Tag Archives: moving to USA

Which of the top 8 British expat countries is best for you?

Dave See, CharNick

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.

There’s not many decisions bigger than deciding where to move yourself and your family, especially if that means relocating abroad. The world really is your oyster in terms of where to go, but that can be can slightly overwhelming when trying to narrow down your choices. To help narrow down your search criteria and pick the perfect expat location, here’s a taster of some of the top destinations for Brits.

1. Australia – Over one million Brits have already chosen to live Down Under and it’s no surprise thanks to the allure of an outdoor lifestyle and sunnier climes (in many of the Gold Coast resorts). The fact that it’s a multicultural society (43% of Australians were born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas) means that any new arrivals won’t be treated as an oddity. The simple fact that the country itself is so vast – with only 6.4 people per square mile – and has 500 national parks means the great outdoors really is on your doorstep.

2. USA – The sheer size of America (3.8 million square miles) means it offers expats a huge range of choices in terms of jobs, locations and lifestyles. If you find yourself a job in one of the big cities such New York you’ll be exposed to the best cuisine, housing and culture you can expect. You’ll also find some of the most expensive property in the world (a three bedroom flat in the Financial District will cost upwards of £7 million pounds). In other areas though you’ll find the average house setting you back around £144,000 which is apparently a small castle if you move to Detroit.

3. Canada – A top notch education and healthcare systems are a big draw to the 607,377 expats that already live in Canada. The Canadian teaching system was recently ranked as 9th in the world, with above average scores in reading, mathematics and science. To put this in context the UK was 28th. All Canadian residents have reasonable access to healthcare without paying out-of-pocket. Canada also offers a relatively easy emigration process and expats are allowed to apply for residency within three years of arriving there.

4. Spain – While the Brexit-effect may loom large over much of Europe, Spain still proves itself to be the most popular country in the region, with 308,000 expats living there (France, Ireland, Germany and Italy all have considerably less expat Brits). In fact, a recent survey showed that the number of Britons living in Spain over the age of 65 has doubled in the past 10 years. Settling predominantly on the Costa Blanca on Spain’s east coast or the Costa del Sol in the south, the warm weather, a cheap standard of living and the sheer number of Brits living there, makes it a home from home for many. The British PM Theresa May has already made pledges to continue to support pensions and healthcare benefits to those expats living in Spain, although this has yet to be finalised.

5. New Zealand – If you’re looking for more sunshine, why not consider New Zealand. Three major Kiwi cities get 2,000 hours a year, compared to the South East of England which has just 1,750. Obviously there’s more to the country than the weather, the great vast open spaces mean you’re never far from a fjord, native forest or mountain. In a recent HSBC survey New Zealand was voted as 14th in the world overall when compared economically, but first in terms of experience, ranking highly for healthcare, finance and quality of life.

6. South Africa – With pristine beaches, cultural experiences and a relatively low cost of living South Africa has some 318,000 British expats residing in its cities and surrounding areas. The 2016 Mercer Cost of living survey ranked Johannesburg and Cape Town as two of the cheapest cities in which to reside, at numbers 205 and 208 in the world rankings. Luckily most available jobs for expats will be in these two cities and thanks to a solid temporary visa situation you should be able to work as long as you possess the correct skills. Top jobs are currently within the automotive industry, IT and communications, mining, banking and the services sector.

7. Ireland – Doing business in Ireland is easy and that’s official. The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Survey for 2017, ranked 18th out of 190 economies. It ranked particularly highly in paying taxes and starting a business – great news for budding entrepreneurs. You’ll also find good, free schools if you are looking to relocate your family. Healthcare is some of the best in the world too, and expats are able to receive free or subsidised public health services.

8. France – Just a short hop over the channel means France has always pulled in plenty of British expats, with 185,000 of us currently residing there. A number of negative connotations have been drawn around areas such as ‘Dordogneshire’, which is home to a vast number of Brits, but that shouldn’t put you off. The slower pace of life in the varying regions, coupled with new cultural experiences proves a big draw. The most popular regions include Poitou-Charentes, Aquitaine, Brittany and Rhone Alps.PSS International Removals can shop your goods to all of these countries. For more information see here.

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.

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.

Healthcare around the world

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

 

thephotographymuse, Beach Baby

thephotographymuse, Beach Baby

When you move to another country, ensuring that you have access to local healthcare immediately is high on most people’s priorities, particularly if you have children. We never know when we are going to fall ill or be involved in an accident, and medical bills can sky rocket into five or six figure sums before you know it, and yes, they will come after you to pay the money.

It’s important to understand what will make you eligible to access local health systems, before you go and unlike the UK, you cannot be sure that just because you live there, you will be given healthcare.

There is excellent initial advice on the NHS website, but you do need to make sure that you get advice from your destination country too. Regulations regarding healthcare do change, so you need to ensure that you get up-to-date information from official sources.

