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Old Nov 19th 2012, 6:50 pm   #1
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Default Which country? Please help!

Hi everyone!

I am new to the forum and could really do with some advice!

My husband and I have 2 young children (5 and 2yr old) and my husband is almost finished his training as a renewable energy engineer.

We decided we do not want to raise our children in the UK but can't decide where to move to. Hubby is all for Canada whereas my first inclination was Australia!

He is an animal lover and his perfect life would be living somewhere on a lake with land and animals!

Me, on the other hand, likes hot summers but cold winters, does not like to be too isolated from civilisation and does like my modern conveniences!

What we both agree on is that we don't want to live somewhere like the USA where it's a very fast paced rat race lifestyle with stress and long working hours and so I (maybe wrongly!) tarred Canada with the same brush as the USA and thought Australia would be more relaxed!

Sorry for all this crazy info but neither of us has travelled outside of Europe
Does anyone have any information either way that could give us a starting point?

Thankyou!
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Old Nov 19th 2012, 7:57 pm   #2
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Default Re: Which country? Please help!

Good day Elaine and welcome to BE

Check out the Canada and Australia forums

http://britishexpats.com/forum/canada-56/

http://britishexpats.com/forum/australia-54/

Remember to look through the readme/FAQ sections, a lot of common questions would be addressed there.

There are for sure lots of places around the world that could tick your boxes, personally I am in New Zealand and could see it as a good fit for your ambitions (its a great place to bring up kids and a relaxed lifestyle).
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Old Nov 19th 2012, 8:41 pm   #3
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Default Re: Which country? Please help!

Hello and a big welcome to BE.

Excellent information can be found in the BE Wiki, not forgetting the Living and Moving Abroad forum that will help you, another set of great help is the permanent threads at the TOP of each forum, they are very pertinent to that particular forum and makes sensible reading.

Moderators deal with any problems that arise such as inappropriate posts, spammers etc, you will find their names at the bottom right hand side of each forum's index in bold font.

Please contact me if I can give you any further help.

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Old Nov 20th 2012, 1:26 am   #4
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Default Re: Which country? Please help!

Hi Elaine and a warm to the forum.

You said that you've never travelled outside Europe. I think if that is the case, in my opinion you need to do a bit of research and book holidays to those places you are thinking about. Then do some further research on this forum. Moving halfway across the world is a very big move so it's good to see if you actually like the country and the people for a start off.

Agree with Catchafire about New Zealand. Have a check out of the New Zealand sections on here.

All the best with your planning.... life is a big adventure, isn't it.
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 7:47 am   #5
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Default Re: Which country? Please help!

Thanks everyone.

We couldn't afford to visit each of the countries as all money we saved would need to go toward the move when it is eventually made! Also, I think going for a holiday in a country gives you a false sense of life there as life isn't a holiday unfortunately lol. However thank goodness we have the Internet and I think a lot can be gleaned from that.

We considered New Zealand as I have an uncle who lives in Wellington but hubby was worried it was too far away (he had the same worry about Australia) plus, although it sounds daft, I really dislike the wind and I know that my uncle is always saying how windy it is in Wellington...I'm also not sure about the job opportunities for renewable energy engineering in New Zealand as we've researched it for Canada and Australia but nowhere else...maybe that's a place to start though!

Thanks All!
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 9:15 am   #6
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Default Re: Which country? Please help!

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Originally Posted by Elaine77 View Post
We couldn't afford to visit each of the countries as all money we saved would need to go toward the move when it is eventually made! Also, I think going for a holiday in a country gives you a false sense of life there as life isn't a holiday unfortunately lol. However thank goodness we have the Internet and I think a lot can be gleaned from that.
IMO, you've got to at least visit the country you intend to live in once though, so once you've narrowed it down, book a reccie trip and make sure you like it before you spend tens of thousands on moving out there only to discover that you hate it!

It seems you're generalising about a lot of the countries (not all of the US is a 'rat race', somewhere like rural Montana would be about as far from that as is possible to get!), so need to do a lot more research and visit too.

Is there a reason you're not considering elsewhere within the UK? That would obviously be far easier and cheaper, and the rural lifestyle can be found there too.

My husband also works in the renewable energy industry and has worked in Canada, so shout if he can help in any way.

Best of luck.
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 2:14 pm   #7
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Default Re: Which country? Please help!

I'm guessing rural Montana is rather cold though? Lol. With renewables as well hubby has been told he will more than likely need to be based near a dock or a water source for many of the jobs.

We live in a rural part of UK now its a lovely little village and contrary to most Brits who want to move abroad its not so much to do with the weather it's more the fact that the way the Uk is at the moment, the government, and the way things are going there are no opportunities at all, there is nothing for kids and British kids (according to research) are the most depressed in Europe and I don't want my kids to grow up here as there are no opportunities to them.

Plus hubby's work mentor and research we have done shows that wages in Uk for his type of work are a third of the amount of other countries and the cost of living is disgraceful!

