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4 months in Edmonton with my husband and 2 girls

4 months in Edmonton with my husband and 2 girls

Old Jul 23rd 2013, 4:07 pm
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Default 4 months in Edmonton with my husband and 2 girls

Hi,

I thought I'd give an account of our first few months in Edmonton - I read these forums lots when we were organising our move and found them really interesting and useful - hopefully this might be of use for someone too!

I'd been wanting to try living overseas for ages, but my husband was reluctant. Finally around Christmas 2012 due to various factors (massive commute for me, husband on a short term contract, children still little) we decided to give it a try. I sent off my CV to loads of companies (I'm an environmental consultant) in Calgary and Vancouver. One company got back to me and arranged a telephone interview (a quick half hour chat really). A few days later I was offered a job in Edmonton, which (after a bit of googling and with some nervousness about the winters there) I accepted. My sister has lived in Banff for several years so we'd visited Alberta before, but never been to Edmonton.The LMO took a few weeks to come through and when it did, I handed in my notice and booked one-way flights (eeek!).

We all flew over in March - with me applying for a temporary work permit at the border and my husband an open work permit. I was a nervous wreck, thinking that we would be turned away for some unknown reason, but it was all fine.

We spent a manic week staying in a hotel running round trying to buy a car, find a house to rent, get social security numbers, bank accounts, health cards etc. Absolutely shattering especially with a 2 and a 4 year old in tow!

We'd tried to set up appointments to view places to rent from the UK the week before but had no success. We found that places were being snapped up really really quickly. Towards the end of the week we found somewhere that fitted the bill, paid the deposit and moved in on the Sunday. All our stuff was being shipped over so we had a trip to Ikea to the bare essentials (e.g. plates, bedding and some mattresses) to keep us going for the 6 weeks it would take for the shipment to arrive. Again, we'd looked at renting somewhere furnished for a month or so, but it was just too expensive. We did find that it was hard to get anything done without an address so once we had a signed contract for the house it was a bit easier. We managed to set up a basic bank account with RBC before we had an address in order to transfer some money from the UK as naively we'd underestimated how much everything would cost (car, deposit for the house and first month's rent up front, hire car, hotel etc. etc.). With hindsight we would have brought much much more cash. I had a halifax clarity credit card which was a lifesaver as it didn't charge fees for using in Canada and I just kept transferring money on to the card from our UK accounts.

I started work a week after we arrived (which was too soon!). I found everyone really friendly and amreally lucky to be working for a good company. Its been hard adjusting to a new company, new regulations and new areas of work though. My salary is double what I was on in the UK, for a similar role, but the cost of living here is higher. I am also working full time (whereas I was doing 4 days in the UK), which is a bummer! My husband is currently a stay at home dad, whilst looking for work (no joy so far, but his career is very competitive with few jobs). So money-wise we are doing ok but nowhere near as well as I thought we would be when I heard what my salary would be!

Our daughters are enjoying themselves here. We live in a quiet street with lots of other children so they play out all the time. There's several really good local parks, recreation centres and good access to green spaces. We've found it much more family orientated than the UK (but maybe its due to living in a city). My eldest is at summer camp every day this week and loving it.

We've got a tent and have had several trips away to the Rockies and a lake in northern Alberta. I feel really smug that we can pop over to Jasper for the weekend!

I have no idea if we will try and stay beyond the 2 years that my work permit is for, but for now we are pretty happy. My husband would be happier with a job, but its not much worse than in the UK for him and I would be happier working less and spending more time with the children, but needs must......

The move has cost us lots more than I'd anticipated. I'm still worried about winter. I feel guilty that the children don't see their grandparents (although they skype most weekends). However, I'm glad we're here and giving it a go.


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Old Jul 24th 2013, 2:58 am
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Default Re: 4 months in Edmonton with my husband and 2 girls

Great post & glad it's working out.

We moved to Calgary just over a year ago and I well recall all the initial running about to get everything sorted - and that's without any kids in tow so kudos to you.

I can't speak to winter in Edmonton, but we got lots of comments last summer about not being 'real Canadians' until we'd been through a winter here, and we were consequently rather nervous as it approached. In the event it was great. Very cold at time when compared with the UK, but because it's generally drier and sunny we didn't notice the cold as much as we thought we would. We were also nervous about winter driving, but with winter tyres and amazingly quick road clearance again we had no problems. It seems to me that the people who really adapt better are those who embrace the winter and get out to do things which we did to a certain extent. Those that 'hibernate' and just wait for spring seem more likely to struggle. So I'd get out as much as you can, although I realise that with young kids you may need to be a bit careful they don't get too cold, and enjoy the snow and sun.

