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Jen78

4 months in, our story so far...

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Hi all,

I was thinking back to when we were planning on making the move, and keeping an eye on the forum for the stories from people who had made the move recently to get an idea of what it would feel like and how it had gone.  I used to love reading about everyones experiences, so I thought I'd  do one.  I still can't  believe weve done it!  So much planning for a whole year and then suddenly youre here starting a new life.  Sometimes I still get a bit overwhelmed by the fact that we're here,  but only because of how amazing it is.  Things are just about beginning to feel normal, we're  pretty much settled and going about our daily routines, just in nicer surroundings!

We (me, hubby, 2 daughters 14 and 10) left a cold Manchester on 10th Jan and landed in a very warm Perth on 11th, tired but glad to have landed safely.  Myself and my eldest daughter cried upon touchdown at the enormity of what we'd just done.  In the taxi to the apartment in Como we had for 2.5 weeks we were quite qiuet, just looking out of the window at the palm trees and blue sky.  The first couple of weeks in the apartment are a blur now, we went to the zoo, beach, Kings Park, Fremantle, and went into Perth twice.  Even though we had days out and afternoons by the pool it didnt feel like we were on holiday, it just felt like we were easing our way to our new surroundings and starting a new life.   I can remember a very odd feeling of feeling as though I was walking on water for about the first week, physically I felt really unsteady on my feet.  Think it was jet lag and possibly a bit of vertigo from the flight, but it went soon enough, as did the waking up bright as a button at 2.30 in the morning!

We bought a car after the fist 2 weeks, but the most important thing was to find a house to rent.  We wanted to be south of the river within a certain radius of the city as hubby managed to get himself a job before we came, and he wanted to cycle to work.  Research and asking questions about schools in the forum led me towards Willetton, Rossmoyne, Leeming and Shelley.  We looked on the propery websites and visited 2 agents to make appointments to view.  We saw 4 or 5 in the end and only liked one - the only one without a pool! This really bothered me at first but I'm  ok with it now.  It is a 4x2 in Willetton on the top of a hill with a view of the trees and rooftops from the garden.  It was newly renovated and we are the first tenants so we've been really lucky.  We got accepted as tenants and picked up the keys 4 days before we left the apartment which gave us time to buy furniture and appliances etc.  We had shipped our stuff from the UK but we have a couple of extra rooms here so we had to by more stuff to put in them!  Also, the obligatory bbq and outdoor dining suite was a must! That all got delivered by the time we moved in so we had beds to sleep on, sofa to sit on, bbq to cook on fridge and washing machine, and a tv to watch!  In the end, our container only took 7 weeks door to door so we had all our own possessions a few weeks after moving in which was great, really made it feel like home.

Once we could prove that we lived in the catchment area for the schools we had to enrol for the start of the school year on 1st Feb, we found this to be very straightforward and easy process for both primary and high school.  Apart from having to equip eldest daughter with an Apple macbook because all the children have to take their own laptop in and the school's system is an apple one, not pc!  

Eldest daughter met some girls on day 1 and got invited to sit with them for lunch, she is now part of their friendship group and has made a best friend whom she has a closer bond with than she had with any of her old friends in the UK, it is wonderful to see her so happy.  BTW - If you have teenagers who stay in their room on I pads all evening / weekends - dont think that because you move over here they will suddenly become sport loving outdoors people with a basketball under one arm and a surfboard under the other!  Most nights we only see her at feeding time, but she has been playing her ukelele more, drawing and chatting to her new bestie online.  We try to get out at the weekends at least one day and as long as her homework is done, I dont have a problem with it, she is who she is.  She is doing ok at school, we've just had parents evening and last term, predictably her grades weren't where they were when we left the UK, but I'm confident they will pick up as she gets more used to their way of working and gains more confidence.

Youngest took a little while longer to settle in, the classful of new faces were a bit much for her to deal with but gradually week by week she got there.  We have had 3 friends round for tea, and she has been round to 2 friends houses, she feels like she belongs now and is fitting in well.  She just had yr6 camp and had a fantastic time raft building and crate tower climbing and orienteering etc.  We didn't realise, but in yr6 over here they have leavers uniforms that are different to the standard school uniform so she turned up in the uniform we had bought from the uniform shop (including wide brimmed hat - so cute!) and everyone else is wearing the leavers uniforms.  We felt gutted for her, but she didnt seem to mind that much.   Luckily there was a re order of the leavers uniforms and she now has a shirt and jacket, it even has her name on the back as they did a re print of everyone's names, she was made up when she got it at the start of this term after Easter.  She started Taekwondo in February and has her first grading for her yellow belt in June eek!

