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Old 08-16-2014, 01:01 PM
 
6 posts, read 9,495 times
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Hello all!

First post so please be gentle!

We are a young family of four - hubby and myself mid-30's with 2 boys aged 4 & 6. My husband has accepted a transfer offer from the UK to the office base in Fairfield. And it looks like we'll be in Iowa late this year.

We're currently looking at the move as an adventure - what will be, will be. If we don't try it, we will never know what it's like. My husband has been in Fairfield earlier this year so he knows a bit about the town but not much.

I'm a qualified nurse in the UK so will be looking at getting my nursing license once we have settled in.

I'm looking for school recommendations and general information about Fairfield, above what I'd find via Google and hopefully somebody will be able to help.

Many thanks x
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:47 PM
 
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I haven't been to Fairfield since I was a kid in the 1980's..But it strikes me as the type of town that wouldn't have a lot of choices as far as schools are concerned. I'd be surprised if it had more than one elementary school.
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Old 08-16-2014, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
8,880 posts, read 15,628,961 times
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Fairfield has two school districts. The public school is Fairfield Community School District,
Fairfield Community Schools. There is also a private school that focuses on consciousness-based education, Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment,
Home : Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment. Both are good schools and offer a wide variety of programs. And to clarify, between FCSD and MSAE there are four elementary schools serving Fairfield youth. I believe there might also be a Christian school run by one of the churches, but it's pretty small and I know nothing about it.

I'm not sure what's involved in getting a nursing license when you're licensed in another country, but if the required classes aren't available in Fairfield they would be available nearby at the community college in Ottumwa or the University in Iowa City, both nearby.

Fairfield is very unique in that it's probably the most culturally diverse city in Iowa (thanks to the presence of the Maharishi University of Management) while maintaining it's identity as a typical Midwestern small town. There's a vibrant artistic community and a performing arts center that features national and international entertainers on a regular basis.

I don't live in Fairfield but do live nearby and have worked there for several years. If you have any specific questions please don't hesitate to ask!

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I want to point out that in the distant past I have made disparaging comments about Fairfield in these forums. This was the result of working for a large retailer in a neighboring town and having to deal with some of the more challenging members of the community who have settled there to study Transcendental Meditation, and allowing myself to create a negative opinion of the community based solely on those limited experiences with a handful of individuals. My opinion has taken a 180-degree turn since working in Fairfield and getting better acquainted with the people and the culture.
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:54 AM
 
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Hi,

Thanks for that. We're not interested in the TM movement so the kids will go to good old fashioned kindy and elementary school. I'll have a nose through that link.

What's Fairfield like for rental property? We'll have to rent initially however hope to be able to buy sooner rather than later.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
8,880 posts, read 15,628,961 times
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There's usually a pretty good selection of rentals available, everything from apartments to executive homes with acreage. The local newspaper classifieds are a good source, Search Classifieds - Fairfield, IA - Fairfield Ledger -.
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:39 PM
 
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Hello! I am also a 'transplant' - moved to the US from London 2 years ago.

I was initially in Minnesota, and just started working in Iowa City 2-months ago. I don't have too much advice, as I am finding my feet as well.

Also, although I am a similar age to you guys, I am single, so wouldn't know the first thing about schools etc.

Hope it all goes well - feel free to ask, if you have other questions, though I cant guarantee I'll be of help.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:02 AM
 
3,493 posts, read 4,702,524 times
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Please don't judge all of America by your experience in Iowa. You may encounter a pretty enormous culture shock coming from the UK.

Without know what part of the UK you're from, I'll just assume Northern Ireland or somewhere with very similar weather. While you're used to fairly cool summers and fairly warm winters, Iowa's winters give you a deep freeze like you may have never experienced and the summers will melt things. Be ready for dramatic temperatures like you've never felt.

Don't expect people to have a clue about what life is like in Europe. If you try to tell them, they may get upset. There is a very strong mentality of: "This is our place and we do everything the right [expletive] way! Anyone not from here is stupid and arrogant." If I get a few people flaming me for pointing this out, it only proves the point.

If you find yourself wishing for different weather or culture, don't give up our country. Look for opportunities in places like San Diego and Albuquerque.

Best of luck on your relocation

PS. I lived in Iowa for about 5 years. I thankfully made it out, but some of my friends weren't so lucky.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
8,880 posts, read 15,628,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurtsman View Post
Please don't judge all of America by your experience in Iowa. You may encounter a pretty enormous culture shock coming from the UK.

Without know what part of the UK you're from, I'll just assume Northern Ireland or somewhere with very similar weather. While you're used to fairly cool summers and fairly warm winters, Iowa's winters give you a deep freeze like you may have never experienced and the summers will melt things. Be ready for dramatic temperatures like you've never felt.

Don't expect people to have a clue about what life is like in Europe. If you try to tell them, they may get upset. There is a very strong mentality of: "This is our place and we do everything the right [expletive] way! Anyone not from here is stupid and arrogant." If I get a few people flaming me for pointing this out, it only proves the point.

If you find yourself wishing for different weather or culture, don't give up our country. Look for opportunities in places like San Diego and Albuquerque.

Best of luck on your relocation

PS. I lived in Iowa for about 5 years. I thankfully made it out, but some of my friends weren't so lucky.
People who have never been to Fairfield crack me up every time.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Jonesboro
3,168 posts, read 3,032,914 times
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I like fact-based conversations & hope that anyone else would prefer to learn of facts rather than read generalizations or rants. Rants or generalizations can be problematic in that not only can they be innacurate but they can also be based on assumptions concocted out of exaggerations or from dubious motivations. That being said, let's look specifically at a few facts about Fairfield.
Not-such...
Fairfield is a rather unique small town, perhaps one of the most unique that you could hope to find for a town of only 10,000 people. Largely this is due to it's being the location of a huge transcendental meditation community that has developed along with the Fairfield campus home of Maharishi International University.
Although you stated that TM is not of interest to you personally nor is it the reason your family is relocating there, the fact that the university is in Fairfield has forever altered that community by bringing a surprisingly large & culturally diverse group of people from across the US & from around the world together in Fairfield to study & to live.
As a result, for a small town, Fairfield has a humming & vibrant arts scene, a varied culinary scene & a town square business area that is remarkably alive w/ small businesses that have survived the challenges brought to the retail scene in America courtesy of the era of Walmart.
As regards your rental housing question, have you contacted a business asociation such as The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce or offices of The City of Fairfield to put yourselves in touch with recommended real estate firms to help you search for rental housing?

And finally, dealing in only facts to counter generalizations & rants is not flaming but rather a more appropriate way to convey reality-based information to the op.
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Old 08-25-2014, 12:18 PM
 
6 posts, read 9,495 times
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We are currently in Cheshire, on the border with north Wales. It's currently August bank holiday Monday here (summer time) and its raining and cold.

My husband was in Fairfield in January this year so he experienced the snow and ridiculously cold weather then. If he can cope with it, us three will be fine lol!

We are looking at this relocation as an adventure, an experiment. If it doesn't work, we'll look again. It's too good an opportunity to let go as we have a good deal of financial security behind us and an employer who is willing to be a guarantor for our rent if need be, due to us not having a credit history in America.

Being able to get a mortgage as soon as possible is the aim tho. I'm bringing two young boys and two cats with me. My heart will be in my mouth every day we are in a rental!
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