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Discussion Starter #1
Any thoughts on moving to Valencia. Is it a nice place to live? My children would need to go to an international school. I have heard of Caxton College and Los Olivos. Any thoughts? Do either of those have a good reputation? Where would be a good location to live? Near to be no more than 30 minutes form airport but close enough to a good international school?Any thoughts or ideas very much welcome!

Thanks
Yolly
 

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Why would they "need" to go to an International College?

Why Valencia?

IMO, international schools are much better Steve!!!! and as you know I've done some extensive research!! If you have the money - then IMO, its the way to go!!!!

And why Valencia ???LOL

Jo xxx
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Why would they "need" to go to an International College?

Why Valencia?
Hi Steve.
We live in uk and would like to live in a warmer climate for a few years. Our kids are all under 8yrs. We aim to be in uk for their secondary education, but have a window of opportunity about 5 years when we could go and live in a warmer climate and experience a different way of life. My husband would still have to do alot of work in the uk so we don't want to be too far from uk, so being near an airport is essential. Spain and Portugal both appeal to us. Because we intend on returning to uk for our childrens' secondary education, it is importnat that they remain in the british education system and therefore attend an international/british school. If we were staying abroad for ever, I would definitely put them in local schools. So, that's why "international schooling". Secondly, why Valencia? Well, the main ariports and towns are Barcelona, Madrid or Valencia, I guess. Madrid is inland, so Barcelona or Valencia would appeal more.

Either that or the Algarve in Portugal might be a possibility.
Any thoughts / comments / advice?

regards
Yolly
 

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Hi Steve.
We live in uk and would like to live in a warmer climate for a few years. Our kids are all under 8yrs. We aim to be in uk for their secondary education, but have a window of opportunity about 5 years when we could go and live in a warmer climate and experience a different way of life. My husband would still have to do alot of work in the uk so we don't want to be too far from uk, so being near an airport is essential. Spain and Portugal both appeal to us. Because we intend on returning to uk for our childrens' secondary education, it is importnat that they remain in the british education system and therefore attend an international/british school. If we were staying abroad for ever, I would definitely put them in local schools. So, that's why "international schooling". Secondly, why Valencia? Well, the main ariports and towns are Barcelona, Madrid or Valencia, I guess. Madrid is inland, so Barcelona or Valencia would appeal more.

Either that or the Algarve in Portugal might be a possibility.
Any thoughts / comments / advice?

regards
Yolly

Málaga has a good airport - in fact it'll be amazing when its finished!! But its nice that you have managed to narrow your choices down a bit, so many folk havent a clue where they want to be and Spain is an enormous country.

I dont know about the international schools in Valencia I'm afraid. What you need to do is come over and have a good look around!!

Jo xxx
 

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Valencia is no way third as an airport!! It´s the third city in terms of population but only 10th in terms of flights and generally not great for UK flights. Probably not even top 10 for UK flights.

Better bets in your circumstances? Málaga, Alicante.

I like all three areas and with you not knowing any of the areas well I´d say to get yourself over here, "interview" the schools and see what "fits".

Os deseo mucha suerte ...and YES ...learn Spanish.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Happy to help out. I know about all the international schools here and my wife works in one of them, the best of course.
PM me any questions relating to your move exactly.

Regards From Valencia
Graham
Dear Graham,

As I mentioned previously, we are just looking to escape the uk for up to 5 years, whilst our children are still young. Our eldest is 8yrs old and we plan to move back to the uk when the children get to secondary level.

In the meantime, it would be lovely to experience a different life style in a warmer climate and really get the most out of life. My husband would have to continue working in the uk as he runs a family business but he is considering the possibility of joining us for weeks at a time and spending quality time with us as a family.

That is why we need to pick a destination near to a main airport so he can return to Bournemouth airport in the south of uk. I know Bournemouth does flights to Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante. I have never been to Valencia but from what I have researched it looks like a very appealing place to live. Is it a nice place to bring up children? We wouldn't really want to be inland. Love the coast.