After the girls started school, we concentrated on registering at centrelink for medicare and family assistance (means tested child benefit equivalent) and our drivers licences.  We have since had the girls first dental appointments and doctors visit, its all really straightforward once you understand the system.  I asked friends for recommendations and advice,  which was really helpful.  We're  also sorting out our private health insurance this weekend which I think is the last piece of the puzzle in setting up over here. 

Hubby is settling well in to work, he didn't start until 3rd April and is just starting to find his feet, he's enjoying the cycling, ezpecially in this weather!  He's going on a cycling hoiday to Margaret River with his cycling club in November!

And so to me - I'm  not working which is giving me plenty of time to do lots of other things!  I have joined the primary school committee, I volunteer in the school canteen once a week, I help out with garden and kitchen class a couple of times a term.  I have made a few friends from this forum, been out for coffess, lunch, and had bbqs and cinema, I've made friends with eldest daughters bestie's mum and went kayaking on anzac day!  I'm developing friendships with a couple of the mums at school, going out for coffee, bbqs, karaoke, quiz night etc.  I go for walks along the river and take a picnic for 1 and a book, so peaceful.  I've restarted my hobbies of line dancing, and baking, and am enjoying having more time, having gone from working full time and not feeling that I had any.  I can cook nicer meals and enjoy the weekends relaxing rather than catching up with the housework.  There's  lots more choice of chocolate over here, Cadburys tastes the same to me,  and they have my brand of cosmetics which was a concern.

Overall, life IS much better than what we had in the UK, we are not any worse off even on one wage, we have laughed and smiled more together here, the weather is incredible, blue skies nearly every day.  Its nearly winter and I walked youngest to school in a t shirt and sunglasses (and trousers lo!).   I acknowledge that we have been extremely fortunate with hubby getting a job and that our rental is really nice compared to the others we saw.   But everything else has been of our making, the social life, the places we've visited and the friends we've made have all been by us getting ourselves out there and taking every opportunity, its there for the taking, we definitely feel more carefree and relaxed.  We came  out here for a fesh start and, yes, for a better life and so far it has more than delivered for all of us.  We sometimes feel like weve been here longer than we have because of how quickly we feel that we've got a fuller, more satisfying life, but we can still count it in weeks!  We don't know whats going to happen over the next 12 months, whether we'll be able to buy a house, or if I will have to get a job, how youngest will cope with going to high school, but thats all part of our continuing adventure.  We're looking forward to exploring our new home and to whatever the rest of our lives  have in store for us.

Oh, and we haven't seen any spiders bigger than the average uk ones, and theres only been about 4 of them, they're not lurking under every toilet seat and in every corner!...Although we have had a lizard in the living room, and a couple of cocroaches lol!

Sorry it's been a long one, if you've  stuck with me till the end - thank you!  If anyone has any questions about how we dealt with certain things or about anything to do with the move or setting up over here,  pease ask away.  Also, has anyone else got any updates after making your move,? I would love to hear your stories too. 

Jen xx

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What a great read Jen - so happy you've all settled and finding your feet x

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3 hours ago, qprdan123 said:

Thanks for sharing, we arrive in August so may get in touch for some help...eek!!

Anytime, excited for you, your future awaits...

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Hi Jen,

Thanks for posting this, its a great account and really reassuring. My wife and I have been contemplating moving over for years. We have a permanent residency VISA which expires in February 2018 so I am flying out on Friday for a week to visit and research some schools to help us decide to make the move.

Your post really does help us feel as though we can make a success of it.

Congratulations.

Kind regards

Simon

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A brilliant post Jen....  as I said when we met recently, you have such a positive attitude to life.... and this will take you and your family far. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Excellent read indeed Jen, settles the mind somewhat as the missus and myself are also flying out to Perth next Mar and will be living in Mount Pleasant

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Hi Jen

I remember reading your posts earlier this year as it was around the time were coming to visit family loved reading your stories of how you were getting on.  We have decided to mack the move at the start of July and will be coming out with 2 girls 14 & 10.

