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Old 11-03-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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We are a family of 4 looking to move over from Australia to the beautiful US, can you please tell some things to be wary of in regards to buying a house, education, employment etc. Thanks so much

Last edited by aussie72; 11-03-2009 at 07:08 PM..
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:36 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
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I wouldn't be wary of education. But each municipality has its own system so you have to research. Generally, inner cities' schools don't show as performing that well on standardized testing but there may be pockets within a city/school district that stands out as providing excellent education. Private schools in the northeast are of 2 kinds, generally Catholic (although there are schuls in NYC - and other places I'm sure) and non-religious private schools. Costs for the latter are generally quite high. Public schools are paid for with taxes in one form or another. In the mid-west and even the south, non-public schools arei generally religious but may be run by any of the various Protestant churches.

Employment - as you may have read, UNemployment at this time is quite high; so unless you have some specific skills, don't expect to just walk in and be hired. Also, once the holidays are over, unemployment ALWAYS goes up as seasonals are let go.

Housing is as diverse here as I imagine it is in Australia - there's city, surburbs, exurbs, rural, and country. It also varies GREATLY depending on the location. northwest/east coast corridor/pacific coast - generally prices are VERY high as are taxes. States vary as well as the cities within those states. Probably the difference between a house in Sidney or one in the middle of the outback. You can't just "come to the US" - it's 50 diverse states, United into one very large country. You need to do some research: climate and geography - do you want the frigid north - mountains or plains? east coast or west? - Maine or Washginton, Alaska or an island (Hawaii) - do you want the heat with or without humidity? Florida/Georgia or New Mexico, Arizona. Prefer mountains to dessert? big city or small city - NYC & Washington, DC or inland -- Chicago? Atlanta or Dallas? Country? Want the flat of Indiana or the Mountains or Idaho and the Dakotas? Tennessee vs Texas. Need the coast - Atlantic, Pacific, or the Gulf of Mexico?
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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I don't know about education today, but I lived in a suburb north of Sydeny in the early-80s and started my education there in public schools, attending years 1-3 (left after 2 trimesters of year 3).

Upon returning to the States, I entered grade 3 and was easily 2-3 years ahead in some subjects--especially math.

I found school Down Under to have a less structured learning environment that was better geared for individual aptitude. The rules for behaviour were clear and strictly enforced by teachers & the headmaster. In the USA, I felt like teachers tried to be more authoritative and used a very prescribed curriculum based approach to teaching everyone the same thing at the same pace.

Now, I will qualify all of this by saying I did get a tremendous education in public schools, both in Australia and in the USA. In the States, I was in a program for academically gifted students that helped to accelerate learning in some subject areas for select students. My education gave me a solid foundation for higher learning and now a very successful career.

All things considered, I think you'll find the schools to be acceptable, however I'd expect there will still be a period of considerable adjustment and possible misalignment of aptitudes in some subject areas.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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In order to work in the USA, you will need a work permit/visa before you arrive in the USA.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Melbourne
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One thing that you might not be prepared for is the heavy reliance on FICO credit scores. If you're going to need to borrow money or get credit and don't have an established FICO credit score, it may be tricky.
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