000, which was a 12% increase year on year. Toronto was slightly cheaper at $639,000, whilst you could bag yourself a bargain if you move to Montreal which has house prices at $341,000.

Once you’ve chosen your location, based on your budget and requirements, you’ll need to find a money lender to help you purchase your home and a real estate agent to help you find your home.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recommend that you find a mortgage broker in the following way:

– Make sure they are a member of the Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals and are an Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) visit www.caamp.org

Remember as a newcomer to Canada you will need to prove your credit and work history. Your previous credit history may not be relevant to Canadian lenders, so you may need to start from scratch.

A reliable and trustworthy real estate agent is essential if you want to find the home of your dreams. They too can be found in a number of ways. Initially look around in the neighbourhood in which you’re wishing to buy. See whose ‘For Sale’ board is positioned outside homes you would like to live in and go from there. Alternatively talk to work colleagues, friends or your mortgage broker who may be able to help with a suggested contact.

You could also visit the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website at www.mls.ca. It details all real estate agents and thousands of properties for sale across Canada. Alternatively The Canadian Real Estate Agent has a Find a Realtor section and allows you to search for professionals in your area.

You are likely to find a number of different properties for sale in the area you choose. Some terminology will be familiar to house buyers around the world, but others may be a little confusing.

– A condominium is similar to owning a flat or unit within a shared building. In these properties you own the living space but not the building or outside land.

– A townhouse sees you purchasing a home much like terraced housing. You have your own front door but the property is attached to other similar buildings.

– Semi-detached and detached homes either have just one other building attached to them (semi) or are free standing (detached) within their own plot of land.

Once you have found your dream home you will be expected to make an offer. A period of negotiation will then follow, in which the price will go up and down. When the offer is eventually accepted – the ‘Offer to Purchase’ – you’ll need to find a lawyer and request a home inspection report to check out your new property. House sales usually go through within a 30-60 day time frame and the day you sign the legal documents is called ‘Closing Day’. At this time you may also be expected to pay your legal and other fees.

For detailed information about how to purchase a home in Canada visit http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/66687.pdf and http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/66144.pdf

If you are considering a move to Canada 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 33 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.

What You Need To Know About Living in Cyprus

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

Evgeniy Isaev, Night Dreaming, Petra tou Romiou, Cyprus, 2014

Evgeniy Isaev, Night Dreaming, Petra tou Romiou, Cyprus, 2014

 

 

It takes just over four hours to fly to Cyprus but its Mediterranean lifestyle and culture would make you believe you were on the other side of the world. With long hot summers, plenty of British expats and a laid back, friendly lifestyle Cyprus attracts those looking for a more leisurely pace of life.

Cyprus has a population of about 1.1 million, many of them living in the capital city of Nicosia or other major cities such as Limassol and Larnaca. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in response to a military coup on the island, which was backed by the Athens government. The northern part of the island is inhabited by Turkish Cypriots whilst the southern by Greek Cypriots.

The currency is the Euro and official languages spoken are Greek and Turkish, although English, French and German are heard in larger cities.  Cypriots drive on the left-hand side of the road and traffic-jams are common as there is no train system in the country. Cars, buses and taxis are the most popular forms of transport.

If you are a British citizen, you do not require a visa to enter Cyprus, but if you intend to stay for longer than three months, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit. A permanent registration certificate can be applied for after 5 consecutive years of residence. The general cost of living has risen in recent years, due to the economic downturn and living in Cyprus has become as costly as other European countries. It’s worth doing your research before moving, to see what you can realistically afford. Calculate the difference here.

As you’d expect from a country tucked away in the eastern Mediterranean the climate is sunny and warm for much of the year. Summer in Cyprus extends from May to September and you can expect temperatures up to 33ºC if you’re lucky. It is however still warm between September and October and winter hits from November through to March. At times it will be very wet and chilly, but nothing like people experience in more northern countries.

Working, and doing business, in Cyprus takes on a slightly different pace and those used to pushing deals through quickly, will find themselves taken aback by the approach. Business is done on the basis of trust in Cyprus and while it might take some time to close a deal, loyalty is such that you’ll find yourself in a secure position. The country is still quite conservative so wearing formal clothes and being punctual for meetings is expected. In recent years, with the economic downturn, competition for jobs has become fierce. IT and finance are just two booming industries and ones expats may have the best luck in finding work.

As many as 60,000 British nationals own homes in Cyprus but the British government encourage extreme caution, especially if the title deeds to the property are not available. Without these your home could be at risk. There are other regular pitfalls, which include disputes in northern Cyprus regarding claims to ownership resulting from 1974’s Turkish invasion, and they have produced a list of potential issues. See here for more information.

Schooling in Cyprus is run in a familiar expat system of public, private and international schools. As much of the teaching in southern Cyprus is done in Greek many expats choose to send their children to private international schools. These vary in cost and also in standard, so it’s worth looking around for a suitable choice. Children begin school at five-years-old and education is compulsory until the age of 15. For more detailed information about the school system see here.

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. Contact us now for a free home survey, or moving and baggage quote.

 

A parents guide to schools in the USA

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 

 

Translingo CO Young group of students in campus - Back to School.

Translingo CO Young group of students in campus – Back to School.

Finding the right school for each of your children can be a difficult job, but it becomes more so when you are moving to a country the size of the USA.  Not only is everything on a bigger scale, the education system is somewhat different to the UK, so there is a lot to acquaint yourself with when you start looking.  Here is an introductory guide to help you make the right choice for your family.

