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Hi all!

First of all, I would like to thank the moderator and all the members of the forum, since your committment and willingness result in having a lot of interesting and informative comments and posts.

And now, let's pass to the reason why I am disturbing you on a Sunday.

We are Italians (my husband and me and our children - a 5.5-yrs-old boy and a 2-yrs-old girl), living in Northern Italy, and we are now facing a dilemma: considering to move to Cyprus.

My husband has been offered a long-term job as consultant in Northern Cyprus and we are now trying to figure out to accept or not this offer and then move the whole family.

Unfortunately, we will not have any possibility to do some preliminary visit... it is going to be some sort of blind date..

The main issue which is bothering us is where to live.

At the moment, the options we are considering are 4: - to live in Nicosia, - to live in the Turkish side of Nicosia, - in Larnaca or in Kyrenia (which, according to my checks on internet, is the only city close enough to Nicosia on the North coast with some educational facilities).

My husband is not too eager to stay in TRNC, and he would rather live either in Nicosia or in Larnaca and then cross the border to work in TRNC.
However, we are afraid that commuting and then crossing the border every day could take too much time.

Does any of you, veterans of Cyprus, has some experience in commuting from Larnaca to Nicosia and then crossing the border? How long does it take in average?

A second quite important issue is the linked to schooling for our boy.

Next September he is supposed to start elementary schools for the first time and we are a bit scared of how difficult could be for him to bear all these new things (new environment, new school, new languages) at once.

We intend to enroll him in an international school but, contrary to what we experienced in Italy and in most foreign countries where we lived before, there are too many schools to choose from.


Although he speaks some English, we believe it could be too much for him to move to a school where there are only kids, whose mothertongue is either English or Greek. We think a school with kids from more countries could be a more comfortable environment to start this new experience.
Moreover, it seems we can even be late for enrolling him in some schools...

Do you have any suggestions for elementary schools (and possibly also indicate which are good ones) in the four locations we are considering (Nicosia, Northern Nicosia, Larnaca and Kirenya)? Can you provide us with some indications of the costs for enrollment?

And a last thing concerning Nicosia,.

Since as all good and true Venetian I do not have a driving licence, could you also tell me which are the part of Nicosia that combine safety and good facilities?

I hope you will have time to help me...


Ciao,


Caterina
 

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Hi all!

First of all, I would like to thank the moderator and all the members of the forum, since your committment and willingness result in having a lot of interesting and informative comments and posts.

And now, let's pass to the reason why I am disturbing you on a Sunday.

We are Italians (my husband and me and our children - a 5.5-yrs-old boy and a 2-yrs-old girl), living in Northern Italy, and we are now facing a dilemma: considering to move to Cyprus.

My husband has been offered a long-term job as consultant in Northern Cyprus and we are now trying to figure out to accept or not this offer and then move the whole family.

Unfortunately, we will not have any possibility to do some preliminary visit... it is going to be some sort of blind date..

The main issue which is bothering us is where to live.

At the moment, the options we are considering are 4: - to live in Nicosia, - to live in the Turkish side of Nicosia, - in Larnaca or in Kyrenia (which, according to my checks on internet, is the only city close enough to Nicosia on the North coast with some educational facilities).

My husband is not too eager to stay in TRNC, and he would rather live either in Nicosia or in Larnaca and then cross the border to work in TRNC.
However, we are afraid that commuting and then crossing the border every day could take too much time.

Does any of you, veterans of Cyprus, has some experience in commuting from Larnaca to Nicosia and then crossing the border? How long does it take in average?

A second quite important issue is the linked to schooling for our boy.

Next September he is supposed to start elementary schools for the first time and we are a bit scared of how difficult could be for him to bear all these new things (new environment, new school, new languages) at once.

We intend to enroll him in an international school but, contrary to what we experienced in Italy and in most foreign countries where we lived before, there are too many schools to choose from.


Although he speaks some English, we believe it could be too much for him to move to a school where there are only kids, whose mothertongue is either English or Greek. We think a school with kids from more countries could be a more comfortable environment to start this new experience.
Moreover, it seems we can even be late for enrolling him in some schools...

