Study abroad with kids and family - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 08-08-2011, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I am currently working on my bachelors in education and have just heard about my dream program for getting a Masters.  The program is in London and I currently live in the US.  So I am looking for perspectives or btdt stories of folks doing international study abroad schooling with their partner and kid(s).  I have one kid, he's currently 4, but would be 5 or 6 when we would be there (depending on lots of variables).


How do you find somewhere to live?

How do you afford it?

Did your partner work?

How did they find work?

Did your kids go to school?

How do you go about finding a school you like thousands of miles away in a school system that you are not familiar with?

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#2 of 4 Old 08-08-2011, 03:05 PM
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I have studied, taught and lived abroad for numerous years.  Honestly, I don't know how you would do it with a family.  If you go as a student, you (not your partner or child) will receive a student visa.  Your partner and child would only be allowed to stay 'legally' for no more than 3 months.  Additionally, none of you will be able to 'legally' work.  Granted, this all varies based on the country.  But, this has been my experience with many EU countries. 


BUT, immigration laws change fairly often, so your best best would be to contact the program and see what they have to say about the situation.  


Good luck!





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#3 of 4 Old 08-10-2011, 03:34 PM
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Sorry to burst the bubble, but you and your family can't study abroad. You study abroad, and you family can stay some of the time to see you. Your spouse won't be able to work there and your child wouldn't be able to enroll in public or private school without the proper documents. Talk to your program but usually that is how it works.

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#4 of 4 Old 08-11-2011, 01:10 AM
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I don't know. My friend's DH got his MBA in England (they're American) and she and her children could legally stay there for the two years he was studying. I know there was a lot of rigamarole with the paperwork, but most of the MBA students had spouses and children with them. Her daughter even started public kindergarten there because they were all legal residents. This was three years ago. So, OP, you might want to check what the visa issues would be for the UK. You could probably go to the UK's American Embassy's website to check.


However, the PPs are right about your DH working. My friend couldn't work and it was *very* expensive to live there. They ended up going through their (very substantial) savings to fund her DH's tuition, plus the cost of the whole family living there for two years, especially because she wasn't bringing in any money. Let me emphasize again that the UK is very expensive and London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. If you've got *a lot* of money saved for tuition plus the cost of living, you could look into it.


I have a lot of experience with London as I did a post-doc there for two years and affordable housing is in short supply. You all would probably need to live pretty far out and pay a fair amount to commute in to wherever your university is (I'm assuming in the city center if it's one of the University of London colleges). My friend had a fantastic experience and are very glad they did it but it cost them their entire savings and, honestly, hasn't really paid off monetarily in terms of the jobs her DH could get with the degree.


Really investigate the visa issues and cost of living before you jump into this. A good place to start would be the university itself. They may have a foreign student office that could help you.

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