Many many reasons why we want to leave the UK and not just for the weather (though I really would love hot summers and snowy winters, I like the seasons!)

Thanks
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 2:44 pm   #8
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Default Re: Which country? Please help!

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Originally Posted by Elaine77 View Post
I'm guessing rural Montana is rather cold though? Lol. With renewables as well hubby has been told he will more than likely need to be based near a dock or a water source for many of the jobs.

We live in a rural part of UK now its a lovely little village and contrary to most Brits who want to move abroad its not so much to do with the weather it's more the fact that the way the Uk is at the moment, the government, and the way things are going there are no opportunities at all, there is nothing for kids and British kids (according to research) are the most depressed in Europe and I don't want my kids to grow up here as there are no opportunities to them.

Plus hubby's work mentor and research we have done shows that wages in Uk for his type of work are a third of the amount of other countries and the cost of living is disgraceful!

Many many reasons why we want to leave the UK and not just for the weather (though I really would love hot summers and snowy winters, I like the seasons!)

Thanks
Please check out the relevant visa requirements for the country you are interested in, and see if you have the qualifications needed. USA is extremely difficult to get into and it's doubtful that given your original post you would have much chance of getting there in the foreseeable future. Just remember that the grass isn't always greener, in the UK you do, at least, have a free health service and a good benefits system, other countries are not quite as free with money etc. Basically you do have to find out whether your husbands qualifications will be sufficient to get him a visa before doing anything else, it isn't just a case of picking a country, moving there and getting a job.
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 3:00 pm   #9
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Default Re: Which country? Please help!

Thanks but we don't want to live in the USA and my husbands quals r sufficient for Australia as he and his mentor looked into it and Canada looked rather likely to grant a visa too due to his engineering skill set and specialism in renewables.

Working families get hardly anything in the UK they are the hardest hit. The welfare is for benefit dwellers and the health service is not all it is cracked up to be as we can never get appointments or access most of the time anyway, it's mostly pensioners they get everything on the health service so basically, in the UK, if your a benefit dweller or a pensioner your just fine but hard working families? Ur worse off than the benefit dwellers and I want out.

Thanks again
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 4:32 pm   #10
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Default Re: Which country? Please help!

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Originally Posted by Elaine77 View Post
We live in a rural part of UK now its a lovely little village and contrary to most Brits who want to move abroad its not so much to do with the weather it's more the fact that the way the Uk is at the moment, the government, and the way things are going there are no opportunities at all, there is nothing for kids and British kids (according to research) are the most depressed in Europe and I don't want my kids to grow up here as there are no opportunities to them.
Think we'll have to agree to disagree on that one - I can't think of any opportunities that Canada can offer kids that the UK can't. A good uni education, Europe on the doorstep, free healthcare etc. But maybe I'm after different opportunities for my two than you wish for yours.

Quote:
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Plus hubby's work mentor and research we have done shows that wages in Uk for his type of work are a third of the amount of other countries and the cost of living is disgraceful!
That's very odd, as wages in the renewable sector are normally quite high, what exactly does he do? My husband literally doubled his salary moving from telecoms in to renewable energy, and everybody in his company is paid well above the equivalent in other sectors.

As for cost of living, I think you need to research more. Canada has about the same cost of living as in the UK, and from my understanding, in Oz it's much higher than the UK. I've no idea what wages are like in Oz, but certainly in Canada he'd usually be paid less than the UK equivalent.

I don't mean to be negative, but to be honest your posts are coming across as rather naive. All of the problems you've mentioned are certainly in Canada too (no idea about Oz as I've never lived there), so you won't escape them.

As we often say in the Canada forum, move for the love of a country, not for the perceived negatives of the one you leave behind. Once you've figured out which country would suit you best, then hopefully you'll fall in love with it on a visit, but I certainly wouldn't go through the stress of moving my family abroad (not to mention the £20-30k or so it'll cost) and leaving everything familiar just to escape things like government and people on benefits, as the same problems are everywhere!

As has been said above, the first step is to look at visas and see if you would be eligible for one (you say 'Canada looked rather likely to grant a visa too due to his engineering skill set and specialism in renewables', but engineers aren't on the current Skilled Worker list), and then you can narrow it down a bit.

I wish you the best of luck choosing somewhere to aim for, and maybe I'll see you in the Canada forums if you get your way. It certainly sounds like it would suit from what you've said, apart from the cost of living.


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Old Nov 20th 2012, 4:33 pm   #11
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Default Re: Which country? Please help!

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Plus hubby's work mentor and research we have done shows that wages in Uk for his type of work are a third of the amount of other countries and the cost of living is disgraceful!




This is an interesting quote regarding cost of living, since many people who return to the UK say that the cost of living there is significantly lower than the US, Australia and New Zealand.

From comparing notes with my sister in the UK her utility bills, food and council tax for her property are definitely lower than mine in the US.
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 6:06 pm   #12
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Default Re: Which country? Please help!

