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Old Dec 2nd 2015, 1:04 pm   #1
031012 Female
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Question Moving from Germany to UK with 3 yr old daughter

Hi guys, i am totally new to this and i am thank ful to having found a site where i can share my thoughts with you:

Me and my little daughter (3) are both british citizen. I have been living here for more than 24 yrs now and i must say i am v happy here related to many points such as general living standards, schooling system, heath care just to mention a few... my problem though is that my husband is working in UK as due to languare barrier he unfortunately could get no job in Frankfurt (even though being an IT engineer) so we decided it'd be best for him to move to the UK. But this is where my problem starts...on one hand i obv want to move to my husband (i am on an average salary so financial loss is not THE big issue if even having to relocate and apply abroad)...but the other hand i think of my daughter, she is doing so well here in german nursery and made some good friends and is progressing very well in general, which makes me think i should stay as relocating would mean she would have to learn a different language just before she enters the regular school and this might affect her overall as i really can say through my own experience that the schooling standard in general here is far better than what i've seen back home...but then yet i think she still has time as after this it will becoming even harder for her the older she grows to adapt to another language and not cause any disadvantage once she enters school....i am so confused i really do not know what to do.....the other option would be to wait 3 years until my husband obtains the british passport (to finally get rid of all the visa-hassle) and the relocate back to Germany where eventually we'd start up our own business hopefully...my husband luckily is v supportive in this matter and totally left the decision on me what to decide..but i feel whatever way i choose i'd end up building a barrier for either for my daughter or my husband due to the language....i really dont know..any advise or even personal experience would be appreciated!!!!!
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Old Dec 2nd 2015, 1:36 pm   #2
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Default Re: Moving from Germany to UK with 3 yr old daughter

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Originally Posted by 031012 View Post
Hi guys, i am totally new to this and i am thank ful to having found a site where i can share my thoughts with you: Me and my little daughter (3) are both british citizen. I have been living here for more than 24 yrs now and i must say i am v happy here related to many points such as general living standards, schooling system, heath care just to mention a few... my problem though is that my husband is working in UK as due to languare barrier he unfortunately could get no job in Frankfurt (even though being an IT engineer) so we decided it'd be best for him to move to the UK. But this is where my problem starts...on one hand i obv want to move to my husband (i am on an average salary so financial loss is not THE big issue if even having to relocate and apply abroad)...but the other hand i think of my daughter, she is doing so well here in german nursery and made some good friends and is progressing very well in general, which makes me think i should stay as relocating would mean she would have to learn a different language just before she enters the regular school and this might affect her overall as i really can say through my own experience that the schooling standard in general here is far better than what i've seen back home...but then yet i think she still has time as after this it will becoming even harder for her the older she grows to adapt to another language and not cause any disadvantage once she enters school....i am so confused i really do not know what to do.....the other option would be to wait 3 years until my husband obtains the british passport (to finally get rid of all the visa-hassle) and the relocate back to Germany where eventually we'd start up our own business hopefully...my husband luckily is v supportive in this matter and totally left the decision on me what to decide..but i feel whatever way i choose i'd end up building a barrier for either for my daughter or my husband due to the language....i really dont know..any advise or even personal experience would be appreciated!!!!!
To be honest, your child is 3 and will easily adapt in the UK and there's nothing stopping you bringing her up with 2 languages. It's a lot harder for an adult to learn German and you've already noticed that the husband struggled. You certainly have the chance to move to a nicer part of the UK and I wouldn't say that the schooling system is better in Germany. In some parts of Frankfurt you will struggle to find a German kid in class and unfortunately this means that many kids actually never learn to speak German. If you don't end up in Gymnasium, you will also struggle later on and I actually like the idea of school uniforms, so not all bad in UK. Ausbildung is certainly better in Germany, but it can also be ones biggest nightmare if you don't end up in the job you've learned. People just look at your papers and if you aren't a Bankkaufmann, you will never work for a bank. People are a lot more open in the UK and look at what you can do, rather than what you've done. Of course it's not all perfect and there are pros and cons everywhere. Now in Ireland myself and just depends what you want in life.
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Old Dec 2nd 2015, 6:09 pm   #3
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Default Re: Moving from Germany to UK with 3 yr old daughter

Which passport does your husband currently hold?

A three year old living in the UK with a British mother will pick up English in next to no time, especially when she starts school. The longer you stay in Germany it the harder it will unless you speak English to her at home. Speaking German at home in the UK would allow her to be bilingual which is always very helpful when it comes to future education and career prospects.
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Old Dec 13th 2015, 10:08 am   #4
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Default Re: Moving from Germany to UK with 3 yr old daughter

Have you considered as an alternative moving to somewhere like Dusseldorf or Essen, where your husband could access (with a longish commute) English IT jobs in Belgium or the Netherlands (I'm thinking particulary of Philips in Eindhoven which is a huge employer)? That way your child could stay in the German system, and you could be together without a drastic change.

However, like the others, I agree that this would be the best age for your daughter to move. She absolutely won't be held back in any way starting in a school in the UK. My daughter moved here at 4, and is fluent in Dutch despite having two native English speaking parents, to the extent that she's in the highest stream of secondary education (dual language at that). She was equal to the native speakers after six months in the reception class: although my older children did struggle more. Bilingual children are often like sponges for knowledge (and other languages), it could be the greatest gift you give her.
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Old Dec 13th 2015, 10:23 am   #5
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Default Re: Moving from Germany to UK with 3 yr old daughter

Kids learn languages quickly - but they also forget them very quickly. If she does not use her German it will be lost.
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