Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

Adjusting from UK to US

Adjusting from UK to US

Old Mar 31st 2007, 8:13 am
  #1  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 69
cruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to all
Default Adjusting from UK to US

Ok, so hubby and I are serious about this move to Austin, Texas at the end of the year! The I-130 forms are with the US Embassy in London.

We are originally from South Africa but have lived in London for 11 years and so are pretty much settled in the way things are here in the UK.

Could you please let me know what the hardest things are to adjust to in the US

Weather?
Society/Culture?
Schooling?
Different shops?
Something else?

All and any input will be appreciated!

many thanks
cruickies is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 9:13 am
  #2  
Lapine Member
 
snowbunny's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Austin, Texas in my own little world
Posts: 21,691
snowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond reputesnowbunny has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Adjusting from UK to US

I'm a native-born Texan who's lived the last 20 years in Austin.

My husband's Dutch.

I think you'll have a far easier time adjusting to living in Austin than in many other parts of the country (or the state).

There's no way to compare living in/near London to living anywhere in the states.

I think the hardest thing for many to adjust to (barring homesickness, wanting food from back home, and other obvious troubles) is the emphasis on work. Two weeks maximum holiday time and very few paid holidays like bank holidays; and being expected to work til you drop. Of course -- YMMV depending on your exact job and employer.

As to living in Austin: traffic is horrendous during peak periods, so I would consider living near to work. The summer heat is awful and I'm not looking forward to it starting up again. If you're originally from ZA then this may be less an adjustment than if you'd only ever lived in London.

As to schools: I honestly think this depends on your children's interests and their ages. I'm not much on the private schools here because so many of them are snooty. If you'd like to PM me on ages and interests of your kids I'll be happy to make some specific recommendations.

Amy
snowbunny is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 11:46 am
  #3  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: NW Chicago suburbs
Posts: 11,253
Tracym has a reputation beyond reputeTracym has a reputation beyond reputeTracym has a reputation beyond reputeTracym has a reputation beyond reputeTracym has a reputation beyond reputeTracym has a reputation beyond reputeTracym has a reputation beyond reputeTracym has a reputation beyond reputeTracym has a reputation beyond reputeTracym has a reputation beyond reputeTracym has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Adjusting from UK to US

Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
Ok, so hubby and I are serious about this move to Austin, Texas at the end of the year! The I-130 forms are with the US Embassy in London.

We are originally from South Africa but have lived in London for 11 years and so are pretty much settled in the way things are here in the UK.

Could you please let me know what the hardest things are to adjust to in the US

Weather?
Society/Culture?
Schooling?
Different shops?
Something else?

All and any input will be appreciated!

many thanks
Well I'd think Texas would be about as far from London as you could get in the U.S. I find Texas quite a culture shock myself, and I am a USC. I found societal attitudes there very very different than much of the US.

Hopefully some of the Brits will show up here and give you their perpective.

My Scottish fiance, even up in Michigan, spend the entire summer wailing "HOT!!!!".

Schools would very much vary from area to area. I don't have children myself, but if I did I would probably look for a private school, especially if the children might ever be returning to the UK school system.

Other than something specific from home, I think there are tons of shops and stores here, you can probalby get whatever you want. It isn't usually the style lof nice little mom-and-pop shops though, especially in a large city. So if I compare a big city to small towns I've been in, shopping doesn't have nearly the charm.
Tracym is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 1:04 pm
  #4  
MODERATOR
 
penguinsix's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Hong Kong, mostly.
Posts: 5,105
penguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Adjusting from UK to US

Originally Posted by snowbunny View Post
Two weeks maximum holiday time and very few paid holidays like bank holidays; and being expected to work til you drop. Of course -- YMMV depending on your exact job and employer.
It very much depends on the employer. I have 5 weeks of vacation plus 10 bank holidays a year. My wife, with 6 weeks of vacation time, is also allowed to 'telecommute' 2 days a week, allowing her to work from home rather than the office. It really depends on what field you are in and what you can get from your employer. As many say, you can always 'vote with your feet' by selecting a new job (unless you are in visa slavery).

The US average is 14 days off according to a recent study, but not everyone takes all their days.

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/...703300332/1003
penguinsix is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 1:06 pm
  #5  
Ray
 
Ray's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 68,280
Ray has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Adjusting from UK to US

Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
Ok, so hubby and I are serious about this move to Austin, Texas at the end of the year! The I-130 forms are with the US Embassy in London.
Presumably one of you is a US citizens
Ray is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 1:15 pm
  #6  
MODERATOR
 
penguinsix's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Hong Kong, mostly.
Posts: 5,105
penguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Adjusting from UK to US

Weather? - Hot. Hot. Hot.
Society/Culture? - Different, with a Mexican flair
Schooling? - Depends on your neighborhood (really)
Different shops? - Some of the same you've seen before, some new. Fewer and few mom and pops, but lower prices than you've probably experienced.

