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Moving to Northern Italy with young family

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Italy.

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Moving to Northern Italy with young family

Post Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 12:26 am

Corine I appreciate the wisdom you have shared in other posts that I have read. If you could answer this (or anyone) I would appreciate it.

We (wife, 3 kids age 2,5,8) want to take a year away in Europe. We want to expand our kids minds - in many different ways: new culture, new language, different perspective.

We think we would like to find a location where we will find a thriving expat community and a good International School. We think it would be great for our kids to meet students from many different nations while at the same time learning about a local culture different than their own (we live in Canada).

We are considering tuscany, nothern italy and spain (maybe switzerland). Any words of wisdom about these options for our purposes? We do love the mountains and outdoor pursuits - so we are we are leaning towards northern italy right now. Unfotuantley we have not found many Intl schools as yet.

Finally, are we completly nuts? We do not have any Italian or Spanish (some french). Do you think we will feel isolated? We are hoping to find a thriving community of expats with the Intl. school. Does this make sense?

Thank you

JP

 

JPPF
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Re: Moving to Northern Italy with young family

Post Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:47 pm

JP,

Just a short note to say welcome to Expat Focus and to suggest, if you haven't done so already, that it might worth dropping Corine a "private message" to let her know about your post just in case she isn't checking the forums regularly.

Also, here are a few links to International school organisations which might come in handy:

COBISEC
www.cobisec.org

Council of International Schools
www.cois.org

European Council of International Schools (ECIS)
www.ecis.org

The International Schools Association
www.isaschools.org

International Schools, The Database (ISTD)
www.international-schools.com

International Schools Services (ISS)
www.iss.edu

International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)
www.ibo.org

The National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS)
www.nabss.org

Hope the above helps and all the best for 2005!

Kind regards,

Jamie


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Re: Moving to Northern Italy with young family

Post Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:52 pm

Thanks Rod,

Very helpful of you. I will attempt your suggestion

Best

JP

 

JPPF
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Re: Moving to Northern Italy with young family

Post Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:44 pm

Hi JP,
I think it is a great idea. We are Americans who have been living in Europe for the last 7 years and have 2 small children as well. We have lived in Budapest, Luzern, Switzerland and now, Slovenia. We are currently about 45 minutes E of the Italian border. The cultural education that are kids are receiving is amazing and they will be at least bi-lingual, if not tri-lingual.

We had considered moving to Northern Italy recently and did a lot of research on housing prices and schools. There are several good options in Northern Italy for International Schools. Some are dominated by Italian children, but all are in English with compulsory Italian lessons from 1st grade. One of the most interesting ones, the European School, was located in Varese. It is designed for the Diplomats of Europe and is consistent with its sister schools. It is large (ish) but subsidized heavily so for private students it is quite affordable. Como, Trieste and Udine also have schools that look interesting. They are listed on the www.ecis.org website.

Switzerland is beautiful, but can be difficult to get resident permits. The countryside and sports opportunities are fabulous and there are some very good schools. I am only familiar with the Zug/Luzern area. My children attended a bi-lingual school that was great. It was Gemini Bi-lingual Day school and is located in Hergiswil, just a bit S. of Luzern. 1/2 the week was in German and the other half in English. We couldn't have been happier with the education.

The expat communities vary drastically with each community/country. We found very supportive communities in Budapest and some that were not so supportive in Switzerland. Slovenia has been good to us, as well. Sometimes, it depends on 'how difficult' a place is to live and how easy it is to mix with the locals. Personally, I think you are smart to consider the expat community in your decision. We all want to blend in, but realistically, it makes sense and is much easier to integrate with the expat community as well. I think that the typical expat have a lot of similarities and I have found it quite easy to meet friends. We do not stick with the American community and I would urge you to look beyond your own nationality. It is sheer fun when you can invite friends from 6 different countries to celebrate YOUR Thanksgiving! Very Happy

So, in summary, you are not crazy! We have loved every minute of our adventure and have not desire to return to our home country yet. The experiences gained have been invaluable for the kids, making them more flexible and tolerant. They can cope with a lot of uncertainty and have developed communication skills that go beyond language. There is a learning curve on your move abroad which we can talk more about. It's not all roses but in the end...it is amazing.
Cheers,
Jan

 

SloJan
Frequent Poster
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Re: Moving to Northern Italy with young family

Post Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:07 am

Personally, I think you are smart to consider the expat community in your decision. We all want to blend in, but realistically, it makes sense and is much easier to integrate with the expat community as well. I think that the typical expat have a lot of similarities and I have found it quite easy to meet friends. We do not stick with the American community and I would urge you to look beyond your own nationality. It is sheer fun when you can invite friends from 6 different countries to celebrate YOUR Thanksgiving!



Couldn't agree more, Jan!

Jamie


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Re: Moving to Northern Italy with young family

Post Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:49 pm

[Hi there.
I am just back from taking 7 months out to live in Rome as a single mother with 3 kids. If you want to know how on earth I managed it, just ask! As for private international schools....I worked in one as a school nurse. So..lots of info and advice I can give you about that. I dont think you are nuts! Italy is beautiful, but there are mega pitfalls to watch for. I didnt speak a word of Italian when I went, but can struggle by, in short easy conversations now. My kids picked it up better than me. Email me if you want to know how I survived.
Regards
Dawn

 

dawndicks1
Newbie
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Re: Moving to Northern Italy with young family

Post Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:55 pm

Hi Dawn,

A warm welcome to Expat Focus and our forums, and thanks a lot for offering help and info to other members, it's much appreciated.
I'd like to know what prompted your move to Italy, what obstacles did you come up against, etc. Also, if it's not too personal, what made you return to Scotland?

Hope all is well, tell us more when you get a minute Smile

Jo


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