Preparing the move...
by Markus Sturm - VP Integrated Systems
You keep asking yourself, what you have started with the idea of moving to another country, as there are lots of little bits, but also bigger steps, you have to tackle in the preparations. Moving to the US with your family means searching for a house, applying for visa, preparing new topics, handing over the present agenda, packing your belongings, cancelling or subscribing for certain services … and many more.
But it’s the thrill of anticipation, first little successes and many expectations that help you in these phases and let you forget your efforts.
After the signing of the contract with the TGW Group in December 2014, I went to the US four times, each a week, in order to prepare the move. Getting to know the colleagues, first announcements of changes, collaboration in the planning of the upcoming year and other tasks to do. At the same time, I was able to socialise, find a house and to discover the neighbourhood.
My landlord in the US is moving to Africa with his entire family to dedicate himself to development aid. Well, in this case, we are lucky as he leaves his house with everything that’s in there behind. That means with the exception of mattresses, bedlinen and a couple of little things, we won’t have to buy a lot at first. That helps a lot and saves us time as well.
Americans are known for their focus on service, which means that bureaucratic procedures, even though a lot of paperwork has to be done, are much nicer than in Austria, since the civil servants are generally more helpful. The school registration for my older son was done in a trice. In general, one can say that in the US you are considered as interesting being a foreigner. People do not see you as an alien intruder. Many people ask questions and are happy that you want to move to their hometown.
During my travels, I was able to transfer a lot of personal things such as clothes to the US. Thereby, a TGW colleague travelling with me was troubled at the immigration control. What are you supposed to say when you enter the country with two cartons and a suitcase but will only stay for three days? However, the result was that we got everyone and everything into the country.
The long transition period has been very demanding. On the one hand it was good as we were able to prepare a lot, on the other hand, I have been living in two work spheres for six months now, as the new job is already very time consuming. I am sure that it is a bit special in my case, yet equally manageable.
The last important step was the visa process with the final interview at the American Embassy in Vienna. We were successful, the visa should be sent to us in time!
The last three to four weeks until the departure will pass very quickly. There is one or the other farewell party, a lot of to-do lists to work on and the collection of memories of home we want to take with us to the US.
My children are five and two years old. They know that a major change is coming, but they cannot understand it entirely. Experiences show that children of that age acquire a language very quickly. We already prepare them with English children’s songs and easy books for infants. Since my wife is a language teacher (English and French), she is taking care of this. We are looking forward to it!
America, here we come!