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Old 06-04-2011, 08:15 PM   #51
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Re: Americans living abroad... How did you do it?

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I think we'll probably be there a year and then South Korea for one or two years (it pays so well we'd be able to pay off most of our student debt in that time).
Do your homework first and talk to people who have been over there before you go over to Korea. It's not as simple as that. DH, DD, and I spent time over there (DH was there almost two years). Yes, the money is there but there's a lot of crap you end up putting up with. If you live in more rural areas, you get a bigger place to live but you also can't find as much American food nor do you live in an area where there are a lot of foreigners. If you live near Seoul or one of the other big cities, the apartments are MUCH smaller (feel free to PM me if you want pictures; I have lots of them) and in many cases, you still have to pay rent. You're supposed to get insurance but a lot of things end up coming out of pocket (I ended up getting pregnant over there and yeah, many things ended up not being covered which was one reason I came home to have the baby. Some people do make a good amount of money but you are considered a liability if you're over there with a family. It is also a VERY unstable job situation. There was a DS mama who worked at the same school DH worked from when he first got there. Both were fired from there. DH lost his job shortly after getting there. The housing is provided by the school which means if you are fired, you have to move and moving is not fun. DH did not come home with much extra money at all which was really frustrating as it had been the second time he went over there. I don't think we'll ever go back. And some places don't even provide housing which means you need to come up with around $5000 or so in order to get a place to live there (that's if you want a halfway decent sized place not just a shoebox). It wasn't the worst experience in the world. Now that I've been back for a year, I can look back on it and remember some experiences fondly but the money thing is not necessarily that great. If both of you are working, maybe but then you'll need a nanny or you'll need to put your child in some kind of care.

Our plan was two years but DH couldn't even get a contract to keep for one year much less two and each move just got more and more complicated. And if they don't keep you, you get a month notice which isn't much when you're trying to find a replacement job. The conversion rates aren't great. I know, I sound like a downer but please, do your homework on going over there before you do. People have ended up financially worse going over there than not. One of the schools that fired my husband (he lost three jobs over there) ended up shutting down some months later AFTER not paying the teachers for two or three months. One teacher lost around $7000. I can also recall a number of months at that job setting aside half of what DH was paid in case he was paid late the next month. Check out Dave's ESL Cafe and any other South Korea ESL forums. I wish DH had listened when he was told not to go over there with DD and I. It was something he had to get out of his system though.

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Old 06-04-2011, 08:36 PM   #52
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Re: Americans living abroad... How did you do it?

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My DH and I are moving to New Zealand soon with our two girls (2 years and almost 5 months). We hope it will be permanent.
Oh this sound fabulous!
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:52 PM   #53
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Re: Americans living abroad... How did you do it?

LOVE this thread! DH has been applying to jobs in Europe and at least one company is seemingly interested in him. I was a bit concerned about the medical aspect of things on my end (rare lymphoma diagnosis that I am in remission for, had pelvic radiation for that and I am not done having children so I will be HIGH risk next time with a likely NICU baby), but I think with the towns we are looking at it will not be that bad. It seems that DH would have a good vacation time if we went over there and we could afford to live within 30 minutes of his work, and honestly that would be FAR better then the way we are now. And ideally we wouldn't even need a car.

My mother is REALLY not wanting me to go though. How did everyone deal with that aspect of things? My father (not married to mom) said he would move tomorrow if he could, so he is all for my move. My inlaws are already planning trips for when the come to visit us (FIL was military and they, along with DH, lived in Germany for 3 years). However all my mom can see is it will cost $1000 to come to visit me.
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:48 PM   #54
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Re: Americans living abroad... How did you do it?

Honestly you do what you have to do and family just has to learn to live with it. My mom freaked when we said we were moving to thailand. But it's not as bad as she thought it would be. We do come home for the summers and I brought my vonage phone with me so we can talk anytime we want and it's a local call. My phone in ohio literally rings my house in thailand. Plus there is skype when we need to see each other.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:53 AM   #55
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Re: Americans living abroad... How did you do it?

I've been living in Buenos Aires, Argentina since 2008. I originally came here to study abroad and ended up meeting my now husband and staying forever more. I love living in the city. I love being able to walk every where. I really really love how much people value the importance of family here. I love that our kids will be bilingual.

But it's really hard to be so far away from my family. To spend every single holiday with my in-laws and to know that my kids are hardly going to know my parents and my brother's kids. And just about everything is harder and more complicated and takes more time... things that seem so obvious and easy in the US... like everything... from getting a doctor's appointment to taking a taxi to buying fruit or ordering coffee. Everything. After a few years it gets better but at first...soooooo confusing and frustrating. Because of course nothing is done as it is in the US. And then on top of that... learning a new language is not the easiest. Unless your under the age of 6. Then you learn the local language in 3 months and make your parents feel like morons. Ha ha.

Oh and it's been said again and again... but I really really really miss Target!!! Despite all that pent up (!) negativity... I really do love my ex pat life. But it's also really hard.
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