Whilst expat forums can be a good source of advice, people can pass on information that is relevant for them, but might not be correct for you.

In the EU there are procedures in place to ensure that the initial moving period is made as easy as possible, but this still means that paperwork has to be obtained from the UK as well as following the correct procedures in your new country.

It is important that you don’t rely on your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) as this will only reimburse you for the sums that are paid out to the locals, so for example in France, most health conditions are only covered up to 70% by the State, so you would have to find the remaining 30% yourself. Once you are in the system properly and have a French Social Security number, you are able to take a low-cost top-up insurance that doesn’t take into account any previous health conditions, and then you are fully covered.

However the situation will be very different in each EU country, and remember when you are resident in another European country, you need to apply for your EHIC card there, as your UK version will no longer to be valid.

To ensure you are covered from the moment that you touch down, it is likely that you will need some form of insurance. Travel insurance may cover you for a short time, but if not, you may have to get full medical insurance, even if it is only for a short period. However, with all insurance, the devil is in the detail, so you need to be sure that you comply with all of the requirements, and make a full declaration of information, or it could be invalid.

Most countries have health systems that are a mix of private and state and will involve some payment, or presentation of paperwork, at the point of treatment. If you come from the UK, you may find this a bit of a shock to the system! It is good to get into the habit of carrying all your health documents with you, for you and your children, as you never know when they will be required.

If you are moving with an employer, hopefully you will be covered by a company policy, but it is still important to ensure that you are covered for all types of medical care from the routine, through to emergency.

If you are already taking medication, you might like to make sure that the same drugs are available in your new country and if not, that you can take a quantity with you (some drugs are not legal in other countries and therefore you cannot take them in). If you have problems, it’s best to see your own doctor in advance of leaving to make sure that you can take supplies with you or use an alternative.

 

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.

 

Tips for female expats travelling alone

by Bel Valle d' Aosta

by Bel Valle d’ Aosta

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

Being a female expat can be daunting at times, although more often than not, travelling alone can be an amazing and personal experience. After all, you are your own boss, and the only person you need to worry about is yourself – so spread your wings and fly!

To help with the process, we’ve developed a few hints and tips.

Always start by planning your housing options and transportation before you leave. Where you decide to live and your methods of travel are very important, so always try and book your tickets as far in advance as possible for cheaper prices.

When taking the train, avoid sleeping in empty compartments. You’re safer sharing a compartment with a family or group of friends. If available, rent a couchette for overnight trains. For a small charge, you may be able stay with like-minded roommates in a compartment that you can lock, in a car monitored by an attendant. Chances are you’ll wake-up well rested with your belongings intact.

If looking for cheap and temporary accommodation while you search for something more permanent then book a hostel with a minimum of 4 people in the same room, take a look at Air BnB.

Everyone needs to communicate with others directly and sometimes, after days of walking around a new city; you may find yourself needing human contact. By staying with other travellers in the same room, at a sociable hotel or comfortable apartment, you could share stories about the city or the joys of travelling and you could even meet new friends in the process.

Avoid becoming a couch potato and don’t be scared of talking to strangers. Wherever you might be and whenever you feel alone, open up to the people you meet – whether that be waiting for the bus or sitting on the beach. Always smile, ask for help or comment on a particular topic that may lead to a longer dialogue and develop that into a meaningful relationship.

When it comes to men – do your research, learn how to deal with them in your new country and don’t be shy! If you never converse with men, you could be missing out on a chance to learn something new but use your female instincts to choose the man and choose the setting.

Always dress modestly to minimise unwanted attention from men and take your cue from local women. Never be overly polite if you’re bothered by certain men and always create boundaries to protect yourself from potential threats. Use appropriate facial expressions, body language and a loud firm voice to fend off any unwanted attention.

Should a man come too close, say “no” firmly and loudly in the local language. Furthermore, if you’re arranging to meet a new male friend, choose a public and recognisable place. Depending on your location, if you are worried about street crime, you could try wearing a money belt to keep your money, important documents, passport and credit cards safe. In a worst case scenario, should someone steal your purse, you won’t lose as much.

When you use cash machines, withdraw cash during the day on a busy street, not at night when it’s dark with few people around.

Avoid going down small and suspicious alleys and play it safe while navigating. If your gut feeling tells you that a certain route might be dangerous, consider an alternative.  Be self-reliant and well prepared, so that you don’t need to depend on someone unless you want to. Carry cash, a map, a guidebook, and a phrase book. Walk purposefully with your head up; look like you know where you’re going. If you get lost in a dodgy neighbourhood then be savvy about whom you ask for help; seek out another women or go into a store or restaurant to ask for directions.

