Tag Archives: travelling with children

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.

Letting the kids train the family dog in your new home abroad

"Buck The GSD" by Nickyhannaway - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buck_The_GSD.jpg#/media/File:Buck_The_GSD.jpg

“Buck The GSD” by Nickyhannaway – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buck_The_GSD.jpg#/media/File:Buck_The_GSD.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

Owning a new dog or pet can be a great way of helping your family settle into your new home abroad. It can also be a good option for homeowners looking to protect their property because a dog that barks at strangers will alert you of any potential burglars. However, because some dogs can be more aggressive than others, it is particularly important to train your dog properly. Children make great dog trainers so why not get the kids involved in the process?

Ensure that you teach basic obedience skills. The dog should be able to carry out basic commands but ensure they use positive reinforcement while ignoring the wrong behaviours. A dog must become acquainted with typical scenarios in everyday life so introduce it to family, friends and other pets including household noises whilst encouraging it to bark or notify you when strangers arrive.

Never leave your child alone with the family dog and always be on hand at all times to make sure they are both safe. Whether your child is ready to train your dog depends on his or her age and maturity level. They will need a supply of dog treats to give as a reward for following commands. Just make sure your child doesn’t over do it because more than 50 percent of dogs have obesity problems.

Prevent the dog from taking food from other people. This is an important step in training because burglars often try to distract dogs with food. Choose one person to be the main caregiver when it comes to feeding the animal.

If you have a several children, encourage them to work as a team. Let one operate as the master and the other give the dog a small treat for his efforts. Encourage them to walk the dog around your property daily and command it to come back if it strays from the area. Have them give the dog a simple command like “sit” and show them how to place their hands gently on the dog’s lower back so your dog moves into a seated position before saying “good dog.”

Your family dog should learn one command at a time before moving on to the next and you should encourage your child to repeat these exercises at a variety of locations, so the dog eventually gets used to them and understands. Once “sit” command has been mastered, have your child teach your dog other popular commands such as “stay,” “come,” “down,” and “heel.”

Getting your child to take an active role in training the family dog will boost your child’s confidence and strengthen the child/dog bond.

PSS International removals offer a wide range of shipping and removal services, as well as advice and recommendations from our panel of tried-and-tested professional companies to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible. Our chosen pet specialist will ensure that your pet’s needs are catered for and that they arrive at your new destination fit and well.

Furthermore, they will be able to advise you on everything from import and export permits, welfare, vaccinations, kennels, flights and special crates for the airline including quarantine rules.

For more information or for our pet partner to contact you, please click this link, select the pet migration country you plan to move to, scroll down to the ‘Pet Transport’ section and click ‘Enquire Now’ to fill out a simple form.


South Africa – New regulations on travelling with children

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

From safaris to skyscrapers, South Africa is a unique and exciting place to either holiday or start a new life. If you and your family are planning to travel there, it’s important to make sure that you tick all the legal boxes asked of you. As new regulations are soon to be imposed, take a look at what you need to prepare with our simple checklist.

What’s changing?

From 1st June 2015, there will be tighter rules designed to improve child safety. There will be specific paperwork that you need when travelling with children under the age of 18. This will affect joint parents, single parents and other guardians, as all will be asked to show relevant certificates for the children travelling.

What do the experts think?

South Africa saw tourism surge by 284% between 2005 and 2011. Recently ranked as the second fastest-growing holiday destination in the world, 1 in 20 jobs in the country operate in the travel and tourism industry. Because tourism is so important to the country, those who work in the industry are worried that these new rules might be off-putting to families. Dr Anna Spenceley, a tourism specialist based in South Africa, said that “a proper study and evaluation should be undertaken [which] should include implications for normal travellers”.

Going to South Africa?

With such a beautiful and diverse landscape, the perks of travelling to South Africa far outweigh the short-lived trouble of getting there.  Here we’ve created a simple checklist which breaks down the different documentation you will require depending on your circumstances. Most importantly, you’ll need birth certificates, which are fairly easy to get hold of:

- Head to the General Registration Office to order your certificates
- Pay £9.25 for a certificate within three weeks
- Pay £23.40 for a fast-track service taking a couple of working days
- In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the route is similar with slightly more expensive costs
- Alternatively, if you know where your children’s births were registered, you may be able to print certificates off at this specific office

South Africa immigration regulations 2015