Something else?


I think one of the hardest things to get over is that you are 'over' here, separated from your family, friends, 'culture', media, etc. It doesn't hit you at once--the thrill of the travel, the business of getting set up and getting work sort of blur it all, but eventually you do sort of long for something "back home" or wish you can go out to a pub with "your mates." These things are irreplaceable, as there is simply nowhere on earth (save home) that you can go and have them. In addition, the 'disconnect' between the US and Europe is actually a lot stronger than you would imagine with most Americans really not caring about the rest of the world (though not as strong as some anti-US propaganda films and media would have you believe).

It's a problem that hits all expats in all countries, and can be very difficult to deal with if some of those things are essential to your life (i.e. soul mates, close family). You can end up getting bitter blaming the loss on the country you are in (i.e. "America sucks because ..... whatever") when really the problems would affect you wherever you are; or you can try to manage it with frequent trips home, lots of calls, the glorious Slingbox; or you can try the opposite, a bit of detattchment and trying to make new friends and deal with something new (which gets harder and harder the older you get).

Unfortunately, the answer to how to deal with this separation differs in everyone and there is no 'easy way' to deal with it. You can read the "Yanks in the UK" messageboard or the "Aussies in Hong Kong" and their posts are an echo of the experiences the British Expats in the USA.

But do take some solace in this messageboard--there are a lot of people who know *exactly* what you are going through and can provide advice and assistance in helping you with this transition.

Good luck with the move. 'Hook em Horns!' (you'll learn about that very very soon--or go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hook_'em_Horns )
penguinsix is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 2:53 pm
  #7  
The Duchess of Putney
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: HOME
Posts: 23,151
Elvira has a reputation beyond reputeElvira has a reputation beyond reputeElvira has a reputation beyond reputeElvira has a reputation beyond reputeElvira has a reputation beyond reputeElvira has a reputation beyond reputeElvira has a reputation beyond reputeElvira has a reputation beyond reputeElvira has a reputation beyond reputeElvira has a reputation beyond reputeElvira has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Adjusting from UK to US

Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
Ok, so hubby and I are serious about this move to Austin, Texas at the end of the year! The I-130 forms are with the US Embassy in London.

We are originally from South Africa but have lived in London for 11 years and so are pretty much settled in the way things are here in the UK.

Could you please let me know what the hardest things are to adjust to in the US

Weather?
Society/Culture?
Schooling?
Different shops?
Something else?

All and any input will be appreciated!

many thanks
Difficult to comment as it is not clear from you post what your motivations in moving to Texas are...
Elvira is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 4:01 pm
  #8  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 42
britex is a glorious beacon of lightbritex is a glorious beacon of lightbritex is a glorious beacon of lightbritex is a glorious beacon of lightbritex is a glorious beacon of lightbritex is a glorious beacon of lightbritex is a glorious beacon of lightbritex is a glorious beacon of lightbritex is a glorious beacon of lightbritex is a glorious beacon of lightbritex is a glorious beacon of light
Default Re: Adjusting from UK to US

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
Weather? - Hot. Hot. Hot.
Society/Culture? - Different, with a Mexican flair
Schooling? - Depends on your neighborhood (really)
Different shops? - Some of the same you've seen before, some new. Fewer and few mom and pops, but lower prices than you've probably experienced.

Something else?


I think one of the hardest things to get over is that you are 'over' here, separated from your family, friends, 'culture', media, etc. It doesn't hit you at once--the thrill of the travel, the business of getting set up and getting work sort of blur it all, but eventually you do sort of long for something "back home" or wish you can go out to a pub with "your mates." These things are irreplaceable, as there is simply nowhere on earth (save home) that you can go and have them. In addition, the 'disconnect' between the US and Europe is actually a lot stronger than you would imagine with most Americans really not caring about the rest of the world (though not as strong as some anti-US propaganda films and media would have you believe).

It's a problem that hits all expats in all countries, and can be very difficult to deal with if some of those things are essential to your life (i.e. soul mates, close family). You can end up getting bitter blaming the loss on the country you are in (i.e. "America sucks because ..... whatever") when really the problems would affect you wherever you are; or you can try to manage it with frequent trips home, lots of calls, the glorious Slingbox; or you can try the opposite, a bit of detattchment and trying to make new friends and deal with something new (which gets harder and harder the older you get).

Unfortunately, the answer to how to deal with this separation differs in everyone and there is no 'easy way' to deal with it. You can read the "Yanks in the UK" messageboard or the "Aussies in Hong Kong" and their posts are an echo of the experiences the British Expats in the USA.