As well as choosing a destination near to one of those airports, we would need to be near a good international primary school. My children go to a prep school in uk, so we are happy for them to go to a fee-paying school. Bearing in mind we would plan to return to uk, it is important that they follow the national curriculum and do not fall behind too much.

Where does your wife teach? Could you recommend some good schools and good areas to live in and around Valencia or do you think we should be considering a different destination? Malaga? It would have to be a place you could fly to from Bournemouth.

Thanks for listening. I appreciate any light you can shed on the topic!

Kind regards

Yolly
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Málaga has a good airport - in fact it'll be amazing when its finished!! But its nice that you have managed to narrow your choices down a bit, so many folk havent a clue where they want to be and Spain is an enormous country.

I dont know about the international schools in Valencia I'm afraid. What you need to do is come over and have a good look around!!

Jo xxx
Hi Jo,

Don't think I have narrowed it down actually!! Basically I have to choose a destination which has flights from Bournemouth airport in the uk. That means the choice is Malaga, Alicante, Barcelona, Valencia or Mallorca??? I thnk they all have international schools, but not sure which offers the best quality of life and which is the best place to bring up a young family? Any thoughts?

Yolly
 

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I think it is all VERY subjective. I have spent time in all those areas and ALL of them would be happy homes for me - except for Mallorca in winter!

What I would NOT do is base my decision on Ryanair´s route map although to be fair they show Bournemouth-Valencia and the official Bournemouth Airport site does not!!!

Bournemouth Airport : Valencia

Think what else you want - if you want quality football Valencia is the only place outside to be! Espanyol fans might disagree!
 

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Hi Jo,

Don't think I have narrowed it down actually!! Basically I have to choose a destination which has flights from Bournemouth airport in the uk. That means the choice is Malaga, Alicante, Barcelona, Valencia or Mallorca??? I thnk they all have international schools, but not sure which offers the best quality of life and which is the best place to bring up a young family? Any thoughts?

Yolly
Well my thoughts are going to be based on what I've done. My husband works in Southampton - logic would tell you that he would want to be near an airport this end that flies into Southampton airport. After extensive research however, the best, most frequent and cheapest routes that we could find were Gatwick to Málaga! Hense we live near to Málaga airport. The trip in the UK to Gatwick is about 45 mins
and this end we're about 20 minutes. There are a wide variety of flights that go several times a day and at the moment flights are about 30€ return.

So then we looked at schools - well how do you choose?? Because we'd established that Málaga was our chosen area we loooked at the schools in the area. They all looked ok I guess, but what I look for isnt the school that tells me how good they are, or how great their academic results maybe. What I look at are the children. How they seem when they go in and come out of school - are they happy, are they polite, what are their parents like??? I found a school that I thought was perfect - and IMO it is!

One thing you must remember is that most international schools teach towards the IGCSE (international) qualification, which, yes is english and excellent, but isnt necessarily compatible with the GCSE, so you may need to work out when you leave to go back to the UK, to avoid starting the course work (this would be at 14yo). That said, I'm sure that it wouldnt be a major problem??!!!

So that was the "jigsaw" nearly complete. It was then a matter of finding a town/village/property near to the school and the airport - which after three attempts we finally have! The first two properties were ok, but not perfect!

Anyway, here we are and so far, so good. We're just coming up to our 2nd year aniversary of being here and the time has flown and no regrets

