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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife is a scientific researcher (phd) in the UK (which is where we are both form incidentally). She will be coming to the end of her contract in a year. We have discussed moving to the US to further her career, and effectively shelving mine. We also have a 7 month old son.

So, moving to the US from the UK, is it a good or bad idea?

I would be interested to hear form everyone, but particularly Brits that have swum across the pond already.
 

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Ok, I'm very much under qualified to answer this, but I'm not too sure anyone can tell you if it's a bad idea or not, this is really a decision for you and your wife.

What do you have in mind for a job over there?

I guess if you do move it's a good thing that your son is only 7 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My wife would probably earn enough so that I wouldn't need to work. I was thinking I would probably work part time in a guitar shop :)

What I was really thinking about was the quality of life in the US compared to the UK.

No doubt it is cheaper to live over there, and my wife has actually lived there before. It would be a boost for her career (if could get a job) and would be great when she comes back to the UK.
 

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Nick, Were getting to the point were quality of life for our kids in 10 years time will be very poor, So were looking at getting out of the UK within the next 10 years, our 10 year plan if you like, I say go for it, A very close friend left to work in the US and has never regretted a single second, I say go for it, If you don't like it try Spain, or Italy, or anywhere other than our shambles of a country.

Ask Simon (Cerealk) he did the same but to Oz, i'm pretty sure he'll tell ya what a great experiance it is to further your job options in a differant country.

Good luck Bro, I'm 100% sure your child could only benefit from the move, And at the end of the day, It's our kids we make these BIG decisions for.

Rob
 

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nickcoumbe said:
My wife would probably earn enough so that I wouldn't need to work.
it's a sweet deal, that one. i don't think i'm the only stay-at-home husband on jemsite, either! the trade-off for me was leaving my friends, family and enviable weather.

my wife and i have a 5 year plan. being 5 years in canada. after which we may well do 5 years in europe, and then back to australia for good.

the real reason to move to north america is the guitar prices!
 

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Well, the one thing to think about is work visa's. If your wife isn't american, and you aren't either, then it's going to be hard for you to be allowed to work. 2 of my friends moved to canada, and one of them works as the company gets his work visa, but sahe can't for some reason. It's weird...

But having spent a lot of time in the US over the past two years I can say that once you get your head around the concept that noone understands what walking is or being a pedestrian then it's really nice!
James
 

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I visited England two years in a row (2001-2002) in summer (thank god) to attend the International Guitar Festival in Bath. England was nice...very green and I made loads (oops, I mean tons:) of friends. One of them I introduced to a girl I know here in CO. To make a quite lengthy story short, he is now a citizen of the US and married to her. He lives about 3 miles from me. Pretty cool. He LOVES it here. He's got a good job installing alarm systems. They just bought a new house. He misses the UK in a way (family and friends) but always says there is no comparision to living here. To move back would never be an option for him now, even if the marriage didn't work. Not words directly from a brit, but just relaying what he tells me. I've been to England A LOT. Great OLD place to visit and I love the vibe of the countyside, but I wouldn't live there over the US. Great place, I'd just rather live here. And to think WE are complaining about gas prices and taxes, lol;)
Better go get that LP gas conversion:)
 

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It really depends, life in the US is easier and cheaper than in the UK. It's also true that the US is on the cutting edge as far as research and technology/science is concerned, so it might be a good career move for your wife.

On the other hand, what James is saying about the visas is true, if it's only your wife who will get a job it might be hard for you to gt a work permit.

Also, many Europeans I know dislike living in North America, and find the way of life and culture unsatisfying. This is less he case for big cities, so it really depends where you move. Also if you have visited the US extensively and liked it then, you would probably like living there.
 

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Where in the US? It's a very large place ;) You have to weight the options and determine what you hope to attain short term and long.

