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Brit in need of advice

Brit in need of advice

Old May 18th 2016, 4:46 pm
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Default Brit in need of advice

Hi can anyone please help? Me my husband and 2 sons aged 17 and 20 years old moved to California, Pleasanton area 8 months ago now. My youngest has settled in really well as he went back to school to do his finally year and has met lots of people his age, but my eldest is really struggling with it all. He didn't want to go to college or university as he'd already done 2 years at college back in the UK. He's still not able to work as we are waiting for the work permit to come through so he's been sat at home gaming with his UK friends for all this time.

He hasn't been able to meet anyone his age here and is starting to feel very low and isolated!!
Is there any expat groups or individuals that meet up in our area?
It breaks my heart seeing my son so unhappy here.
Has anyone else been in this situation as we don't know what to do.

Any advice plz
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Old May 18th 2016, 5:54 pm
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

What was your plan and his plan for him before you moved? Also, what visas are you and he on - are you here permanently or is this a temporary move for your husband's work?

What work is he planning to apply for once he has employment approval? Maybe he could do some courses at the local community college that would help him prepare for whatever it is that he's planning to do?

Are there any sports he enjoys or might want to get into?
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Old May 18th 2016, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

Originally Posted by Ginelle View Post
Hi can anyone please help? Me my husband and 2 sons aged 17 and 20 years old moved to California, Pleasanton area 8 months ago now. My youngest has settled in really well as he went back to school to do his finally year and has met lots of people his age, but my eldest is really struggling with it all. He didn't want to go to college or university as he'd already done 2 years at college back in the UK. He's still not able to work as we are waiting for the work permit to come through so he's been sat at home gaming with his UK friends for all this time.

He hasn't been able to meet anyone his age here and is starting to feel very low and isolated!!
Is there any expat groups or individuals that meet up in our area?
It breaks my heart seeing my son so unhappy here.
Has anyone else been in this situation as we don't know what to do.

Any advice plz
My advice would be not to move to the US with teenagers. But that ship has sailed...

So: he absolutely, definitely has to go back to school!

He is not going to get anywhere in the US - even with a 'work permit' (???) - without at the very least graduating from high school.

Once he is back in school, he will start to make friends and feel better.

Start by getting accreditation for the college courses he has already done. Talk to the student advisers/counsellors at your local high school and do some online research on how this is to be done. Our son's GCSEs were 'translated' into 'US education credits' and, based on this, he was able to choose the appropriate courses needed to graduate high school.

Pay particular attention to SATs and Advanced Placement (I think that's what it's called - it's 15 years and my memory is a bit hazy - but your high school counselor should be able to advise...)

After that, think about getting credits via your local junior college. He can do 2 years there, with less pressure than at a university/'proper college', and then transfer to a university.

It's not going to be cheap though... But without a degree, he will struggle in the US.

Alternative is to send him back to the UK. Do you have relatives he could stay with?
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Old May 18th 2016, 9:27 pm
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

Originally Posted by Ginelle View Post

He hasn't been able to meet anyone his age here and is starting to feel very low and isolated!!
Is there any expat groups or individuals that meet up in our area?
It breaks my heart seeing my son so unhappy here.
Has anyone else been in this situation as we don't know what to do.

Any advice plz

Please don't search for ex-pat groups -- that is just going to prolong the agony! As you have indicated, your son needs to meet American kids of his age -- search for local gamers groups if that is what he is into. Is there a local comic book store that the gamer kids go to? What other interests does he have? Whatever they are, there are going to be kids who like them too. Is there a local summer pool scene where the kids hang out? Do you have neighbors with kids who can get him involved? Does the 17 year old have friends with older siblings? Especially sisters? What about your/OH's work colleagues? Do they have any kids of a similar age? If you can just get him out there, that cute English accent is going to be dynamite! Good luck.
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Old May 18th 2016, 9:37 pm
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
My advice would be not to move to the US with teenagers. But that ship has sailed...

So: he absolutely, definitely has to go back to school!

He is not going to get anywhere in the US - even with a 'work permit' (???) - without at the very least graduating from high school.

Once he is back in school, he will start to make friends and feel better.

Start by getting accreditation for the college courses he has already done. Talk to the student advisers/counsellors at your local high school and do some online research on how this is to be done. Our son's GCSEs were 'translated' into 'US education credits' and, based on this, he was able to choose the appropriate courses needed to graduate high school.

Pay particular attention to SATs and Advanced Placement (I think that's what it's called - it's 15 years and my memory is a bit hazy - but your high school counselor should be able to advise...)

After that, think about getting credits via your local junior college. He can do 2 years there, with less pressure than at a university/'proper college', and then transfer to a university.

It's not going to be cheap though... But without a degree, he will struggle in the US.

Alternative is to send him back to the UK. Do you have relatives he could stay with?
I agree that he needs a "college" (US terminology, so what in the UK is called university) degree if possible, or possibly a well-paid trade if he really isn't academic. The US is a very bad place to be poor.
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Old May 18th 2016, 9:50 pm
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

What visa does your son have?
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Old May 18th 2016, 11:29 pm
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

There are a lot of Brits in the Pleasanton area, could be a good starting point to make friends. I've always found my American neighbours friendly and welcoming. My granddaughter goes to Amador High School in Pleasanton.
It takes time to settle in, good luck. He shouldn't have trouble finding a job in that area.
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Old May 19th 2016, 1:02 am
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

I have some friends elsewhere in the country who came aged 18, with their parents. I know they were pretty isolated too when they first arrived and going to college really helped for them. If he can get signed up to something at community college then he might at least get to know a few people in the area. Maybe even look into whether there are some amateur football clubs in the area. I did that when I spent a year in PA and it certainly helped (especially as most of the guys who were members were from England).
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Old May 19th 2016, 2:00 am
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

Originally Posted by Owen778 View Post
What was your plan and his plan for him before you moved? Also, what visas are you and he on - are you here permanently or is this a temporary move for your husband's work?