We looked at schools in the areas that we have family to help us decide on where to locate to but I still don't think we have quite decided on that yet lol.  We have family in Baldivis, Tapping and Mindarie.  Loved Baldivis had a nice feel to it and very modern/clean, Loved mindarie for the proximity to the beach for the girls not too sure what i really thought about tapping.

My main concern was schooling.  Oldest would be leaving half way through a 2 year exam course in Scotland to a completely new curriculum. however on speaking to schools she actually was quite at ease with not sitting exams until year 12.  I think she has found this years end of year exams quite stressful as its the first time she has had proper exams.  

Younger daughter turns 11 in June so she will go into yr6 but will be going from being the oldest in class to the youngest which worries me.  I have been assured that they will monitor her progress and if she is struggling the will assist and consider options of repeating the year which i have no issue with.

Would be great to meet up perhaps for a coffee once we arrive, its all getting very real now

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You will find that most schools will have exams during year 11 and 12.

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On 2017-5-31 at 23:09, HarryStyles said:

Hi Jen

I remember reading your posts earlier this year as it was around the time were coming to visit family loved reading your stories of how you were getting on.  We have decided to mack the move at the start of July and will be coming out with 2 girls 14 & 10.

We looked at schools in the areas that we have family to help us decide on where to locate to but I still don't think we have quite decided on that yet lol.  We have family in Baldivis, Tapping and Mindarie.  Loved Baldivis had a nice feel to it and very modern/clean, Loved mindarie for the proximity to the beach for the girls not too sure what i really thought about tapping.

My main concern was schooling.  Oldest would be leaving half way through a 2 year exam course in Scotland to a completely new curriculum. however on speaking to schools she actually was quite at ease with not sitting exams until year 12.  I think she has found this years end of year exams quite stressful as its the first time she has had proper exams.  

Younger daughter turns 11 in June so she will go into yr6 but will be going from being the oldest in class to the youngest which worries me.  I have been assured that they will monitor her progress and if she is struggling the will assist and consider options of repeating the year which i have no issue with.

Would be great to meet up perhaps for a coffee once we arrive, its all getting very real now

Hi, 

Not long to go now then, enjoy your last month in blighty!  I'm sure your eldest will cope fine with the change in curriculum. Yr 9 over here is pretty relaxed, our school has had a couple of assessments and tests per subject but nothing stressy. The main exam years are 11 and 12 which will give her plenty of time to settle in and find her feet. At least you're coming at the start of the new semester so she can start the new topics at the same time as everyone else. We found it took about a term for our girls to settle in. Youngest is 11 in June too so she was one of the youngest in her year in UK anyway. 

Always up for a coffee, although the areas you've mentioned are quite a long way from where we are.

Best of luck with the move and keep us posted.

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On 2017-5-25 at 15:12, womble999 said:

Hi Jen,

Thanks for posting this, its a great account and really reassuring. My wife and I have been contemplating moving over for years. We have a permanent residency VISA which expires in February 2018 so I am flying out on Friday for a week to visit and research some schools to help us decide to make the move.

Your post really does help us feel as though we can make a success of it.

Congratulations.

Kind regards

Simon

Hi,

What made you wait for so long to decide to move after you got the visa grant? We couldn't get here quick enough!

Don't forget to let us know how your week went once you've recovered from the flight! Whereabouts did you stay, what did you think of the schools etc.

Don't leave it too long to decide, Feb will be here soon enough and there will be a lot to organise! You don't want any regrets once the visa expires.

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On 02/06/2017 at 06:48, Jen78 said:

Hi, 

Not long to go now then, enjoy your last month in blighty!  I'm sure your eldest will cope fine with the change in curriculum. Yr 9 over here is pretty relaxed, our school has had a couple of assessments and tests per subject but nothing stressy. The main exam years are 11 and 12 which will give her plenty of time to settle in and find her feet. At least you're coming at the start of the new semester so she can start the new topics at the same time as everyone else. We found it took about a term for our girls to settle in. Youngest is 11 in June too so she was one of the youngest in her year in UK anyway. 

Always up for a coffee, although the areas you've mentioned are quite a long way from where we are.

Best of luck with the move and keep us posted.