Do you have any suggestions for elementary schools (and possibly also indicate which are good ones) in the four locations we are considering (Nicosia, Northern Nicosia, Larnaca and Kirenya)? Can you provide us with some indications of the costs for enrollment?

And a last thing concerning Nicosia,.

Since as all good and true Venetian I do not have a driving licence, could you also tell me which are the part of Nicosia that combine safety and good facilities?

I hope you will have time to help me...


Ciao,


Caterina
Although there are quite a few people crossing the 'border' each day to work, the majority are crossing into the south to work as the economy and living conditions in the north are not ideal. The 'borders' are open as a goodwill gesture at the moment, but could be closed at a moments notice which could prove a problem if you or members of your family are on the 'wrong' side of it. The border crossing is quite away out of Nicosia centre in Engomi which is quite a traffic ridden route to get to from Larnaca. I personally don't think Larnaca will be doable. I commute from Nicosia to Larnaca which takes approximately 40 minutes, it will be well over an hour with the formalities at the border and possibly more when the traffic is bad.

It seems (as an outsider) that your husband's doubts about living in the TRNC automatically are extended to working there (and depending on his line of work) would also be bad for his CV. In some professions working in the north is considered illegal and is enough to get you blacklisted (e.g. archaeologists). As there are also problems and concerns with your son's education, I would rethink the job offer. It may be of course that your husband's job is government sponsored and related to confidence building and integration (the EU is currently pumping millions of euros into such projects in the north) but equally there are quite a number of more questionable projects there, and I would also check the legitimacy of any company that he might be planning to work with.
 

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Kimonas has given you very good advice Caterina.
Make sure that the job offer is with a reputable company as there are a lot of very questionable companies operating in the North.
As Kimonas says, although the border is presently open there is no guarantee that it will stay that way so if you live South of the border and your husbands job is in the North it could complicate things.
You would be better living in the North but under no circumstances think of buying a property there. If you rent at least you will not risk being in the same position as so many expats who have bought properties they can never truly own because they have been build illegally on land which does not belong to the developers.
The infrastructure is not good in the North compared to t he South and I am told the schooling situation is not good either.
Just make sure that you do your homework very thoroughly before you make a decision which will affect your childrens lives.

Veronica
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Kimonas has given you very good advice Caterina.
Make sure that the job offer is with a reputable company as there are a lot of very questionable companies operating in the North.
As Kimonas says, although the border is presently open there is no guarantee that it will stay that way so if you live South of the border and your husbands job is in the North it could complicate things.
You would be better living in the North but under no circumstances think of buying a property there. If you rent at least you will not risk being in the same position as so many expats who have bought properties they can never truly own because they have been build illegally on land which does not belong to the developers.
The infrastructure is not good in the North compared to t he South and I am told the schooling situation is not good either.
Just make sure that you do your homework very thoroughly before you make a decision which will affect your childrens lives.

Veronica
Dear Veronica and Kimonas,

Thank you very much indeed for your advises.

We definetely do not intend to buy any property in N. Cyprus.

My husband is supposed to work for an EU project and I expect that this will give him a certain backing concerning the working in N. Cyprus and the aspects linked with the legal status of the work.

Moreover, I imagine that if there are problems with N. Cyprus, he will be out of job immediately.

Veronica, your comments about the situation with schooling and housing in N. Cyprus are very interesting. Do you have more precise info?

I saw that there are other forums focus on N. Cyprus, but in my opinion they are not portraing the situation so objectively. This fact is rather frustrating since, as you mentioned, a wrong decision can affect our childrens lives.

Thanks a lot.

Caterina
 

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Your situation sounds very interesting indeed. I have been in cyprus ofr 5 weeks now and am living and working in nicosia (south side). The traffic is bad in the city around the classic rush hour and the streets are deadly any time.. cypriots seem to think red lights at pedestrian crossings are optional and think nothing of parking on the sidewalk all along our route to school, forcing me and my 3 kids (one in a pushchair) to walk in the road.. so as for safe, yes your not going to get beaten up, but beware of the roads.