What work is he planning to apply for once he has employment approval? Maybe he could do some courses at the local community college that would help him prepare for whatever it is that he's planning to do?

Are there any sports he enjoys or might want to get into?
Hi
We are here permanently on my husbands L2 visa I think it is.
He wanted to join the police but we found out just before we left that you have to be a citizen to join. He then thought of joining the marines and do it that way, so he's been training with them 3 days a week on a evening for the past 7 months but he's lost all interest in that now too as all the lads his age have been drafted now. We have to get our green card before he could of joined up.
He's been looking at a fitness course which he's hopefully going to start in the summer. For work he's just been looking at local shops, he worked behind a bar while he was in college in the UK but you have to be 21 here.
He's not really into sports more weight training.
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Old May 19th 2016, 2:08 am
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
My advice would be not to move to the US with teenagers. But that ship has sailed...

So: he absolutely, definitely has to go back to school!

He is not going to get anywhere in the US - even with a 'work permit' (???) - without at the very least graduating from high school.

Once he is back in school, he will start to make friends and feel better.

Start by getting accreditation for the college courses he has already done. Talk to the student advisers/counsellors at your local high school and do some online research on how this is to be done. Our son's GCSEs were 'translated' into 'US education credits' and, based on this, he was able to choose the appropriate courses needed to graduate high school.

Pay particular attention to SATs and Advanced Placement (I think that's what it's called - it's 15 years and my memory is a bit hazy - but your high school counselor should be able to advise...)

After that, think about getting credits via your local junior college. He can do 2 years there, with less pressure than at a university/'proper college', and then transfer to a university.

It's not going to be cheap though... But without a degree, he will struggle in the US.

Alternative is to send him back to the UK. Do you have relatives he could stay with?
My eldest is 20 so he couldn't go to high school. We've been to las positas college and he's looking at doing a fitness course so hopefully that will help.
We don't have any family near to where we used to live so sending him back isn't an option.
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Old May 19th 2016, 2:10 am
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

Originally Posted by Ginelle View Post
Hi
We are here permanently on my husbands L2 visa I think it is.
He wanted to join the police but we found out just before we left that you have to be a citizen to join. He then thought of joining the marines and do it that way, so he's been training with them 3 days a week on a evening for the past 7 months but he's lost all interest in that now too as all the lads his age have been drafted now. We have to get our green card before he could of joined up.
He's been looking at a fitness course which he's hopefully going to start in the summer. For work he's just been looking at local shops, he worked behind a bar while he was in college in the UK but you have to be 21 here.
He's not really into sports more weight training.
If he's on a L2 as a kid, he's not allowed to get a EAD, so he's not allowed to work.

He can study though.

It's a rough visa at that age, when everyone else is starting to get jobs. Plus he'll age out at 21 and then have to leave the US unless you get your greencards quick, or he gets a visa in his own right.
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Old May 19th 2016, 2:21 am
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
Please don't search for ex-pat groups -- that is just going to prolong the agony! As you have indicated, your son needs to meet American kids of his age -- search for local gamers groups if that is what he is into. Is there a local comic book store that the gamer kids go to? What other interests does he have? Whatever they are, there are going to be kids who like them too. Is there a local summer pool scene where the kids hang out? Do you have neighbors with kids who can get him involved? Does the 17 year old have friends with older siblings? Especially sisters? What about your/OH's work colleagues? Do they have any kids of a similar age? If you can just get him out there, that cute English accent is going to be dynamite! Good luck.
Hi thank you, yes your right he does need to meet America kids. all the people we know have young kids, not sure about our neighbors we never see them.
That's the thing it's know how to get him out there.
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Old May 19th 2016, 2:37 am
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
If he's on a L2 as a kid, he's not allowed to get a EAD, so he's not allowed to work.

He can study though.

It's a rough visa at that age, when everyone else is starting to get jobs. Plus he'll age out at 21 and then have to leave the US unless you get your greencards quick, or he gets a visa in his own right.
It's maybe not a L2 then because we've already been told that myself and the 2 lads will get work permits. Our green cards are in process too so apparently he's protected under the child protection plan so he won't be going anywhere. This was one of the things we made sure of before we moved over here or we wouldn't of come.
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Old May 19th 2016, 2:42 am
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

Originally Posted by jtb87 View Post
I have some friends elsewhere in the country who came aged 18, with their parents. I know they were pretty isolated too when they first arrived and going to college really helped for them. If he can get signed up to something at community college then he might at least get to know a few people in the area. Maybe even look into whether there are some amateur football clubs in the area. I did that when I spent a year in PA and it certainly helped (especially as most of the guys who were members were from England).
That's what we are trying to get him to do now so hopefully he'll be joining this summer to college. Ha he's got 2 left feet lol but we'll look into it.
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Old May 19th 2016, 2:55 am
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Default Re: Brit in need of advice

I absolutely agree with Elvira - his best option by far when it comes to meeting people his age is to go to college!
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