Hi again Jill,
Thank you for your reply.
It's great to hear that your 15 y/o adjusted so well and has had a positive time in Doha with friends and schooling. I am hopeful that it will go well for our family.
Yes, I thought starting with the school seemed the best approach - then housing. We have quite a few school visits booked now so that's a start.
Thank you all so much! I am starting to build a picture now - through the research on expat forums, school's guides & correspondence with individual schools.....and I will get the opportunity to have a first hand look in May. We had the International School of London, Doha College & ASD on our preferred school's list - so that's great to hear that people have positive experiences of these.
Perhaps I am overthinking it all - there is probably no easy way to do this??? Finding the right school & home (geographically, financially & socially) is probably a very big ask & maybe you only get one of these right in the beginning? I am fortunate in that I am not finding school places for the 3 of them & as you say, it may not be so difficult for just one 15 y/o? Did any of you find the company/work (that took you to Doha) helpful in this? Can they assist (given that they presumably want you to stay?)
JillMV & Jen - It was lovely to hear such a positive comments from you - as your children were similar ages to mine (or friends children?) - thank you. Jill, did your 15 y/o take long to settle, cope with the weather changes, new routines, long commutes, new friends & teachers, being away from home country? This will be a first for us (not been an ex pat family before this) so I'd love some insight into what to expect for her? I think this is why I want to get the school 'right!'. A/ I want to find the right one & keep her there 'til completion and B/ I want her to be happy & to thrive! It has to provide so much more than quality education as these kids are experiencing major upheaval - but then maybe it's a given that they (the schools) are all fantastic with this side of things?
Also, as we no longer have little children (which is a great way to connect with other families & make friends as you have to be so present & there are always so many activities & opportunities for informal socialising), did those of you with older families find it difficult to 'build a new life'. We are used to being very social & engaged & I wonder how it will be with just a 15 y/o? We really want to embrace this experience & make the most of it and if everything falls into place (re schools & housing etc) can expect to be there a good few years (my husband has a 5 yr contract). Some people seem to have loved it (Qatar) and others report that the best place is the departure's lounge at Doha airport! I guess it is such an individual experience? Cheers,
Thank you all! I really appreciate your responses & now have a little more info to work with.
I could never leave her, so boarding school isn't an option - (it is killing me that we will be leaving the 19 & 18 y/o uni students behind) but they are at least driving, mostly independent & there is family here - so of course, they will be fine & there will be lots of visits. Our youngest will be just 15 tis Sep, so it is now...or never! There is enough time left for it to be educationally & socially advantageous for her. We either re-locate (if the right schooling can be secured) or her & I stay to see her through the next 3.5 yrs in Melbourne. We are missing 'husband & dad' terribly, so separation isn't a good option either....but we are not prepared to compromise her schooling & risk getting nothing or something inferior in Doha. We have started the application process - all British curriculums meet the Uni requirements here & she would likely be an IB student - so Uni back in Aust is fine....but of the many schools that seemingly meet the brief - it is still so difficult. I am coming over In May to do some tours but applications have already begun as we see that time is an issue. Just feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you can't be sure of the school place, you don't want to make the move. Hence, my call out on this Forum to 'locals' for some insider knowledge. I'm clearly not the first to face this & won't be the last. I knew it would be tricky....but wasn't expecting such obstacles! Life's rich tapestry hey..... Many thanks again :)