DH is seriously considering a relocation to London at the beginning of 2012. I'm beyond excited!
I've been researching areas to do the house-hunting, and was recommended Richmond, St Albans and Royal Tunbridge Wells (based on train lines to where DH's office will be). However, in my searches on Education Otherwise, I discovered a HS group for ASD/Asperger kids in the Kent/Medway area. DD (almost 9) has been diagnosed with SPD while she hasn't yet been evaluated for Asperger's, we've been given hints from the OT and other educational professionals that very likely is. Can anyone give me some feedback on the Kent/Medway area, or the others? Or are there other places we should consider? We'll be moving with two cats and a dog, so a flat in the city is not an option; we need a proper garden. Fortunately there will be an expat package that will cover rental expenses so we're blessed with not having to worry too much about the costs (within reason ).
We actually relocated to Bulgaria a few years ago (and re-relocated to the US) so I'm a little prepped for an international move, and I've started the paperwork and phone calls re: DEFRA to get the critters ready for the move. But I would love tips and tricks for those who have done the US-UK trip, what I need to bring, what's unnecessary to bring over, what I need to look out for, etc.
Wonder if anyone else will reply...
We're considering a relocation to London in about Septemer 2012. We have 5 kids who will then be 2, 4, 6, 6 and 8. We'll be looking for something reasonably close into the city (my husband would work near Victoria) but still family friendly. Not sure yet what the package would look like and whether we'd have the kids at international or local schools.
I'd love to hear where others live in the London area and what they like about their neighborhoods!
sofiabug, I'm only just expecting baby #1, but I am an American expat, so I've done the US-UK move (about five years ago). We're in Oxford, so I'm not too sure on London neighborhoods. I was just out in Petts Wood (train about 20 mins from Victoria) on Friday to meet someone, and the areas to the south there seemed quite nice. I think a lot depends on what you're looking for specifically. Do you like the urban life, or would you rather have more quiet/residential/small town feel? sbrinton...if you're hubby is working near Victoria, you might check out the latter stops on the Victoria-Orpington line. The near stops, like Brixton = not places I would want to live, but it gets a bit suburban the further out you go.
Some random tips:
- definitely have your critters microchipped, makes things so much easier
- make 2 copies of every document you'd consider important..birth certificates, marriage certificate, passports, immunization records, pet vaccinations, etc. Let your husband take one and you the other. Way easier to set things right in case the bag with your passport is stolen or something like that
- also get copies of medical records from your practice in the States. Your GP here can add them into their files
- if DD has some special foods she's likes, find out if they're available here. Cheerios, saltine crackers, root beer, maple syrup, cornmeal...all sorts of random things are prized commodities by Americans/Canadians living here :D
- find out as much as you can ASAP about schools, especially if dd struggles with SPD, etc. The schools vary widely in quality (and cost), and the wait lists can be very long
There's a meetup group for American Expats in London here: http://www.meetup.com/americansabroad/. I don't really post there at all, but if you're going to be in London, I'd think they would be a good resource and maybe even point you to some other websites/message boards.
I'll try and think of more info, but my brain is a bit mush at the moment. Even now, some years later, there are still days where I think that this is such a strange place. :p