Always keep in touch with friends and family on a regular basis – whether via social media, the telephone or good old letter writing, and let them know of your movements. Try not to start your day too early and finish it too late – being a woman you have to consider every possibility so be sensitive as to your location.

Stay confident and worry less – positivity is the key to happiness. Should something go wrong, just relax, smile and create other plans to divert your attention away from it.

PSS International removals are a family run company and our desire is to ensure that you 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.

 

Design considerations for your expat home

 

By Marlene Oostryck (Wiki Takes Fremantle participant) (Uploaded from Wiki Takes Fremantle) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Marlene Oostryck (Wiki Takes Fremantle participant) (Uploaded from Wiki Takes Fremantle) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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

There was once a saying made famous by the likes of Paul Young and Marvin Gaye suggesting that ‘wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home.’

All over the world, roughly 230 million people are currently living away from their country of birth. That means that if expats were to create their own nation, it’d be the fifth largest in the world! In developed countries, one in every 10 people lives outside his or her country and roughly 6 million Americans legally reside outside of the United States with 5 million Brits following suit.

To make you feel more at home and to help you settle into your new country, we’ve pulled together some basic advice on how you can use home design to make your new space more comfortable.

Leave the cynicism behind living abroad requires a very open-minded and positive approach. While many people move to their new countries with varying degrees of desire and circumstance, there’s no denying that it can often result in homesickness and adaptation. Nesting in a new home is essential to being able to psychologically re-adjust, no matter how beautiful your new surroundings may be.

Start afresh the feeling of diving in head-first to a new culture can often be exhilarating, and you can easily feel adventurous with a sudden need to test your limits. If you are this type of person, cutting ties with your home country’s aesthetic can help you become integrated with your new surroundings.

Know your roots  some expats prefer to use their new house for preserving a certain feeling of normality and identity, which of course means something completely different for each expat. It could be playing 5 a-side football or planting a rose bush in the back garden. Drinking British tea, eating hob-knobs or cooking a Sunday roast – even if the design of the building is nothing like back home.

It’s interesting what can suddenly become a treasure to an expat. As time passes, even the most common objects from a former dwelling can in fact become reminders of what seems like a different life.

Embrace your new hybrid existence – instead of fearing the loss of your identity in the face of a new culture, find a way for it to exist alongside your host country. Don’t hesitate to let contrasting styles take over; the look will reflect the eclectic mix of cultural influences in your life. There’s no denying that it can be difficult to create a home away from home not just psychologically, but also logistically. Often the options are different, the materials and prices are unfamiliar, and it can be difficult to balance what you find normal and what fits in with the local setting.

Share your culture through cuisine – Ask a British expat the question, ‘what do you miss most about home?’ and you’ll probably receive a list of food items ranging from Tetley Tea, HP sauce, Milk Chocolate to fish and chips. Expats can often be found in the kitchen, attempting to merge the tastes from their childhood with the cooking culture of their new country together with substituted ingredients and modified recipes. The great thing about expressing your expatriatism in the kitchen is that other people get to benefit from it as well so celebrate it!

Plan multiple time zones – many expats often find themselves working strange hours, telecommuting to offices back in their home countries. With this in mind, a home office should be equally tranquil during the day and night. Create a relaxing garden space for you to wind down when you need to recouperate.

Decorate your home with photos and memories – don’t forget the positive aspects of your past and your journey in life. After all, it’s made you who you are today! Many people often lose memories simply because the visual cues aren’t there for them anymore. To prevent your travels and your home culture from fading away, try framing and hanging photos and mementos as pleasant reminders.

Push yourself – being an expat can be one of the most challenging, rewarding, frustrating but satisfying experiences. There are days when you absolutely love where you are and consider yourself incredibly fortunate and there are days when you feel your limits being stretched! Either way, there’s no time to look back or unlearn the variety of experiences gained from living in multiple cultures.

Our advice? Let your home reflect your range of life experiences and use interior design as a tool for teaching others about your home culture.

PSS International Removals are the UK’s first choice for moving overseas and we have successfully helped thousands of customers move to many destinations throughout the world.

All PSS Staff have been professionally trained in export procedures and work entirely on overseas removals.

PSS specialises in:

  • Full or Part Household shipments
  • Motor Vehicle shipments
  • Baggage Shipments
  • Airfreight/Express Service
  • Shipping Service from anywhere in the UK to Anywhere in the World

PSS also charges for part loads. This means you only pay for the space you fill.

We are able to offer you all of the services listed above including additional visa, employment, banking, currency, pension transfer, pet shipping, tax rebate, education, flight and property advice through our network of trusted partners.

So if you are thinking about moving to a new country and want to find out more about what you should expect, get in touch for a free survey and a chat with one of our experienced consultants who will be happy to help you.

Visit http://www.pssremovals.com to find out more or contact us for a free quote now!