The Schooling will be hard also. If your husband is workinf for EU/UN they will pat the fees so great! send them to a provate school.. these are about 6000 euros a year (minimum). If your fees are not paid for you it could be difficult. I cannot afford private schooling so my kids go to greek school and so far are enjoying it very much... probably because they get to do easy work ;-) Obviously to give the kids a better advantage later in life German or spanish would be better as greek and turkish are both of very limited merit.

Ok now im going to talk from my observations and will generalise etc etc but this is what i think of the two peoples (having spent a month in turkey and now one in s.cyprus:

Im a christian so living in 98% muslim country would bother me. I know the turkish government is secular etc but still you just have to look at what happened to the churches in anatolia and n.cyprus to see they are not too fond of a competitor religion. BUT.. I really really like the Turkish people, the ones i have met have been fantastic and i came back from turkey with a real desire to live there...

The cypriot/greeks are arrogant, rude, inconciderate and do not like anyone who isnt one of them. They seem to be very petty and small minded! I work in an office of mainy men in their 20s and 30s and they are more *****y than a bunch of teenage girls. Yes I may have been extreemly unlucky to have only met these kind of people but this is what im feeling now... I didnt want to come to this conclusion as i am orthodox and have met loads of great cypriots in the UK at church etc but from what i have seen all the good ones are in the UK.

Taking out religion and history from the picture I have to say the turks are more pleasent.

Good luck with your dificult decison!!

And everyone else.... come and rip me apart for my comments!! I want to be wrong and i know i have unfairly generalised but c'mon is it only me that gets systematically barged out of the way in shops when holding my baby? is it only me who is not allowed to park in my own space because the locals have decided to take it? Prove me wrong everyone please!
 

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I've often written about culture shock in replies, and I think Zeebo is suffereing from it. It takes about two years to adjust to the loud, brash, selfish Cypriot ways - and the blatant ignorance regarding road safety that abounds. My wife, who is Cypriot had a blazing stand-up row with a guy (who sounds as if he works in Zeebo's office) who pulled up onto the pavement in his sports car into our pedestrian path, narrowly missing our baby twins in their buggy and forcing us into the road - he refused to budge and said 'This is Cyprus' (which seems to be the excuse for all the bad behaviours and habits that are exhibited here in abundance). But that isn't the total picture - I think it characterises the spoilt Nicosians many of whom think that a) Cyprus is the centre of the Universe and b) they are the centre of Cyprus. It must be very unpleasant working in an office full of such characters. But there are equally many decent, well adjusted, kind, unspoilt people out there - they will dominate eventually when the culture shock begins to subside and the poor behaviours blend into a normality...
 

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Your situation sounds very interesting indeed. I have been in cyprus ofr 5 weeks now and am living and working in nicosia (south side). The traffic is bad in the city around the classic rush hour and the streets are deadly any time.. cypriots seem to think red lights at pedestrian crossings are optional and think nothing of parking on the sidewalk all along our route to school, forcing me and my 3 kids (one in a pushchair) to walk in the road.. so as for safe, yes your not going to get beaten up, but beware of the roads.

The cypriot/greeks are arrogant, rude, inconciderate and do not like anyone who isnt one of them. They seem to be very petty and small minded! I work in an office of mainy men in their 20s and 30s and they are more *****y than a bunch of teenage girls. Yes I may have been extreemly unlucky to have only met these kind of people but this is what im feeling now... I didnt want to come to this conclusion as i am orthodox and have met loads of great cypriots in the UK at church etc but from what i have seen all the good ones are in the UK.

<snip>
And everyone else.... come and rip me apart for my comments!! I want to be wrong and i know i have unfairly generalised but c'mon is it only me that gets systematically barged out of the way in shops when holding my baby? is it only me who is not allowed to park in my own space because the locals have decided to take it? Prove me wrong everyone please!

Oh dear Zeebo!!!!!! http://www.expatforum.com/expats/images/smilies/animated/eyebrows.gif Under normal circumstances I would have deleted your post as racist but I have decided to leave it as you admit that you have unfairly generalised and that you have met loads of great Cypriots. Besides, Kimonas has given a good response that I want to leave!