Hubby's mentor gave us some comparable wages paperwork and his job in the UK for a medium to large sized energy company carries a salary of 30,000 per annum. The same job in Australia carries a salary of 90,000 - 120,000 depending on experience as of 2010-2011. Whether the cost of living is the same, higher or lower the lifestyle difference between those two salaries is too significant to ignore.

I agree u have to love the country u move to but I don't agree that people don't leave their homeland because there are elements they don't like about it. They wouldn't leave their homeland and friends and family unless there was something they weren't entirely happy about.

Also...it's worth pointing out that if you look at the number of British people who emigrate to Australia or Canada and compare it to the number of Canadians and Australians who emigrate TO the UK I find it hard to believe that the UK has more to offer, especially when you consider the population of the countries as well. If the UK cost of living is better and everything is better like you seem to think......well the figures don't suggest that at all.

I'm not naive either I'm just at the beginning of the journey in the information gathering stage that's all. We need to research renewable energies companies too to try and get a sponsor for hubby
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 6:14 pm   #13
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Default Re: Which country? Please help!

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Think we'll have to agree to disagree on that one - I can't think of any opportunities that Canada can offer kids that the UK can't. A good uni education, Europe on the doorstep, free healthcare etc. But maybe I'm after different opportunities for my two than you wish for yours.



That's very odd, as wages in the renewable sector are normally quite high, what exactly does he do? My husband literally doubled his salary moving from telecoms in to renewable energy, and everybody in his company is paid well above the equivalent in other sectors.

As for cost of living, I think you need to research more. Canada has about the same cost of living as in the UK, and from my understanding, in Oz it's much higher than the UK. I've no idea what wages are like in Oz, but certainly in Canada he'd usually be paid less than the UK equivalent.

I don't mean to be negative, but to be honest your posts are coming across as rather naive. All of the problems you've mentioned are certainly in Canada too (no idea about Oz as I've never lived there), so you won't escape them.

As we often say in the Canada forum, move for the love of a country, not for the perceived negatives of the one you leave behind. Once you've figured out which country would suit you best, then hopefully you'll fall in love with it on a visit, but I certainly wouldn't go through the stress of moving my family abroad (not to mention the £20-30k or so it'll cost) and leaving everything familiar just to escape things like government and people on benefits, as the same problems are everywhere!

As has been said above, the first step is to look at visas and see if you would be eligible for one (you say 'Canada looked rather likely to grant a visa too due to his engineering skill set and specialism in renewables', but engineers aren't on the current Skilled Worker list), and then you can narrow it down a bit.

I wish you the best of luck choosing somewhere to aim for, and maybe I'll see you in the Canada forums if you get your way. It certainly sounds like it would suit from what you've said, apart from the cost of living.

So much of that is true for Australia as well - we have many threads in the Aussie forums about how its a "myth"that kids get a better start here, and all the UKs problems are here too, steeply rising prices and taxes, jobs being lost, expensive housing.
Healthcare here is not always free, its a very complex system, education likewise.
Weather is often so hot you can;t go out, frequent deluges of rain and floods, the odd bushfire and cyclone........great country for weather fans!

To the OP - have a good read of the Autralia forum threads and you will see what I mean. Come by all means, but it really is a case of "same brown stuff, different bucket".
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 6:24 pm   #14
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Default Re: Which country? Please help!

Yet Brits keep emigrating....many never to return....? And then there's the fact that (comparatively) hardly any Canadians and Australians emigrate TO the UK and stay? The figures must illustrate something??
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 6:39 pm   #15
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Hubby's mentor gave us some comparable wages paperwork and his job in the UK for a medium to large sized energy company carries a salary of 30,000 per annum. The same job in Australia carries a salary of 90,000 - 120,000 depending on experience as of 2010-2011.
That is a massive difference, about double when you've factored in the exchange rate. No idea if cost of living is double in Oz, you'd need to ask in the Oz forum, it's certainly a lot more but I don't know by how much. The salary of £30k is rather low though (I've just asked hubby, and he's said most of their engineers are on about £55k). What kind of engineer is he?

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Also...it's worth pointing out that if you look at the number of British people who emigrate to Australia or Canada and compare it to the number of Canadians and Australians who emigrate TO the UK I find it hard to believe that the UK has more to offer, especially when you consider the population of the countries as well.
Don't forget to look at the number of Brits that return though (approx 90,000, v 130,000 that leave - so more than 50% that come back each year).

I've lived in both Canada and the UK, and for me the UK has more to offer. Different strokes for different folks and all that though.

It might be worth you reading the Moving Back to the UK forums to see why people in the countries you are considering wish to move back to the UK, just to give you an idea of the negatives they see about Canada/Oz/NZ.

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If the UK cost of living is better and everything is better like you seem to think......well the figures don't suggest that at all.
More people migrate to the UK than leave it each year, so I'd say they do suggest exactly that!

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