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Old 11-11-2008, 05:22 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,913 times
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My husband is being transferred from the UK to Mississippi, Lee County to be more precise, through his job. We have 2 young children (10 and 7) and realise this is going to be a huge culture shock for us all moving from England. Please could anyone give us any advice on schools, areas to live or even just a friendly hello. In fact anything would be a huge help as i dont know where to start.
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
314 posts, read 1,050,463 times
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Where in Lee county are you planning on locating? My family and I have been very happy here in the area north of Tupelo. I have daughters about the same ages as your children- we have been very pleased with the Saltillo schools.
Feel free to PM me and Ill put you in touch with my better half.
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Jackson, MS
1,008 posts, read 3,229,203 times
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Welcome to Mississippi! You can sell most of your winter clothes, as it's only cold here about 2 months out of the year... if that.
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Tupelo,MS
53 posts, read 319,908 times
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Welcome to Mississippi! We live in northern Lee County and LOVE it. I am a teacher so the schools here are great too. I know schools in the UK are different (my step mother in law moved from the UK to here several years ago) but I'm sure you will adjust fine! Feel free to ask any question! Good luck with he move and welcome!
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
114 posts, read 403,029 times
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You will be fine once you get use to driving on the right side of the road. I have been to London, and the people here are not very different. The cost of food and housing here will be so much better than England.
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Hernando,Mississippi
78 posts, read 374,344 times
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Guess we are just swapping out. My daughter, new husband, (a Brit) & my granddaughter moved from Mississippi to England in July. It is difficult especially for the granddaughter, she has to adjust to a new culture, new step dad, & going to an all girls school & her uniform skirt reached her ankles
Said her biggest change is she is use to all the hugs that are common here & there you keep your distance.
You will adjust to Mississippi just fine. Most people here are still very friendly & will welcome you
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
3,927 posts, read 8,334,060 times
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Welcome to Mississippi. I know you will find a bit of culture shock to begin with, but people are warm and friendly, LOL, maybe too friendly, and will welcome you. Is your dh's job affiliated with Toyota?
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:56 PM
 
57 posts, read 206,236 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by britishgirl View Post
My husband is being transferred from the UK to Mississippi, Lee County to be more precise, through his job. We have 2 young children (10 and 7) and realise this is going to be a huge culture shock for us all moving from England. Please could anyone give us any advice on schools, areas to live or even just a friendly hello. In fact anything would be a huge help as i dont know where to start.

I would think the HEAT would be a major difference coming from rainy
gray old England.

Then the driving on a different side of the road.

But other than that, you should love Mississippi.

A new place is always exciting and in Mississippi, the people's friendliness,
the rich culture and the gorgeous scenery should make your heart
pop.

Good eating, too!
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Old 11-13-2008, 03:28 AM
 
10 posts, read 28,390 times
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Hi British Girl

I made the move from the UK to Gulfport, MS about 6 years ago and I love it.

The US electrical system works on 110V and the U.K. one works on 240V, so a lot of your existing electronic items will not work and should not be transported. You need to go through all your electrical and electronics items to separate them into a group of things that will work in the U.S. and those that won't. You can sell, give away, or junk everything in that second group. You are really looking for things that already support dual-voltage with computers and laptops being the prime example. Anything that works off DC power supplies or adaptors such as MP3 players, etc) will work in the US too, although you may need to buy new 110V power supplies once there if the existing power supply units do not support dual-voltage.
Thankfully the cost of these items in the States is fairly low, so you should be able to replace most items that you cannot take fairly cheaply and easily once you arrive in the USA.

The main thing to remember is that it will take time for your possessions to be shipped half-way around the world (typically 2-3 months) so you need to carry enough personal property with you on your final one-way relocation travel to cover that period.

Your initial arrival here in the US is the start of the Culture Shock that you need to work through. I vividly recall having a complete meltdown in Atlanta Airport!!!

The simplest advice is to take a few days just exploring and finding your way around. Get a map / GPS system and drive / walk around to get your bearings. Make an effort to discover new places like nearby parks, garages, restaurants, banks and shopping malls which will provide some landmarks and help you with the initial domestic tasks in the first few days.

Food shopping will be one of the biggest challenges! Plan to eat out for the first few days while you work out the translation from British supermarkets to US supermarkets. Brands are different, the names for food and ingredients are different, and the way supermarkets are organized is different.
If possible, the best way to overcome this food shopping hurdle is to try to find an ex-patriot who has been through the process before and can help with the translation. The shop assistants in stores are extremely friendly and helpful. As George Bernard Shaw said " We are two nations sepearated by a common langauge"

Both the UK and USA seem from the outside to be very similar cultures we share the English language, we share much of the same history, and both have a political heritage based around democracy and equality. There are many very apparent differences, however, there are also a great many more subtle and smaller differences that are just not apparent until you start living permanently in that culture. The best way to ease your transition is to accept that your new home is a totally foreign culture, and make a deliberate effort to integrate and adapt to the new environment.