Jo xxx
 

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Well the best international school in Valencia is Cambridge House where my wife works and all three of my kids go. If you want more information send me a message and I will give my wife's email address. She knows the ins and outs of the school and teaches in Primary so will know more about availability etc...
The Bournemouth Valencia route is new this year and looks decent value as Ryanair want to get it off the ground. However Gatwick isn't too bad and flights to Valencia from Bristol also happen when Ryanair isn't having an argument with the airport authority.
The IGCSE is totally compatible with GCSE. Most expat kids here in Valencoa are actually ahead of kids in the UK because the school year intake goes Jan-Dec rather than Sept-Aug. My daughter did her Maths IGCSE at 15 years old and the AS level at 16. She has 11 IGCSE's and is dong 5 A levels after passing 8 AS levels. Her riends are doing 7 or 8 A levels as it is bnecessary to get into Spanish University (Long story don't ask) If your children's education is the priority and it should be then you cannot beat the education in the international schools around Valencia
BUT!!! I cannot say that in other areas. results here are superb but driven by the fact that over 90% of the kids are Spanish. In the more Expat friendly areas schools tend to have the same problems as schools in the UK. I could give examples but won't on a forum. However in areas with high expat populations where over 50% of the school children are from the UK as you can imagine you have the same issues as in the UK.
As for the schools you mentioned. Los Olivos is great too.
 

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The IGCSE is totally compatible with GCSE. Most expat kids here in Valencoa are actually ahead of kids in the UK because the school year intake goes Jan-Dec rather than Sept-Aug. My daughter did her Maths IGCSE at 15 years old and the AS level at 16. She has 11 IGCSE's and is dong 5 A levels after passing 8 AS levels. Her riends are doing 7 or 8 A levels as it is bnecessary to get into Spanish University (Long story don't ask) If your children's education is the priority and it should be then you cannot beat the education in the international schools around Valencia
.
I dont know what IGCSE your school uses but ours is with the Cambridge board and isnt at all compatable with GCSEs. That said, the IGCSE is apparently a better qualification and is highly thought of, so obviously thats the one to go for.

We were going to go back to the UK last summer and also have looked at going back this summer. We were told by several schools (private and state) in the UK and his international school here that to sit the IGCSE exams in the UK we would have to pay extra and for my son to sit the GCSE would mean that he would possibly not do so well due to the lack of course work!!

Actually we did find one school (an international school in Portsmouth) that did follow the IGCSE curriculum, but it was quite costly.

So we will stay here now until my son has taken his exams! YAY!!

Jo xxx
 

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Hi Jo,

Don't think I have narrowed it down actually!! Basically I have to choose a destination which has flights from Bournemouth airport in the uk. That means the choice is Malaga, Alicante, Barcelona, Valencia or Mallorca??? I thnk they all have international schools, but not sure which offers the best quality of life and which is the best place to bring up a young family? Any thoughts?

Yolly
I live in the Valencia province. Ive travelled a bit in Spain and out of the areas you mentioned I think I'd prefer Valencia or Barcelona. Having said that Malaga would probably be a warmer all year climate. Only my personal opinion though. I dont like Alicante itself. We've been there quite a few times for one reason or another and its done nothing for me so far.

I love going to Valencia, I think it's a great city and I also liked Barcelona ... although its such a large place. Both have good transport systems though

If you dont mind moving out a little there are a string of towns all the way South of Valencia right down to Gandia which are connected by train and good road system. Valencia of course is now extended and if you look on the internet, the demise of Ryanair there wasnt the end of them :D
 

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Well the best international school in Valencia is Cambridge House where my wife works and all three of my kids go. If you want more information send me a message and I will give my wife's email address. She knows the ins and outs of the school and teaches in Primary so will know more about availability etc...
The Bournemouth Valencia route is new this year and looks decent value as Ryanair want to get it off the ground. However Gatwick isn't too bad and flights to Valencia from Bristol also happen when Ryanair isn't having an argument with the airport authority.
The IGCSE is totally compatible with GCSE. Most expat kids here in Valencoa are actually ahead of kids in the UK because the school year intake goes Jan-Dec rather than Sept-Aug. My daughter did her Maths IGCSE at 15 years old and the AS level at 16. She has 11 IGCSE's and is dong 5 A levels after passing 8 AS levels. Her riends are doing 7 or 8 A levels as it is bnecessary to get into Spanish University (Long story don't ask) If your children's education is the priority and it should be then you cannot beat the education in the international schools around Valencia
BUT!!! I cannot say that in other areas. results here are superb but driven by the fact that over 90% of the kids are Spanish. In the more Expat friendly areas schools tend to have the same problems as schools in the UK. I could give examples but won't on a forum. However in areas with high expat populations where over 50% of the school children are from the UK as you can imagine you have the same issues as in the UK.
As for the schools you mentioned. Los Olivos is great too.
Steve Hall has often commented on the poor results in Spanish state schools with a high intake of expat children, so you won't have to!!!!;)