But do take some solace in this messageboard--there are a lot of people who know *exactly* what you are going through and can provide advice and assistance in helping you with this transition.

Good luck with the move. 'Hook em Horns!' (you'll learn about that very very soon--or go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hook_'em_Horns )
this is so true i have become a bitter but i know its me not texas .i think that the younger you are the more you able to fit in . but iam having a better day to day so hook em hooks
britex is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 5:54 pm
  #9  
BE Forum Addict
 
Texas Mom's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: EK to DFW
Posts: 1,725
Texas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond reputeTexas Mom has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Adjusting from UK to US

For us I would say the main thing is the total culture difference. But that's only to be expected when moving to a new country. I have met some down right narrow minded people and have learned to smile politely and accept that it's just their opinion and after all we're all entitled to that.

The heat takes a bit of getting used to but it's amazing how quickly you adapt and stay in the house with the air con cranked up or in the pool with just your head sticking out!

Hubby was lucky to get his holiday entitlement transferred with him so that's not an issue for us as mentioned earlier in this thread vacation time is rubbish.

As for schools we just registered our little lad for Kindergarten so I can't really comment although schooling was our main consideration for living in the area that we do as the schools have a great reputation here, we'll just have to wait and see how that goes when he starts in August. Hubby did have a conversation with the principle re the curriculum here and the curriculum in the UK as although we are here permanently who knows what's wound the corner and we wouldn't like our son to be disadvantaged on such a return to the UK.

Nine months in and we're glad we made the move (so far)
Good luck and hope it all works out for you.
Texas Mom is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 7:28 pm
  #10  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 69
cruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to all
Default Re: Adjusting from UK to US

Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Presumably one of you is a US citizens
Yes, I am the USC but have never lived in the US. My dad registered me as an American Born abroad when I was born.
cruickies is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 7:29 pm
  #11  
Ray
 
Ray's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 68,280
Ray has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Adjusting from UK to US

Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
Yes, I am the USC but have never lived in the US. My dad registered me as an American Born abroad when I was born.
And you have a passport ..good thinking dad.....
Ray is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 7:31 pm
  #12  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 69
cruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to allcruickies is a name known to all
Default Re: Adjusting from UK to US

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
Difficult to comment as it is not clear from you post what your motivations in moving to Texas are...
We are looking for a lifestyle more like "home", ie South Africa. BBQs, open spaces, bigger gardens, time on the lake etc. MOre socilaising at peoples homes than in the pub.

But I am interested in what other people have experienced, not necessarily as it relates to our situation.

Thanks to you all for you replies so far
cruickies is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 8:26 pm
  #13  
Country Member
 
g1ant's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2003
Location: Moved from Georgetown to Round Rock, Texas. 15 miles closer to civilization.
Posts: 936
g1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Adjusting from UK to US

Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
We are looking for a lifestyle more like "home", ie South Africa. BBQs, open spaces, bigger gardens, time on the lake etc. MOre socilaising at peoples homes than in the pub.

But I am interested in what other people have experienced, not necessarily as it relates to our situation.

Thanks to you all for you replies so far
Sound pretty much like life in Georgetown - 30 miles north of Austin. houses on acre lots are still affordable up here.

There are downsides though. We are just on the way out for a beer in the ONLY pub in a town with a population of over 50,000.

You will have a great selection of churches though !!!

The weather in central Texas today is bloody gorgeous despite the forecast of all day rain. My 13 year old daughter is well happy with her (free) school which she likes a lot more than her 10 grand a year private school in the UK.

alex.
g1ant is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 8:30 pm
  #14  
 
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 6,840
Englishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond repute
Cool Re: Adjusting from UK to US

Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
We are looking for a lifestyle more like "home", ie South Africa. BBQs, open spaces, bigger gardens, time on the lake etc. MOre socilaising at peoples homes than in the pub.

But I am interested in what other people have experienced, not necessarily as it relates to our situation.

Thanks to you all for you replies so far

I think you might be happier in moving to Australia - similar lifestyle, climate and Christmas in the Summertime . Thousands of your fellow countrymen already have! (Plus many, many Zimbabweans).
Englishmum is offline  
Old Mar 31st 2007, 8:32 pm
  #15  
Country Member
 
g1ant's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2003
Location: Moved from Georgetown to Round Rock, Texas. 15 miles closer to civilization.
Posts: 936
g1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond reputeg1ant has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Adjusting from UK to US

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
I think you might be happier in moving to Australia - similar lifestyle, climate and Christmas in the Summertime . Thousands of your fellow countrymen already have! (Plus many, many Zimbabweans).
Are you allowed to live there on a US passport?
g1ant is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.