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Old 18.04.2015, 11:35
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Leaving for studies to the UK

Hi Folks,

I intend to register for studies at Cranfield University to start in October. I intend to move there together with my 8 and 5 year old kids. I plan to find a small apartment in the area and probably stay there for 3 years or so. Does anyone know this area?
  • Is the education system/schedule like Switzerland?
  • How easy is it for me to get my kids into school?
Any tips regarding insurance (I continue with my insurance here). Otherwise we shall always get back here for holidays and visits.

Any tips are welcome, thks.
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Old 18.04.2015, 11:42
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Re: Leaving for studies to the UK

The education system is a bit different to Switzerland, especially up to age 18.

You'll have no problem getting your kids into a State school. And they'll wear school uniform, which makes life so easy!!

Not sure why you'd continue with Swiss health insurance when living in the UK. Would it even be valid if you are not resident in Switzerland?
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Old 18.04.2015, 13:02
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Re: Leaving for studies to the UK, Cranfield, Beds

Cranfield North of London in Bedfordshire, (Beds for short), about 30 mins by car from London Luton airport, no doubt would also have good public transport links to same. Try and get flights to Luton, otherwise you will spend long time commuting from other London airports.

School year starts around 1st September to Chrismas, when 2 weeks holiday, with a week off for half term around end October.
2nd Term after New Year to Easter, again with 2 weeks break and in the middle again 1 week off for half term.
3rd Term starts after Easter to around 22nd July with a break of about 6 weeks. Half term usually coincides with 2nd May bank holiday. Two Bank/Public holidays in May, 1st Monday and last Monday in May.

School days, Monday to Friday, usually start around 9am and finish sometime around 3 or 4pm with a break for Lunch. Most children remain in school for the lunch/playtime. Either eating set/paid lunch in school or bringing packed lunch. A few may go home, but not many.

You may need to arrange child minders to take the children to school and pick them up after and maybe look after them until you get home - sometimes a meal/snack is also provided during that time; by agreement with you and childminder.

Although your college starts in October, would suggest you try and arrange things so the children can start school in September.

Hopefully you get them both into the same school. The next change of school happens the September after a child has turned 11 years normally in UK, though some difference in some area.

In recent years in UK because of so much immigration in London there is a shortage of school places in some areas. Hopefully better in Cranfield, but best to start looking now.

Accommodation in UK we talk about how many bedrooms a property has, as opposed to Switzerland where the description is about how many rooms. I guess you will be either looking for 2 or 3 bedroom property to rent. Check what white goods come with it, washing machine, dryer, fridge/freezer, microwave, what type of cooker, oven/hob & what type of individual heating system for heating and hot water. You will not have the cellar type storage area in Switzerland. You would normally have a garden. Check if you have parking or can park in the road. Although you may not have a car, you will need to know set up for visitors with car.

Check also the local public transport system to wherever your home will be. Supermarket/food shopping is 7 days a week, though shorter hours on a Sunday & closed usually on Saturday evening, though might be some locals open later.

The big rush on accommodation could be around Sept/October as students start college/University for the year then. If you are looking earlier you will be ahead of the game.
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Old 18.04.2015, 13:12
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Re: Leaving for studies to the UK

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Not sure why you'd continue with Swiss health insurance when living in the UK. Would it even be valid if you are not resident in Switzerland?
I presume you would be entitled to UK National Heath system. In which case strongly advise you once you have sorted your accommodation to register immediately with local Group Practise (GP) Doctors. Usually you are given an appointment to first meet a GP Nurse and they take down medical history, so questions what immunisation etc you and chidlren have had.

Whilst living in UK take out Annual Holiday Insurance, they usually cover you for 30, 60 or 90 days out of UK. It will cover for different regions, so if you anticipate to remain within Europe, only take for there. If you are going to travel to USA etc, then you can get it added at extra cost, either at the start or add it later, same for things like Ski-ing.
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Old 18.04.2015, 20:04
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Re: Leaving for studies to the UK

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Whilst living in UK take out Annual Holiday Insurance, they usually cover you for 30, 60 or 90 days out of UK. It will cover for different regions, so if you anticipate to remain within Europe, only take for there. If you are going to travel to USA etc, then you can get it added at extra cost, either at the start or add it later, same for things like Ski-ing.
Why? She'll be covered for emergencies by either her British EHIC or Swiss EHIC card I assume.
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Old 18.04.2015, 20:20
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Re: Leaving for studies to the UK

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Why? She'll be covered for emergencies by either her British EHIC or Swiss EHIC card I assume.
The EHIC doesn't cover you completely, best to have travel insurance if using NHS and EHIC.
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Old 19.04.2015, 17:02
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Re: Leaving for studies to the UK, Cranfield, Beds

Thanks to you all - I appreciate all your replies, especially Moggy. My biggest challenge is getting the kids into school and accomodation otherwise I am excited about it.

chrs!
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Old 19.04.2015, 23:19
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Re: Leaving for studies to the UK

You might find the Forum 'Deutsche-in-London.net' to be useful
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Old 19.04.2015, 23:58
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Re: Leaving for studies to the UK

Universities usually have a list of housing options which could be useful as a first point of contact.

You shouldn't need private health insurance as you should be able to use the nhs. Most Brits only have private health insurance if they want to go to private hospitals and skip waiting times for hospital appointments and operations. If you don't go private you will need travel insurance to cover you for emergencies over seas. Not sure if you will be abLe to keep your swiss insurance if not resident in CH any longer.

There is a shortage of school places in UK right now so you should look into that immediately, especially for a September start. You may also not get a school place at the school nearest to where you choose to live and the kids may not get into the same school. Again the university might be able to provide a bit of info to mature students.
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Old 20.04.2015, 12:47
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Re: Leaving for studies to the UK

That university is essentially between Bedford & Milton Keynes 2 big towns - So you probably will need a car (school runs / shopping etc). The villages around MK are quite nice, I know a few people who live there. Commuting to central London is easy from MK (around 45 minutes).


Secondly just a bit of advice, I wouldn't live Bedford though as that's where most of the university housing is, the place is a dump..
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Old 20.04.2015, 15:08
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Re: Leaving for studies to the UK

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Why? She'll be covered for emergencies by either her British EHIC or Swiss EHIC card I assume.
Annual travel insurance in UK is very cheap for Europe (ca £50 a year) if not covering things like sports, Ski-ing that is extra cost. Handy to have for lost luggage/ extreme flight delays ...
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Old 20.04.2015, 15:29
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Re: Leaving for studies to the UK

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Why? She'll be covered for emergencies by either her British EHIC or Swiss EHIC card I assume.
I am assuming that she will have to deregister in Switzerland since the kids will be enrolled in school in the UK so she won't be able to continue with her Swiss health insurance for more than six months ( according to this thread Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad) and will be covered by the NHS.
In this case i would advise getting additional travel insurance ( annual cover is pretty cheap) to cover her and tge kids for any non energency treatment they may need when visiting Switzerland as it soubds as though there will be regukar visits.

Good luckto the OP in this exciting chapter of your life. I would recommend sorting accomodation out ASAP so that you can register the kids for school. As others have said there is a shortage of places in some areas and it might not be very easy to get a place where you want.
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