But come on, have you never been barged out the way in the UK? Have you never encountered the drunken foul mouthed loats that seem to collect outside pubs in the UK? Have you never seen illegal parking in the UK? Is it only Greeks or Cypriots in your office, no other nationalities? Rude people, inconsiderate behaviour, xenophobic attitudes are not limited to Cypriots, you will find rude, inconsiderate, xenophobic people of other nationalities all over the island. Wherever you go in the world you will meet the good and the bad too, as I am sure you did in the UK.

But what you say and are feeling just demonstrates why we all say get to know Cyprus well before you move here. Emigrating anywhere is a culture shock and people need to factor that in to their considerations before making a permanent move.
 

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Dear Veronica and Kimonas,

Thank you very much indeed for your advises.

We definetely do not intend to buy any property in N. Cyprus.

My husband is supposed to work for an EU project and I expect that this will give him a certain backing concerning the working in N. Cyprus and the aspects linked with the legal status of the work.

Moreover, I imagine that if there are problems with N. Cyprus, he will be out of job immediately.

Veronica, your comments about the situation with schooling and housing in N. Cyprus are very interesting. Do you have more precise info?

<snip>

Caterina
Hi Caterina,
The situation about the crossing points is actually current. The points were opened as a sign of 'goodwill' by the current authorities in Northern Cyprus but opposed by other politicians. The main opposition party has said that they will close the points if they win the forthcoming election in Turkey. The election is due in April, I believe.

Just because your husband might be working for an EU project will not exclude or protect him from the daily difficulties of crossing between Northern Cyprus and the Republic. You do have to understand that, according to the Republic of Cyprus and the EU your husband will be crossing in and out of occupied territory. The buffer zone that he would cross is patrolled by the United Nations because it is only a Ceasefire that is in place, this is not an undisputed international border.

Right at this moment, Turkey wants to join the EU and is pursuing activities that will assist the process, and that includes the discussion about the status of Northern Cyprus. If the politics of Turkey were to change the whole situation in Northern Cyprus could change at any moment.
 

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Ok i find it absolutley mad that you think there is anything racist about what i said! I have expressed my expeirances here that is all.. Ok i have had things happen in the UK but it is consistantly bad here..

I say to you come and live in nicosia and tell me you dont agree.. Kimonas does and can why i hold these opinions. It is probably easy to comdem me from some little britian area like paphos or oroklini, where your surrounded by expats and or local cypriots who see you as the cash cows so must be nice.

Like i said i want to be wrong about them and would love to discover this inner charm and wil persever with them.. My office is 80% greek cypriot, thos educated in the UK are better and actually AGREE with everything i have said and much more!!

The racist thing is a cheap shot. Lets just all be honest!! all i need to do is refer you to the other posts on charging english more than locals etc to find you agreeing also.

And another thing i left out origianal post is corruption! But its ok here because they just call it Muzo (or something) and its all fine..


If you want to sensor this and delete it then please do and i wont bother on here any more
 

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Hi all!

First of all, I would like to thank the moderator and all the members of the forum, since your committment and willingness result in having a lot of interesting and informative comments and posts.

And now, let's pass to the reason why I am disturbing you on a Sunday.

We are Italians (my husband and me and our children - a 5.5-yrs-old boy and a 2-yrs-old girl), living in Northern Italy, and we are now facing a dilemma: considering to move to Cyprus.

My husband has been offered a long-term job as consultant in Northern Cyprus and we are now trying to figure out to accept or not this offer and then move the whole family.

Unfortunately, we will not have any possibility to do some preliminary visit... it is going to be some sort of blind date..

The main issue which is bothering us is where to live.

At the moment, the options we are considering are 4: - to live in Nicosia, - to live in the Turkish side of Nicosia, - in Larnaca or in Kyrenia (which, according to my checks on internet, is the only city close enough to Nicosia on the North coast with some educational facilities).

My husband is not too eager to stay in TRNC, and he would rather live either in Nicosia or in Larnaca and then cross the border to work in TRNC.
However, we are afraid that commuting and then crossing the border every day could take too much time.

Does any of you, veterans of Cyprus, has some experience in commuting from Larnaca to Nicosia and then crossing the border? How long does it take in average?

A second quite important issue is the linked to schooling for our boy.

