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UK: Family, Children, and Education

Relocation to a different country often has a big impact on family life. While we may not be able to ease the psychological stress of your move to the UK, we can support you with practical information on all areas of family life: childcare and UK schools, university courses and language classes, getting married – or simply bringing along the dog.

Even if you are not starring in a twee British rom-com with Hugh Grant, you might just happen to meet the love of your life in the UK. What then? Our expat guide cannot give you any tips on how to successfully romance the man or woman of your dreams. However, we do introduce the less enchanting aspects of a possible long-term relationship – the administrative matters involved in getting married in the UK. We’ll guide you step by step through the process of officially tying the knot as an expat in the United Kingdom.

Childcare Options and the School System

First comes love, then comes marriage, and then a child in a baby carriage? Obviously, not all couples follow the blueprint of a traditional family as described in the old-fashioned nursery rhyme. But for expats with young children – regardless of their marital status – our overview of childcare options in the UK might be of interest. The good news: the UK has well-established laws that regulate parental leave and pay. The bad news: childcare costs, especially for kids under the age of three, can be rather high. Expatriates with older kids will want to read up on education in the UK when preparing for their family’s move. Students from Anglophone countries will be relieved that they don’t have to face a language barrier in the classroom, and non-native speakers of English can easily acquire language fluency in their school years. But if the UK’s free state school system cannot cater to your kid’s needs, you may have to take private (and fee-paying) alternatives into consideration. This section also provides info on international schools, boarding schools, and so on.

Higher Education, Language Learning, and Pets

If your kids are already in their late teens or if you are interested in broadening your own horizons, you should probably look into the topic of higher education in the UK. We’ll tell you more about the various types of university across the country, about how degree courses and specific subjects are organized; where you can apply for a place at university and how much you might have to pay for it. In addition to enrolling at a UK university, you could also brush up your language skills while you live in Britain or Northern Ireland. There are plenty of language schools and qualifications specializing in business people and professionals from around the world who need to bring their English up to scratch. Or you might just explore one of the UK’s Gaelic languages for fun. After all, Welsh acquired the status of official language in 2011.

InterNations Expat Magazine