When you say that 90% of the kids are Spanish - are you referring to the International School where your wife works, or generally in that area the school results are great???

Tallulah.x:)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well my thoughts are going to be based on what I've done. My husband works in Southampton - logic would tell you that he would want to be near an airport this end that flies into Southampton airport. After extensive research however, the best, most frequent and cheapest routes that we could find were Gatwick to Málaga! Hense we live near to Málaga airport. The trip in the UK to Gatwick is about 45 mins
and this end we're about 20 minutes. There are a wide variety of flights that go several times a day and at the moment flights are about 30€ return.

So then we looked at schools - well how do you choose?? Because we'd established that Málaga was our chosen area we loooked at the schools in the area. They all looked ok I guess, but what I look for isnt the school that tells me how good they are, or how great their academic results maybe. What I look at are the children. How they seem when they go in and come out of school - are they happy, are they polite, what are their parents like??? I found a school that I thought was perfect - and IMO it is!

One thing you must remember is that most international schools teach towards the IGCSE (international) qualification, which, yes is english and excellent, but isnt necessarily compatible with the GCSE, so you may need to work out when you leave to go back to the UK, to avoid starting the course work (this would be at 14yo). That said, I'm sure that it wouldnt be a major problem??!!!

So that was the "jigsaw" nearly complete. It was then a matter of finding a town/village/property near to the school and the airport - which after three attempts we finally have! The first two properties were ok, but not perfect!

Anyway, here we are and so far, so good. We're just coming up to our 2nd year aniversary of being here and the time has flown and no regrets

Jo xxx
Hi Jo,

Fascinating to see you have done what I would love to do! Basically I am just so fed up with the climate in the uk and the fact that it makes us so indoor based all the time. I just want some warmth and want to experience a much more outdoor life style! However my husband has to cintinue his family business in the uk, so our only option is to move abroad for a few years but he travels backwards and forwards and continues to work on a flexible basis.

What is your life style like? Does the warmer weather make a big difference? What's it like in winter? Is the area bombarded with brits on holiday in the summer months or not?

Where are the good areas to buy a property?

Yes, looking at Bth airport it seems that Malaga has scheduled flights going frequently, whereas Valencia does not, so it may be a safer option. It would be terribel to move then find flights out of Bth were a problem.

Forgive my ignorance, but what is IMO? Have not come across that school on the internet? .

How did your children settle into school. There seem to be alot of international schools in Malaga area. Whcih ones have a good reputation? I totally agree that seeing happy, polite children is a key factor! Bit concerned about this non-comaptability of GCSE / IGSCEs though.

How do you find it works with your husband working in southampton. Does he get to come and spend time with you regularly? I just feel that although we would be apart as a couple some of the time, the time we would spend together would be much more quality time if we were in a nicer warmer place.

Thank you so much for your input. It helps so much to hear others' experiences.

Yolly
 

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Hi Jo,

Fascinating to see you have done what I would love to do! Basically I am just so fed up with the climate in the uk and the fact that it makes us so indoor based all the time. I just want some warmth and want to experience a much more outdoor life style! However my husband has to cintinue his family business in the uk, so our only option is to move abroad for a few years but he travels backwards and forwards and continues to work on a flexible basis.

What is your life style like? Does the warmer weather make a big difference? What's it like in winter? Is the area bombarded with brits on holiday in the summer months or not?

Where are the good areas to buy a property?