Children have to go to school from the age of 5, but as in the UK, most children attend some form of pre-school education on either a full-time or part-time basis for a year or two before that.

Rules and systems vary between the states, but generally speaking your child will attend Elementary School (Kindergarten to Grade 5), Middle School (Grade 6 to Grade 8) and High School (Grade 9 to Grade 12)

It is compulsory to receive education until the age of 16, but most continue on to the age of 18.

Standards can vary wildly between states and areas, so make careful checks about the area that you intend to live in.

State education is known as public education (not to be confused with English Public Schools, that are private). Public education is funded in part by local taxes so generally speaking the schools in the wealthier areas tend to have better facilities.  There is an argument, that when higher local taxes are taken into account, the same amount of money can be used to finance private education.

The bigger cities, such as New York, Boston, Washington D.C, and Los Angeles will have International Schools which are a good choice if you are just relocating for a short period of time.  However, fees can be high (up to $30,000 per year) and many will have waiting lists.  So if you think you would like to go this route, make enquiries as soon as you can.

Charter Schools are available in some areas – they are often founded by parents and teachers and provide high standards of education.  They are non-profit organisations and are popular so again waiting lists can be an issue.

Another type of school that you may not be familiar with are Magnet Schools.  Available in certain areas from Elementary level, they teach a full curriculum to a diverse range of pupils, although they specialise in certain areas like Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), languages or the Arts.  They are an interesting option if you are going to be living in an area that has one; it’s worth a look.

As in the UK, entrance to private schools can be very competitive and based on academic achievement and/or religious affiliation.  Most private schools offer boarding facilities and you should budget for fees from around $25,000 as well as other additional expenses.

Homeschooling is a popular choice in the USA and could suit you if are only going to be there for a short period of time.  More than two million students are taught at home, so it is more of a mainstream option than in the UK.  You need to check out what your obligations are with your local State Education department as the regulations vary enormously.  You can find some good initial information from the Government here

The school year is only 180 days per year, including a summer break of up to 12 weeks.  As the school vacations are so much longer than in the UK, you need to aware of this when you make your family plans – many children go away on ‘summer camp’.

American Universities, or Colleges, as they are widely known, always feature well in the world’s top Universities.   You can familiarise yourself with some of the best known ones, but beware that an American University education can be very expensive.  Although UK families are used to paying fees, you need to be aware of the costs before you think that the USA is an option for study.

If you are considering a move overseas 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 32 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.

A PSS guide to customs restrictions

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

Kidical Mass | September 2010 | Robots www.slokidicalmass.org

Kidical Mass | September 2010 | Robots www.slokidicalmass.org

When you choose to move abroad there are many decisions to make about what you take with you to your new home and what you leave behind. In some instances, what you leave behind will be determined by the restrictions imposed by the customs department of the country to which you are relocating. Each location is vastly different so it’s worth having a look at all the relevant information before starting to pack. In all instances countries have strict laws on the import/export of illegal goods, weapons and drugs. You’ll also need to declare certain limits on currency, alcohol and cigarettes.

To make things easier we have put together a list for our two most popular destinations and looked at what they’ll be looking out for in your crated belongings.

Australia:

There are a vast range of goods that Australian customs are interested in, many of which reflect their concerns about the importation of pests and diseases into the country.

Items that need to be declared at customs include:

Furnishings included: Dried plant products such as hats and bags, beads, mats and rugs. Commercially manufactured instruments including pianos.

Wooden items included: Furniture e.g. bamboo, banana leaf, cane, rattan, timber, water hyacinth, wicker, willow or furniture parts. Picture frames.

Kitchen equipment included: Dried / dehydrated food item and all fresh foods. Flat-packed kitchens, large kitchen equipment such as fridges and wooden goods including chopping boards and bowls.

Sporting goods and playground equipment included: Bicycles, hockey sticks, golf clubs, swings, trampolines. Sporting footwear, wetsuits and fish equipment.

For the complete list visit:

http://www.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/aqis/travel/upe-packing-tips.pdf

For more information about customs:

http://www.border.gov.au

 New Zealand:

In New Zealand there is also concern that new diseases will be brought into the country so they too have a list of goods they may inspect on arrival.

Items that need to be declared at customs include:

Food included: Fresh or dried fruit, vegetables, mushrooms or fungi. Any meat, fish, shellfish or poultry. Ingredients used in cooking, all milk products, cheese, eggs or egg products, and milk based baby foods.

Wooden items included: Drums, items stuffed with seeds or straw, made from bamboo, cane, coconut or straw.

Outdoor equipment included: Camping gear, sports equipment, hiking boots and any other footwear contaminated with soil, seeds or water.

Grooming and veterinary equipment included: Bee-keeping equipment, saddles, bridles, bird cages and pet beds.

Gardening equipment and outdoor furniture included: Spades, shovels and footwear such as wellington boots. BBQ’s.

For a complete list visit: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/travel-and-recreation/arriving-in-new-zealand/goods-clearance/household-goods-and-personal-effects/

For information about New Zealand’s customs service visit: http://www.customs.govt.nz/Pages/default.aspx

Other Popular Destinations:

For more information about what can be brought into Canada visit: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/information-for-consumers/travellers/what-can-i-bring-into-canada-/eng/1389648337546/1389648516990

For South Africa: http://www.sars.gov.za/ClientSegments/Customs-Excise/Travellers/Pages/Prohibited-and-Restricted-goods.aspx

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.