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Possible move to Boston from UK

Possible move to Boston from UK

Old Sep 30th 2016, 12:40 pm
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Default Possible move to Boston from UK

Hi all

Forum newbie here.

I'm based in the South East with my wife and 2 children (aged 7 and 8). I've worked for my company for 9 years and have been sounded out about opportunity to take my equivalent role in Boston. It's early stages, and have no idea of relocation package etc, but it looks like we'd probably go on an L1A visa.

This is potentially a big move (of course), but we're not alien to it as we previously lived in Australia for 3 years, where I joined the company I still work for. The difference this time is that my kids are both in school and all the research in the world can't tell me if this is actually the right thing for us to do for them.

Anyway, my question is - is there anyone else who's made a similar move with children of a similar age that I could perhaps pick the brains of? (preferably to New England, but I'll happily take any advice!). My thought is that at this age they're probably more able to adapt to live in the new country than if they were teenagers, but that's untested.

My view is that if we did this, then the aim would be to approach this as a permanent move as we don't want to jeopardise their education etc.

Any advice would be gratefully received!

Daz
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Old Sep 30th 2016, 1:27 pm
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Default Re: Possible move to Boston from UK

We moved to Belmont, Massachusetts, when our children were aged 6 and 8. They fit in to their elementary school really easily, had a circle of friends pretty quickly, and both completed their schooling and university quite successfully in the U.S. By chance, I'd say we slipped into a good situation in that particular Belmont school; it's an area of dense, urban housing, my kids & most others walked to school, so they had friends whose houses they could walk to, a local park & playground they could meet friends and so on. Also, the demographics were pretty cosmopolitan, as a lot of other kids were immigrants too, so our children were not stranded in a sea of native born Americans (although of course many were native born.)
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Old Sep 30th 2016, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Possible move to Boston from UK

Thank you, that's really helpful!
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Old Sep 30th 2016, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: Possible move to Boston from UK

There are loads in the same boat. Check out the Boston Brits group on FB, also the Metrowest Brits.

Depending on budget, there are so many options for nice towns to move to that have good schools.

There's also the Brit school in JP, if you wanted to go private and weren't thinking of making this a permanent move.
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Old Oct 1st 2016, 1:55 am
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Default Re: Possible move to Boston from UK

There are many excellent schools in the Boston suburbs.....Belmont has great schools, as does Arlington, Wellesley, Weston, Newton etc.

The Boston and Cambridge schools are more variable.

There are many excellent private schools as well.
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Old Oct 1st 2016, 7:08 pm
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Default Re: Possible move to Boston from UK

I moved with 6, 4 and 2 year olds to Maine. They're now 15, 13 and 11. Happy to answer any questions. It was always a permanent move for us.

Mine are in the state school system and we're happy with it - much happier than we were with the bit of the UK system we were in before we left.

My main question would be this... do you want your children to be American? Because they will be if you move them at this stage.
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Old Oct 1st 2016, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: Possible move to Boston from UK

Originally Posted by kins View Post
I moved with 6, 4 and 2 year olds to Maine. They're now 15, 13 and 11. Happy to answer any questions. It was always a permanent move for us.

Mine are in the state school system and we're happy with it - much happier than we were with the bit of the UK system we were in before we left.

My main question would be this... do you want your children to be American? Because they will be if you move them at this stage.
Depends on their upbringing and outlook, I think. My daughter definitely sounds like an American & looks like one, but she's really half & half, would happily live in the UK, even though it's been 25 years since she did live there. My son sounds English now, since he's lived there since 2007, but he's moving to California next month. Each person is different and individual.
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Old Oct 1st 2016, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: Possible move to Boston from UK

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
Depends on their upbringing and outlook, I think. My daughter definitely sounds like an American & looks like one, but she's really half & half, would happily live in the UK, even though it's been 25 years since she did live there. My son sounds English now, since he's lived there since 2007, but he's moving to California next month. Each person is different and individual.
Agreed. I've got a 16 year old who's lived half his life outside of the UK, first in Switzerland, then in the US. He has a totally English accent, without a trace of American - he even spoke fluent French with a completely English intonation - and his worldview could probably be described as cosmopolitan European (by teen standards). My daughter, 4 when she left the UK, 12 now, is a chameleon for accents and mannerisms, and can pass for American at school despite speaking perfect British with us.

Of the two of them, I'd say my son is better at 'fitting in' and being comfortable despite making no attempt to blend in. He completely compartmentalizes who he is, from where he is or who he's with. My daughter struggles a little more with her identity - I can't tell yet whether this is a middle school thing, or something specific to her cross-culture background. She is in the murkier area of trying to blend, and 99% succeeding, but then occasionally having something happen that jars her and reminds her that she's different from her peers.

Her... occasional disquiet? has made me start taking an interest in the concept of Third Culture Kids - those who grow up in a country/ culture different to that of their parents - and reading some books about it. I've never remotely felt the need to pick up a book about this on my son's behalf in the last 8 years. So yes, different kids, different outcomes.
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Old Oct 2nd 2016, 1:59 pm
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Default Re: Possible move to Boston from UK

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
Depends on their upbringing and outlook, I think. My daughter definitely sounds like an American & looks like one, but she's really half & half, would happily live in the UK, even though it's been 25 years since she did live there. My son sounds English now, since he's lived there since 2007, but he's moving to California next month. Each person is different and individual.
Assimilation happens at any age. I'm 55 and have spent 30 years in the US. In Boston I have a British accent, but when I travel in the US people say I have a Boston accent....and in the UK I'm somewhere in between.

My attitudes have also become more American, but being exposed to other ideas and cultures is a good thing.
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Old Oct 2nd 2016, 2:07 pm
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Default Re: Possible move to Boston from UK

Originally Posted by nun View Post
Assimilation happens at any age. I'm 55 and have spent 30 years in the US. In Boston I have a British accent, but when I travel in the US people say I have a Boston accent....and in the UK I'm somewhere in between.

My attitudes have also become more American, but being exposed to other ideas and cultures is a good thing.
That happened to me too. I moved from Boston to rural New York in 1995. I have an English accent. People would say, "Where are you from?" or "Where did you move from?" If I said Boston, they assumed my accent was a Boston accent. Apart from the word "aunt," I don't hear many English inflections in a Boston accent!
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Old Oct 2nd 2016, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: Possible move to Boston from UK

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
That happened to me too. I moved from Boston to rural New York in 1995. I have an English accent. People would say, "Where are you from?" or "Where did you move from?" If I said Boston, they assumed my accent was a Boston accent. Apart from the word "aunt," I don't hear many English inflections in a Boston accent!
After 30 years I have a bit of a Boston accent that people pick up in other parts (or as I say paaarts) of the US.
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Old Oct 3rd 2016, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Possible move to Boston from UK

And back to the topic :-)
We made the move two years ago, chose Concord MA and can't speak highly enough of the schools, the community or the opportunities we've all had here, personal and professional. Biggest shock - we stupidly thought it was cheaper to live in the US but it certainly is not in the Boston suburbs. If you come, negotiate the heck out of that relo package and salary!
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