Good luck over the rest of your two years - and beyond if you choose to stay.
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Old Jul 29th 2013, 11:10 am
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Default Re: 4 months in Edmonton with my husband and 2 girls

Glad to hear you are settling in and enjoying it!
I arrived on the 20th of April,and started work on the 22nd(my brothers birthday lol),my family came over at the end of May(missus,3 young girls,and our dog)
I love it even though I am not a city person,we also bought a tent but have yet to use it as I work almost every saturday,and work overtime almost every night.

I have heard people play down the Rockies,but when you go yourself it is astounding,beautiful,clean,and relaxing(at least to me it was).
My missus is the stay at home mum while I am the one out working,I find it not too bad if you shop around,etc..
We are deffo chasing PR,I like my job,but have already been told once I get PR there are a couple of better paying jobs waiting on me.
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Old Jul 29th 2013, 2:51 pm
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Default Re: 4 months in Edmonton with my husband and 2 girls

Good post.
Nice to hear you are liking it here in AB and settling in.
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Old Aug 22nd 2013, 12:13 am
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Default Re: 4 months in Edmonton with my husband and 2 girls

Originally Posted by emsiebob
Hi,

I thought I'd give an account of our first few months in Edmonton - I read these forums lots when we were organising our move and found them really interesting and useful - hopefully this might be of use for someone too!

I'd been wanting to try living overseas for ages, but my husband was reluctant. Finally around Christmas 2012 due to various factors (massive commute for me, husband on a short term contract, children still little) we decided to give it a try. I sent off my CV to loads of companies (I'm an environmental consultant) in Calgary and Vancouver. One company got back to me and arranged a telephone interview (a quick half hour chat really). A few days later I was offered a job in Edmonton, which (after a bit of googling and with some nervousness about the winters there) I accepted. My sister has lived in Banff for several years so we'd visited Alberta before, but never been to Edmonton.The LMO took a few weeks to come through and when it did, I handed in my notice and booked one-way flights (eeek!).

We all flew over in March - with me applying for a temporary work permit at the border and my husband an open work permit. I was a nervous wreck, thinking that we would be turned away for some unknown reason, but it was all fine.

We spent a manic week staying in a hotel running round trying to buy a car, find a house to rent, get social security numbers, bank accounts, health cards etc. Absolutely shattering especially with a 2 and a 4 year old in tow!

We'd tried to set up appointments to view places to rent from the UK the week before but had no success. We found that places were being snapped up really really quickly. Towards the end of the week we found somewhere that fitted the bill, paid the deposit and moved in on the Sunday. All our stuff was being shipped over so we had a trip to Ikea to the bare essentials (e.g. plates, bedding and some mattresses) to keep us going for the 6 weeks it would take for the shipment to arrive. Again, we'd looked at renting somewhere furnished for a month or so, but it was just too expensive. We did find that it was hard to get anything done without an address so once we had a signed contract for the house it was a bit easier. We managed to set up a basic bank account with RBC before we had an address in order to transfer some money from the UK as naively we'd underestimated how much everything would cost (car, deposit for the house and first month's rent up front, hire car, hotel etc. etc.). With hindsight we would have brought much much more cash. I had a halifax clarity credit card which was a lifesaver as it didn't charge fees for using in Canada and I just kept transferring money on to the card from our UK accounts.

I started work a week after we arrived (which was too soon!). I found everyone really friendly and amreally lucky to be working for a good company. Its been hard adjusting to a new company, new regulations and new areas of work though. My salary is double what I was on in the UK, for a similar role, but the cost of living here is higher. I am also working full time (whereas I was doing 4 days in the UK), which is a bummer! My husband is currently a stay at home dad, whilst looking for work (no joy so far, but his career is very competitive with few jobs). So money-wise we are doing ok but nowhere near as well as I thought we would be when I heard what my salary would be!

Our daughters are enjoying themselves here. We live in a quiet street with lots of other children so they play out all the time. There's several really good local parks, recreation centres and good access to green spaces. We've found it much more family orientated than the UK (but maybe its due to living in a city). My eldest is at summer camp every day this week and loving it.

We've got a tent and have had several trips away to the Rockies and a lake in northern Alberta. I feel really smug that we can pop over to Jasper for the weekend!

I have no idea if we will try and stay beyond the 2 years that my work permit is for, but for now we are pretty happy. My husband would be happier with a job, but its not much worse than in the UK for him and I would be happier working less and spending more time with the children, but needs must......

The move has cost us lots more than I'd anticipated. I'm still worried about winter. I feel guilty that the children don't see their grandparents (although they skype most weekends). However, I'm glad we're here and giving it a go.


Hi we are looking at moving to south edmonton beginning of november hubby has job and will be coming with just suitcases ...... will need to rent something when there.... is there lots of nice plaaces to rent? Be able to rent there and then with deposit ? How have you found schools? Son is 12 maddie will be nearly 4 .... never lived in a city before only rural ...... but it looks really nice and nothing like cities in uk i have been told any info would be great .... thanks
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