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Hello Lynn and welcome to the forum,

I'll try to answer as many of your questions as possible - but first a general warning that Cyprus is tough for families with young children. I would strongly suggest that you keep your house in England and rent if at all financially viable - if your mortgage is low/non existant, the rent recieved on your property in the UK would probably cover long term rent here as long as you don't set your sights too high - i.e. apartment or small town house rather than a rampant villa with pool etc. Buying a house is all well and good if you are settled have a good job and can see a long term future here, but i have seen many families who have lost both their properties in the UK and Cyprus when they realsie that they can't survive here and have to take a loss on the resale and end up lodging with parents back in the UK (back to sqaure 1!)

Can't help with location (I live in Nicosia) but Protaras and Paralimni is oriented to tourism and is largely dead in winter (and very few jobs) and active in the summer - although the recession has hit... Location and jobs need to be considered. there are probably more job opportunities in Limassol and Paphos or Larnaca and Nicosia than in Paralimni/Protaras.

Jobs are very few and far between and what little there are do not pay particularly well. I calculated the average wage from the first 50 jobs advertised on EuRES and it was 1100Euros a month, with maids and childcarers earning as little as 250Euros a month (but with accomodation and food thrown in) and skilled workers approaching 2000Euros a month (but I know very few people who earn anywhere near that and such salaries demand postgraduate qualifications normally) - most jobs were arounf the 850-900Euro mark. Bear in mind taht employers also will normally go for a bilingual applicant, so knowledge of Greek can be a benefit - having said that i have heard many people complain that experience and qualifications don't seem to count for much, and nepotism reigns supremem here and it is often the case that its who you know rather than what you know that counts for most in landing a job.

There are major obstacles when it comes to education. Schools are inspected, but there is no rating system - state school can be tough for older expat kids and there is a media story at the moment about racism and truancy and behavioural problems for expat kids in state schools. the government are trying to do something about it by introducing more Greek lessons - the qualifications obtained (school leaving certificate) is increasingly being rejected by external admissions bodies as there is currently no Quality Assurance Agency in Cyprus and the avlue of awards cannot be guaranteed. private schools are a mixed bag, but do undertake recognised extyernal qualifications - the cost is anything from 5000-7000Euros a year which for some is the best part of a salary.

I'm sure others will help out with other questions...

Good Luck. I hope I've not painted to dim a picture - with careful planning and lots of homework, it is possible to make a go of Cyprus and be very successful in tranforming your life - but you do need to do lots of careful preparations - for all the families that have headed back to the UK, there are those that are perfectly happy and are thriving - but it does take a lot of research and effort to get it right.
 
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