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Georgia & the South

Arizona here I come...

Want to know about the USA? This is the place to discuss the southern states.

Arizona here I come...

Postby Lea » Sun 6 Jul 2014 07:17 GMT

Hi folks :)

I have had the good fortune to fall in love with a guy from New York who is moving to Phoenix to work next year. We will be getting married there next autumn and I am obviously thrilled! My two sons are excited too, which is a great relief. I was very worried they would not want to leave England but when I broke the news they nearly jumped through the roof with joy. My eldest will be 10 when we go out there, the youngest will be five.

I have millions of questions but now I am here I can only remember a few!

First up, probably a concern for most English folks heading out to the desert.....is the heat really awful? Any tips on adapting to and coping with the heat will be greatly appreciated.

Also, I would like to prepare my kids as much as I can for schooling in the USA....can anyone give me any advice on how to prepare them and how much education there differs to in the UK?

Thats all I got for now, no doubt as time goes by I will be thinking of new questions and asking the ones I have temporarily forgotten.

Thank you. Have a great day, I am off to make some tea :)
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Postby Graeme » Sun 6 Jul 2014 15:38 GMT

Hello Lea and welcome to the forum.
Arizona is a great place to live although it will be a bit of a change from the UK. The temperature is very hot for the summer especially in July and August when the humidity rises due to storm activity in the gulf of Mexico. It can go as high as 118F and it is unpleasant to spend too long outside in that. However, almost everywhere is air conditioned and you tend to go from your air conditioned car into your air conditioned house or shopping mall etc and spend relatively little time in the heat. The winters are wonderful there with the daily temp hovering around the 60F range. I have seen snow in Phoenix once over the past 25 years but it didn't last past lunchtime. If you like the colder climes you don't have to go too far into the mountains and you'll find snow. San Francisco peaks near Flagstaff boasts a pretty good ski hill. My sister in law moved to Phoenix from the UK and managed to adapt in months to the climate, now she feels cold in anything under 80F :lol:
Overall Phoenix is a huge city of about 4 million living in the "Valley of the Sun" it has a high crime rate but depending on where you live that shouldn't be an issue. Health care is expensive but getting better with Obama care, housing is fairly cheap there but cooling costs are high (electricity is expensive and water is metered so no long showers and filling a swimming pool can be costly).
The schooling in the USA is under funded and has some difficulties. There are a lot of Mexican kids in the schools and quite a lot of them don't speak English which can slow the class down a little (my niece is a teacher in Tucson where this problem is worse) the Americans don't seem to value the education of their kids too much until they get to University. They use a grade system and if your kids are 10 and 5 they will be in grade 5 and 1 respectively. There is an emphasis on sports (especially in the desert climate) and less on book work but your kids will find it easy to excel with a little work and if they do then there are scholarships to be had for further education.
Phoenix is a great place to live, I've often thought of moving there myself, and I'm sure with a little effort you'll find it a good place for your family.
Hope that helps, feel free to ask more as the questions come up.
:D
Graeme
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Postby Lea » Mon 7 Jul 2014 04:42 GMT

Thank you for your informative reply Graeme. Summers sound like a challenge, but I love storms so that will be quite something. In winter I will be the envy of my family in England, it sounds heavenly!

My eldest will be happy with an emphasis on sport, he is not particularly bookish. Healthcare is not something I had even considered yet! Thank you for pointing that out. I suspect I will be back soon with more questions :)
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