Next September he is supposed to start elementary schools for the first time and we are a bit scared of how difficult could be for him to bear all these new things (new environment, new school, new languages) at once.

We intend to enroll him in an international school but, contrary to what we experienced in Italy and in most foreign countries where we lived before, there are too many schools to choose from.


Although he speaks some English, we believe it could be too much for him to move to a school where there are only kids, whose mothertongue is either English or Greek. We think a school with kids from more countries could be a more comfortable environment to start this new experience.
Moreover, it seems we can even be late for enrolling him in some schools...

Do you have any suggestions for elementary schools (and possibly also indicate which are good ones) in the four locations we are considering (Nicosia, Northern Nicosia, Larnaca and Kirenya)? Can you provide us with some indications of the costs for enrollment?

And a last thing concerning Nicosia,.

Since as all good and true Venetian I do not have a driving licence, could you also tell me which are the part of Nicosia that combine safety and good facilities?

I hope you will have time to help me...


Ciao,


Caterina
Hi Caterina,

I live right by the check point so I pass by it at least 5 times a day. There are people crossing in both directions all hours of day and night. If you live in Ayios Dhometios, Engomi - Makedonitissa or Ayios Andreas you'll be very close to the check point. I think it will take your husband about 5 min. to cross. If you don't intend to get a drivers license it will pretty hard but I would then advise you to move to Makedonitissa where you'll be able to walk to some shops as well as couple of English Nurseries. As for multi cultural schools, almost all of the English schools are. They don't expect kids to speak English before starting. Also most of them offer a bus service. I am sure Kimonas can give you a professional view of the schools. There are a lot of international families living in these areas due to the embassies and the UN. The Italian Embassy is in Engomi just of Ayios Dhometios.

As for Larnaca it takes us a good hour to get to the check point (less than a minute from our house). Kyrenia, I think, would take about 20 minutes. But I don't know what schooling you would have there. I know for a fact there are no English nurseries on the north side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks!

Hi again!

Thanks a lot for your latest posts, which have been giving me additional information to decide.

We are aware of the impact of cultural differences and we know that sometimes are hard to be beared.

We will take our decision in few days, then, with a little bit of luck, I will ask your support/insights for very specific issues.

Thanks a lot to all of you.

Caterina
 

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Hi again!

Thanks a lot for your latest posts, which have been giving me additional information to decide.

We are aware of the impact of cultural differences and we know that sometimes are hard to be beared.

We will take our decision in few days, then, with a little bit of luck, I will ask your support/insights for very specific issues.

Thanks a lot to all of you.

Caterina

By the way, after you cross the first time you keep your little paper slip with the info and this is valid for three months. So every time you cross you are already in their computers so it makes it much easier.
 

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Hi Caterina,

I live right by the check point so I pass by it at least 5 times a day. There are people crossing in both directions all hours of day and night. If you live in Ayios Dhometios, Engomi - Makedonitissa or Ayios Andreas you'll be very close to the check point. I think it will take your husband about 5 min. to cross. If you don't intend to get a drivers license it will pretty hard but I would then advise you to move to Makedonitissa where you'll be able to walk to some shops as well as couple of English Nurseries. As for multi cultural schools, almost all of the English schools are. They don't expect kids to speak English before starting. Also most of them offer a bus service. I am sure Kimonas can give you a professional view of the schools. There are a lot of international families living in these areas due to the embassies and the UN. The Italian Embassy is in Engomi just of Ayios Dhometios.

As for Larnaca it takes us a good hour to get to the check point (less than a minute from our house). Kyrenia, I think, would take about 20 minutes. But I don't know what schooling you would have there. I know for a fact there are no English nurseries on the north side.
Dear Catrina

In the Kyrenia area there are 3 English speaking schools following the UK Curriculum. These schools are The English School of Kyrenia, Sunny Lane and Girne American. These schools all start from nursery up and there are others private english nurseries. You obviously have concerns but please be aware that you are receiving biased views. Why not have your husband speak with some of his new EU Colleagues before making a decision, personally I know 2 people working for the EU in Nicosia and living in Kyrenia who are perfectly happy.
 
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