TIPS TIPS TIPS:
I highly recommend that you visit your university town around May the spring before you go there (if you leave in the fall – go about 4 months before you are scheduled to move). Why?
- See homes – if you have not decided on a house or dont have anyone to see it for you – make appointments and go see homes! The best spot I found for this was http://www.sabbaticalhomes.com/ – fantastic site where the homes are furnished for the most part! You can also check Craigslist, of course – link to the Santa Barbara one for housing: http://santabarbara.craigslist.org/apa/ – problem here is of course that you dont always know a) if they are for real or 2) they are furnished. You can also ask your contact person at the University where you are going if he or she has any tips!
- Get early involvement with your future co-workers! This is great in order for you to feel included and involved already before going there!
- KIDS? Check out daycare – we decided on YMCA after going there and seeing it – it was just a good feeling and I could not have felt it had I not actually been there!
- KIDS? Go see their school – you will need to fill out a million forms and you are better of doing this BEFORE you come there! Also – you are giving the school heads up about your children, their needs and their wishes! They know you are coming, they know your face and they know you are involved – these are all really important things!
- SPORTS for your kids? We actually had to bring our son with us to the US for soccer tryouts in May in order for him to be allowed to play in the fall! Find out if there are any such requirements for the sports your children will be involved with!
- GET INVOLVED in school and activities your kids are participating in! You will never regret it – you will make friends for life and you will be much more involved in the local community! I volunteered to write the newsletter for the school PTA (parent teacher association) and it was so good both to get to know the teachers, the involved parents, and I am 100% sure it helped my children too!
- Groupon.com — you know, they do have awesome deals in the US at least! We found great deals for everything and anything!
- Give of yourself – invite people home for dinner! Invite your childrens friends (or kids you want them to be friends with) to sleepovers! If you give, they give!