Yes, looking at Bth airport it seems that Malaga has scheduled flights going frequently, whereas Valencia does not, so it may be a safer option. It would be terribel to move then find flights out of Bth were a problem.

Forgive my ignorance, but what is IMO? Have not come across that school on the internet? .

How did your children settle into school. There seem to be alot of international schools in Malaga area. Whcih ones have a good reputation? I totally agree that seeing happy, polite children is a key factor! Bit concerned about this non-comaptability of GCSE / IGSCEs though.

How do you find it works with your husband working in southampton. Does he get to come and spend time with you regularly? I just feel that although we would be apart as a couple some of the time, the time we would spend together would be much more quality time if we were in a nicer warmer place.

Thank you so much for your input. It helps so much to hear others' experiences.

Yolly
Hi Yolly,

We made the move to Mijas, 20 minutes along the coast from Malaga airport, last September with our three children. Like Jo, we have sent them to an international school in the area, and I have to say, it has gone incredibly well. My OH commutes back to Gatwick, and I would say you might want to consider that route as well as the Bournemouth route. The airlines regularly change their schedules and timetables and as Gatwick is a large airport it has a much larger choice of flights than a local airport.

This is our first winter here and the improvement in our quality of life is immense. The kids are settled in school, have made friends of all nationalities, and spend the vast majority of their time outdoors. When my husband is here, we enjoy relaxed quality time as a family doing all the simple things like going for walks in the campo or on the beach and having family meals out. I have cut out all the millions of children's 'activities' we used to do in the UK, and the children are better off without them (trust me on that one!).

There are several international schools in the area to choose from. We visited them all and formed an opinion on which we felt was right for our three children. We have not regretted the decision we made one bit, but the school we chose is a different one from Jo, although not a million miles away. I don't doubt that the one she chose felt right for her children, and so even if you have lots of opinions from other parents, it boils down to making your own decision once you have visited them.

Good luck with your plans. I know that it will be an exciting and rewarding experience living here in Spain if you can realise it.
 

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Forgive my ignorance, but what is IMO? Have not come across that school on the internet? .



Yolly


IMO = In My Opinion. You will see this quite alot in emails. ie. LOL = Laugh Out Loud etc. IMHO = In My Honest/Humble Opinoin
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hi Yolly,

We made the move to Mijas, 20 minutes along the coast from Malaga airport, last September with our three children. Like Jo, we have sent them to an international school in the area, and I have to say, it has gone incredibly well. My OH commutes back to Gatwick, and I would say you might want to consider that route as well as the Bournemouth route. The airlines regularly change their schedules and timetables and as Gatwick is a large airport it has a much larger choice of flights than a local airport.

This is our first winter here and the improvement in our quality of life is immense. The kids are settled in school, have made friends of all nationalities, and spend the vast majority of their time outdoors. When my husband is here, we enjoy relaxed quality time as a family doing all the simple things like going for walks in the campo or on the beach and having family meals out. I have cut out all the millions of children's 'activities' we used to do in the UK, and the children are better off without them (trust me on that one!).

There are several international schools in the area to choose from. We visited them all and formed an opinion on which we felt was right for our three children. We have not regretted the decision we made one bit, but the school we chose is a different one from Jo, although not a million miles away. I don't doubt that the one she chose felt right for her children, and so even if you have lots of opinions from other parents, it boils down to making your own decision once you have visited them.

Good luck with your plans. I know that it will be an exciting and rewarding experience living here in Spain if you can realise it.

Lovely to hear your experiences. How often does your husband commute back and forth? Is it tough when you are on your own out there? Do you speak spanish fluently? Do you mind me asking which school you chose? Are there a number of international ones following the uk curriculum in Malaga? There does seem to be some debate regarding whether IGCSE s are compatile witj GCSE s doesn't there?
Yolly
 

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How totally embarassing! I am sorry everyone. Forgive my ignorance!!!! Not knowing what OMI meant!
Yolly
 
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