Happy landings

Whether going on an international assignment or organising a domestic move, relocating families will face a long, and potentially daunting, to-do list. But there is plenty of support available.

Relocate Global Guide to Education and Schools in the UK 2019/20
Relocate Global UK Guide 2019/20 cover
The following article is from Relocate Global's Guide to Education & Schools in the UK 2019/20 which is packed with expert tips and information for those relocating and the professionals supporting them. Access your free digital copy here
For co-branded or bespoke editions for your employees, contact Fiona Murchie on +44 (0)1892 891334 or email fiona@relocatemagazine.com
Relocate has highlighted before how important it is to coordinate finding a school with finding the right place to live and sourcing suitable accommodation for the relocating family.There is a range of relocation providers who can help with your move, whether you are embarking on an international assignment or moving to another location in your home country on a domestic relocation.Relocation is a relatively new but fast-growing and innovative industry sector. It is particularly well-established in the US and Canada, the UK, Europe and parts of Asia, but you should be able to find the support you need almost anywhere in the world.The global mobility industry is responding to the challenges of movement into new and emerging markets. The expanding economies of the East are also responding to new markets, not only in the West but also in their home region and in developing regions like Africa and South America. This rich mix of cultures and nations need access to schools and homes to enable them to develop their businesses and organisations.

RMCs and DSPs

It is common for employers to outsource their relocation support to a global or local relocation management company (RMC). As well as providing assistance in areas such as immigration, policy, and the financial and compliance aspects of the relocation, the RMC has responsibility for ensuring the smooth, timely and efficient movement of international assignees and domestic relocatees by organising a range of services to support their moves.These will vary according to the company’s relocation policy, but can include arranging an orientation trip ahead of the move and the appointment of destination services providers (DSPs), sometimes referred to as relocation agents or consultants, to assist relocating families with finding homes and schools in the new location.Sourcing suitable accommodation is critical to the success of a relocation. It is important to ensure that your new home is conveniently located for the whole family, so that you can travel to work efficiently, either by driving or by using public transport, and your children have easy access to their schools, via a school bus route where appropriate.You also need to take into account the type of lifestyle you prefer and what amenities are essential to your quality of life.Most education experts agree that it is important to find the school first and build your property search around it. In the case of state education in some countries, however, you will need to have a residential address before you can apply for a school place. If this is the case, you will need to research school catchment areas and suitable residential locations simultaneously.This can be tricky and potentially time-consuming, and you may want to turn to recommended education consultants and relocation professionals with expert local knowledge to help you make the best decisions. The education consultant will liaise with the RMC or DSP to include school visits in your itinerary. An education consultant familiar with the relocation process will also be able or coordinate with an RMC or DSP sourcing suitable accommodation. Some RMCs even have their own in-house education consultants.International schools are likely to be sympathetic to the needs of relocating families. “We are very aware that relocating families need flexibility with timing of assessing an application and meeting with the family,” says Cathy Ben-David, head of marketing and admissions at Hong Kong’s Yew Chung International School. “International professionals are sought-after in Hong Kong, and their accompanying families must be catered for appropriately to ensure success at work, home, and the whole experience of living overseas.”
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Serviced apartments

Also known as corporate housing, serviced apartments are an ideal temporary accommodation solution, as they are fully furnished and provide more space and convenience than a hotel. The rate charged usually includes all utility bills.Serviced apartments have kitchens and eating areas, plus other amenities, such as wi-fi and laundry facilities. They can be used as a short-term solution while a property to rent or buy is found. In some regions of the world, such as Asia Pacific, however, it is common to live in a serviced apartment for longer periods, perhaps even for the whole assignment, which may be of two or three years’ duration or longer.If opting for this type of accommodation, families need to ensure they have enough bedrooms to live comfortably. Access to outdoor space and a communal garden may be a priority.
ACS Egham International School

Removals

Your removals company, or household goods shipper, will transport your personal belongings to the new location. Its team will organise your shipping documents, customs clearance, and door-to-door shipment or door-to-port shipment, as required. You should be able to track online the movement of your shipment.An accredited international mover is the safest option, particularly when shipping goods across country borders. Your removals company will advise on packing and transport, including airfreight and storage if needed. It may also have a relocation department that offers additional services, such as home search and orientation tours.
Relocate Global Guide to Education and Schools in the UK 2019/20
Your relocation agent should coordinate delivery of your household goods to your new accommodation. Shipment dates and customs clearance can be crucial to securing your residential property and your moving dates. Temporary serviced apartments may be required until your shipment of furniture arrives.

Furniture rental

For those renting a house or an apartment, it is good to know that there are global furniture rental companies which will supply the furniture you need while you wait for your shipment of household goods to arrive. They are also a handy solution if you rent an unfurnished property.Different styles of furniture, at a range of prices, are usually available for all your living spaces, from bedroom to living room. White goods and packs of cutlery, crockery, cooking equipment, bed linen and towels can also be supplied as a temporary measure.
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Expatriate support

There are various associations that can help families to make friends and establish networks in a new area. Such an organisation is FOCUS, the membership community for expatriates, which is particularly helpful in supporting partners and families. Based in central London, it is staffed by multinational volunteers with first-hand experience of living abroad. They can provide all kinds of resources, information and events to help families settle in London and the surrounding area.Other organisations, such as the Petroleum Women’s Club and the American Women’s Club, will help you find your feet and settle in to your new area.Schools can also be invaluable sources of support, not only for children but also for their parents. Hong Kong International School’s Family Ambassador programme is one example. Explains Vicky Seehafer, “New families are assigned a parent who has a child or children in the same age range, to aid them in transitioning into the school community and the community at large.”
Relocate Global Guide to Education and Schools in the UK 2019/20
Mark London, of ACS International Schools, says, “We work closely with our parent body to provide a friendly support network to newly-arriving students and parents alike, with welcoming committees and tailored ‘buddy’ programmes offering help and support, often before the relocating family even leaves for the new country.“Our parent-teacher organisations provide a friendly advice service, and will often organise social events, such as weekend clubs, coffee mornings or sports teams, to help newcomers integrate into the local community.”A wealth of information and expert advice to support relocating employees and their families can be found on our website at relocateglobal.com. Contact  at Relocate Global for assistance in sourcing relocation support.
The Guide to Education & Schools in the UK is designed to help relocating parents make informed education choices.
For volume options, co-branded editions, digital or online licence agreements and advertising opportunities, call Fiona Murchie on +44 (0)1892 891334 or email Fiona@relocatemagazine.com
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