Perhaps England is different from scotland in terms of school year and cut off.  which runs march - Feb 

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On 5/31/2017 at 23:09, HarryStyles said:

Hi Jen

I remember reading your posts earlier this year as it was around the time were coming to visit family loved reading your stories of how you were getting on.  We have decided to mack the move at the start of July and will be coming out with 2 girls 14 & 10.

We looked at schools in the areas that we have family to help us decide on where to locate to but I still don't think we have quite decided on that yet lol.  We have family in Baldivis, Tapping and Mindarie.  Loved Baldivis had a nice feel to it and very modern/clean, Loved mindarie for the proximity to the beach for the girls not too sure what i really thought about tapping.

My main concern was schooling.  Oldest would be leaving half way through a 2 year exam course in Scotland to a completely new curriculum. however on speaking to schools she actually was quite at ease with not sitting exams until year 12.  I think she has found this years end of year exams quite stressful as its the first time she has had proper exams.  

Younger daughter turns 11 in June so she will go into yr6 but will be going from being the oldest in class to the youngest which worries me.  I have been assured that they will monitor her progress and if she is struggling the will assist and consider options of repeating the year which i have no issue with.

Would be great to meet up perhaps for a coffee once we arrive, its all getting very real 

We moved to Tapping in Nov16 and although we've had ups and downs I've found Tapping to be a good place to live. Only 10min drive to shopping centre (similar in size to Trafford Centre - we're from Manchester), easy acess to roads north or south. I work in Warwick (20 min journey) and it's lovely views of lakes etc at certain parts of my journey. It takes us about 20mins to get to the beach, 30mins to get to Hilarys.

I have 3 daughters but only eldest 2 are at school. They both go to Spring Hill which seems to be getting bigger by the day! It took my y5 daughter a bit of time to settle but she's made some friends.

Good luck with the move

 

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Such a great post Jen. We have our flights booked for 6th Sept so very excited!  We are going to be NOR around kallaroo, beldon area we think. We have 14 year old twins and they are super excited. I hope they settle in ok but they are both easy going do should be fine - they are going to have to repeat 3 months of year 9 but hoping that will give them time to settle before starting year 10.

I don't have a job to go to yet, but hubby does so feel relieved we will have one income! Not having a job is stressing me out a bit - I've worked since I finished uni so will be a big odd not to work! But I'm going to make the most of it for a while and am looking forward to spending more time with the children, running, cycling during the day rather than at night after a busy day at work! 

All our belongings are currently on a ship- it feels a bit surreal at the mo! 

But I can't wait 😃

 

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What a lovely read @jen78 it is a very similar experience to my move which has been a fantastic experience so far.

i agree that having the jobs makes it easier but throwing yourself into the social life and getting invoked is so important and really makes a difference. We have such a great social life through our sons soccer and other sporting activities and we do so much more as a family. 

Keep us updated on the next 6 months

Maybe catch you at the next meet up 😊

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Hi,

I'm just about ready for a job now, been 8 months and am looking and applying and enquiring about training courses so fingers crossed!

With my girls not being sporty, and hubby being a bit of a loner we don't have much of a social life, but we go out together most weekends and I tend to meet my friends every couple of weeks or so. This seems to suit us though so were perfectly happy. Got a couple of holidays planned so plenty to look forward to

In laws arrive next Thurs so super excited to show them around.

So glad its spring now, makes such a difference. Primary school sports carnival today so off to make a sign to wave around!

Jen xx

 

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On 15/09/2017 at 09:34, Jen78 said:

Hi,

I'm just about ready for a job now, been 8 months and am looking and applying and enquiring about training courses so fingers crossed!

With my girls not being sporty, and hubby being a bit of a loner we don't have much of a social life, but we go out together most weekends and I tend to meet my friends every couple of weeks or so. This seems to suit us though so were perfectly happy. Got a couple of holidays planned so plenty to look forward to

In laws arrive next Thurs so super excited to show them around.

So glad its spring now, makes such a difference. Primary school sports carnival today so off to make a sign to wave around!

Jen xx

 

How did you make friends if you don't meet people through sports and social events? :)

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Made a few friends through making contact with local members of this site, made friends with my daughter's best friend from school's mum, and a couple through the p&c meetings at school. It's enough for us.

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