Generally speaking (this might not be your case whatsoever) I couldn't see moving from Europe to the USA unless it was job related (going to a major city ie. NYC, Boston, Chicago, S.F.) or fiances or other circumstances were dire. Ideally the scenerio would be penthouse in NYC overlooking central park or something....work a few years then retire and return "home" or travel alot.

the culture here is so different and often unfulfilling in general as pawel said. "better life" for yourself and kids is a calling card but it's a farce... i don't see it when it boils down to dual-working married couples with 40+ hour work weeks, kids in daycare 10-11 hours per day from 6 months old, no immediate family nearby, superficial values of non-elderly Americans, etc. Don't expect a panacea.

the grass is aways greener... glen
 

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My wife does pretty much the same as yours. You'll need to be sure about her being happy working over there - the US scientific community is not organised the same way ours is, and in most places they are expected to work very long hours - working 6 days a week is considered normal in many universities. Also, and someone correct me if I'm wrong here, you get a lot more holiday time in Europe than you do in the US.

It all depends what is important for you, as Glen said, the grass is always greener.
 

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Algiman said:
My wife does pretty much the same as yours. You'll need to be sure about her being happy working over there - the US scientific community is not organised the same way ours is, and in most places they are expected to work very long hours - working 6 days a week is considered normal in many universities. Also, and someone correct me if I'm wrong here, you get a lot more holiday time in Europe than you do in the US.

It all depends what is important for you, as Glen said, the grass is always greener.
Plus their pay is based on what you have published and where. It's rather competitive compared to the european research community.

Regards

André
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
jemsite said:
the culture here is so different and often unfulfilling in general as pawel said. "better life" for yourself and kids is a calling card but it's a farce... i don't see it when it boils down to dual-working married couples with 40+ hour work weeks, kids in daycare 10-11 hours per day from 6 months old, no immediate family nearby, superficial values of non-elderly Americans, etc. Don't expect a panacea.

the grass is aways greener... glen
We have this situation in England (mostly). We both have to work hard, but because of the level of our mortgage, and my commuting costs we have relatively little spare income. I have pretty much reached a plateau in my career. If I want to change jobs to move closer to home I will probably have to take a hefty pay cut, and then remortgaging, or buying a bigger home will be impossible. The baby is already in childcare from 8am - 5pm Monday to Friday. He actually enjoys it, and we aren't worried about that element. As far as his quality of life, if we are happy so is he. As long as he has enough to eat, and enough sleep, he is happy anyway. Our families are remote from us as well, with the closest being an hour away, and no regular physical visits from anyone. In effect we are already on our own.

My wife can probably earn as twice as much (in US dollars) as she does now. Because of the cost of living being relativey low compared to the UK I could afford not to work, maybe do the child care, and probably re-train for something else. When we return from the States she will have (hopefully) given her career a real boost, and it will make her much more employable.

Penny has actually lived in the US before, and isn't phased at all at living there again. The only thing that concerns me is the poor quality of beer.

Better quality of life for me equates to more disposable income, and reduced stress levels. We would be living around the university campus, and that could be anywhere in the US, but as I understand it, that would an ok place to live in general terms.
 

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Prepare for a mild culture shock (mild because the lingo is the same and you know the culture very well from all the US TV we get here) and just go for it.
No mates, no pints, no pubs, no lads nights out, all your friends will be your wife work mates - that sort of thing.
Also like a few people here have pointed out your wife will find herself in a position where she would have to work over 50hour weeks (and that excludes the home prep/writing time) just to keep up with the other post-doc researchers.
If you can live with it for a few years just go for it.

Also do not worry about the visa thing. If your wife gets a work visa sorted out by the University you would be able to apply for a spouse's work visa which takes about 3 months to organise and after you get it you'll be able to work there without any restriction.
Just keep in mind that it will take a few months to get it because of red tape but you can utilise that time to sort out the childcare, find a job, sort out your living space, try a few guitars, spend time home with your son, do the housework and just be more helpful at home while your wife goes through the "having to deal with a new hectic job" thing.

ilia
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
dex said:
No mates, no pints, no pubs, no lads nights out, all your friends will be your wife work mates - that sort of thing.
ilia
Dude, I'm thirty, married, and have a 7 month old. I wish I could remember what a pub was like from the inside.

Simon, I would love to know about Oz academia, in fact I have a pyhton sketch going round ny head along those lines at this very moment :) .
 

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being near a "university campus" helps dramatically as these are typically flourishing microcosms of the USA with a large influx of $$$ from students. Even in nowhere-ville, usa. Lots of quality rental housing too which you'd need. Given the extra info you posted, I think at least apply for the position is a no-brainer then making a final decision when you have specific details. best of luck... glen
 
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