US School System

The US school system is significantly different too. In general students UK are one grade ahead of US students (primarily because of the different school starting ages) although the syllabuses are not identical in each country at each grade. You will have to make a decision about which grade your kids should move into in the US school system. If they go into the grade number they were at in the UK, they will be one year younger than the other children in their class throughout the rest of their school career. They may also find some gaps in their knowledge for some topics that they have not yet covered in the UK which have already been covered by US students. On the other hand, placing your child in the right US school grade for their age gives them a chance to adjust to US education at a more relaxed pace, and allows some time to catch up any missing knowledge gaps from previous grades. Only you really know what is right for your child, but it is a good idea to discuss the topic with the school and show them some examples of your child's schoolwork from the last 6 months. (Remember to pack some schoolwork samples outside your shipping container!)

Overall it probably took about 1 to 2 years before I really felt settled and like this was my home.

Building a US Credit History

One of the really big medium-term priorities when arriving in the USA is to get integrated into the financial system and establish a US credit rating. The whole US lending system revolves around your credit score, so you need to make it a priority to build up your score and you have to expect to receive slightly worse interest rates until you do.

The basic steps to build up a good credit score are very simple:

1. Get a bank account
2. Get a Social Security Number
3. Get a credit card but not too many!
4. Get a term loan, such as a car loan
5. Get a mortgage
6. Pay your bills regularly and on time!

If you plan on buying a house in the USA it is a very different process from the UK that you may actually enjoy the experience! You will get an awful lot more bang for your buck than in the UK!!!


First thing to know is that there are usually two types of Real Estate agents ("Realtors") involved in process a Buyer’s Agent and a Seller's Agent, who share the commission on the sale. As the name suggests, you engage a Buyer's Agent to help you find and purchase a property, and they are there to help you and make the whole process run smoothly for the buyer.
If you are new to an area, a Buyer's Agent is an invaluable resource for advising about where and what to buy, although you will still want to do some research yourself to help narrow down the choice.

Real Estate Contracts
The other big difference with house purchasing in the USA is the way real estate contracts work.
In England, the house sale is not finalised or binding and no firm closing schedule exists until the very last moment. Arrangements can and frequently do collapse at any time up to that final sale closing.
In the US on the other hand, once a buyer's offer to purchase a property is accepted, the contract and timing is fixed and binding. The closing date of the sale is defined and agreed right from the start of the process, and the buyer is fully committed to completing the purchase by paying an "earnest money" deposit into escrow as part of the contract agreement. The buyer pays this "earnest money" of several thousand dollars (approx 1-3% of the purchase price is typical) into escrow, and the money will be kept by the buyers if the purchaser is unable to complete the sale contact on time.
As part of the sale contract, some well defined "contingencies" are listed which provide some specific points when the buyer can pull out of the transaction -- such as a "Financing Contingency" dependent on the purchaser securing the necessary mortgage funding. The buyer can pull out of the contact at the defined contingency points if they are unable to complete the relevant contingency (for example, if they could not get the mortgage they expected), but pulling out of the contract at any other time or for any other reason will result in the forfeiture of the earnest money.
Needless to say, this process all makes house purchasing in the US much more predictable and more likely to run smoothly to closing.
Again, your Buyer's Agent will explain all the details of this process and help you draw up the right contract contingency clauses for your real estate purchase; which certainly helps those new arrivals who are not familiar with the US process.

Now for the best bit - Learning to Shop!!

US stores are much more oriented around seasonal sales and special deals than you will have ever encountered in the UK and you need to be aware of that before making any purchase. There are specific times of the year when specific items are "On Sale" (ie "price reduced"), and you need to get to understand those cycles and try to hold off purchases until those times. Memorial Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving holidays are good times for big sales, although they also happen surprisingly regularly throughout the year too.

One difference between Sales in the USA compared to the UK is that price reductions will be both large and real and not just confined to a very small selection of "traffic builder" items like in the UK. Also don't forget sales tax is added at the checkout, typically 7%.


The weather here is about as far removed from the UK as you can get. I love the fall and spring, wonderfully warm (75 degrees) days and cool evenings and little or no humidity. Humidity here sucks the life out of you. It's time for you to throw out your wellies!!!


I wish you every success with your move, enjoy the journey and explore your new frontier!
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Old 11-13-2008, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
114 posts, read 403,029 times
Reputation: 82
Yes the Atlanta airport is terribly crowded. If you fly directly there you will have to claim all your luggage, take it through customs, and then re-check it. Please allow plenty time for your connecting flight. I would allow 3 or 4 hours. If I were you, I would try to avoid Atlanta.
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