You've got orders!
Get on your passports. Passports can take up to 8 weeks. You have to have them in order to go. If you wait until the last minute (3 moths or less) you
maybe going after your spouse.
Check and see if your country needs a Visa. Italy does. Visa's take another 4 weeks after the return of your passport.
Call your local ACS and ask them for all the information for the country you are moving to. Ours put together this huge packet of 200 plus pages of information.
Begin reading that packet and have a highlighter handy. Not everything in the packet will be useful to you but highlighting what is makes it easier on going back
to what is.
You may think getting order 6-9 months out for an overseas move is plenty of time. I am here to tell you, since we just did it. It is NOT! There is so much to do.
Much of it is waiting... calling... waiting... calling... waiting some more... researching... stressing... waiting... freaking out... and so on.
Start saving every extra cent now. There isn't much else to it, but youre going to need it. Trust me! We saved alot to play with. We bought a car, food, stuff around town
etc. Trust me you're going to need every extra cent when you get here. I am not joking. You'll see why in the other topics!
This is something you have to do in order to be command sponsored. EFMP usually does not do the screening until 6 months before the move. It is basically to see
if any of your family members have health/mental/learning issues that may not be able to be addressed at your new duty station. We had this problem. We were
supposed to go to Livorno, Italy. However they could not accomodate my sons speech. We did alot of calling and fighting to get to Vicenza. Not because I wanted
to be here per se, but because I had done so much work for the 4 months before the denial, that was not going to be 4 months of wasted time, energy and unnecessarry
WHAT IF YOU ARE DENIED?
It's not the end of going over seas. You can ask for a second review. If it is denied once, it probably will be denied twice. You wouldn't want to go somewhere that
wouldn't suit your needs anyway, would you?
So now what?
That maybe able to move you to another location in that country that can suit your needs. They may move you to another country.
Your spouse can do an unaccompanied tour for 1 year instead of taking the family. Which, if you are anything like me, that is a big HELL NO... we do deployments
you are not taking him away again! Or instead of going overseas, branch and put you stateside. It takes work. It doesn't happen over night.
Since my husband was at school, when we got denied, I dealt with branch all on my own. I did everything, so I am very familiar with it. I called branch, emailed
people, did research, even called the pentegon. Not because I wanted to stir up trouble, but because I wanted help that no one was offering.
I was doing it for my child. How a school could not offer speech services blew my mind! I went to the head of DODs Europe and discussed the speech requirements for
schools. Asked if DOD schools were like state side public schools, if they had the same rules and regs. Because in the states public schools have to offer speech
for children under the IDEA program.
This was all something I researched. So if you are going to fight, my best advice would be to have your ass end covered. Know what you are talking about. It probably
is a bit of a help that I am an early childhood major in school.
Even now, although we are not in Livorno, I will continue to fight for services for other children at DOD schools. I do not think a family should be denied family
travel based on something a school should provide. A child should not have any less of an education because the military is... well the military.
Most overseas locations are not buildt up like the states. They do lack many of the things we are used to in the states. Kids used to be denied on Asthma, not the
case all the time now.
Don't stress about being denied. If it happens there are other routes. And if I can help you in any way, shoot me and email email@example.com
Are you planning on bringing a pet with you? We brought our cat. We know many others who brought pets as well. It's not the easiest process but not the most difficult
As long as your pets are in good health, up to date on shots and not of a dangerous breed for that country you'll be fine!
You'll have to get a health certificate from a USDA certified vet, it is only good for 10 days, that is to allow your pet to fly into the country.
Your pet has to have a micro chip and have a rabies shot more then 30 days ago.
Check to see if your country has quartine laws. Italy does not. Quarantining a pet can become very costly. The UK is the most strickt on bringing pets in from what
I read when I was researching.
Flying a pet can get expensive. We paid $200 to fly our cat in cargo. Anything over 15 pounds with pet and carrier must go under the plane for most airlines.
Also, there are embargos as to when pets can fly through where. We were originally supposed to go through amsterdamn, however KLM was not flying pets through there prior
to March 31st.
And if it is too hot your pet will not be able to fly either.
Make sure if you fly your pet, you have food in your luggage, a leash, bottle of water, cat litter if you have a cat, or anything special for your pet, on you.
Your pet will be starving and have to use the bathroom when you arrive. It's a long time from the time you leave your pet, until you get it back. Ours was 14 hours.
Total to bring a 14 pound cat run us about well over $500 if not close to $1000. That was between the vet visits, airline ticket, proper kennel to fly in, gas running
around to get everything set.
Make reservations at your new installiations hotel as soon as you can. In italy you can make it 180 days out. If you do not have reservations you will not have a room
that is almost a gaurantee.
Also, make sure its pet friendly if you are bringing a pet (see pets). Pet friendly rooms cost more, and TLA DOES NOT cover your pets. It's at your own expense.
If there are no pet friendly rooms you may have to board your pet, which can be costly. Or you may have to find a room on the economy that accepts pets.
When you move overseas, you do not have to pay for your hotel costs. You fill our a TLA form for every 10 days, with housing and they cover all costs of the hotel (ON POST)
I do not have any information at this time about how you pay for off post lodging, but if you need some information, let me know.
Please note when moving overseas, your minimum stay at lodgining will likely be 2 weeks. I met alot of people when we got here. A family of 4, in the hotel for 4 months
a married couple no children, in the hotel for 2 weeks, a married couple with 1 child, in the hotel for 2 weeks, a married couple no kids, in the hotel 3 weeks, us, in the
hotel almost an entire month.
Finding a new home for your family, will be THE MOST stressful thing you do when you get here. Depending on your location in Europe, you may or maynot have the option of on
You can't do much from the states in the way of a house, like you can doing a pcs within country.
You can look on AHRN, to get a feel for what you are up against.
Houses are expensive here. If you have a large family, you'll probably pay out of pocket for some of your rent. We are currently paying almost $1800 for a 2500 square foot
house. We got lucky! This is cheap. We also live a bit furthur away from post then many.
Utlities are also very very expensive here. You have to be a light nazi. Hang clothes to dry, run only full loads of dishes and wash.
We also chose a house that has well water so we had less of a water bill, garbage pick up was included with rent. I can't wait to see our electric bill! UGH!
When you get a house, you have to pay out of pocket the security and first months rent. You get some back at a later date from the army. You need at least a few thousand
just to move in a house.
Houses in Europe are tyically much smaller then the states. Our house is almost double the size of what we came from. They do not have closets. The lay outs are odd.
No carpeting what-so-ever. Bring slippers. Get a shark steam mop. Seriously, worth every penny! Kitchens are smaller then what we american's are used to.
Brining your plug in stuff... We didn't. No microwave, no coffee pot, toaster etc. I am glad we didn't. First off, we wouldn't have had the space for ours. Then there
would also be ugly transformer things all over. We got european items and I am happy with that choice.
We brought any of our items that are dual voltage 110/220, computer, tv, dvd player.
If you have any area carpeting, bring it. Or buy some 6X9's or 3X5's and bring them!!! Carpets are expensive here. I got mine at IKEA and the italian market cheap.
But the PX is very expensive and lacks selection.
Also, don't plan on coming here with your nails to hang pictures on the wall get your hammer out and go for it. Won't work. There are special hooks you have to but because
all the walls are conceret. It takes a bit of work to get stuff on the wall, but not impossible.
Buying stuff here
WORD OF THE WISE: WHEN YOU SEE SOMETHING AT THE PX YOU WANT. BUY IT THEN AND THERE. If you go back tomorrow, it'll be gone! Everything flies off the shelves like
hotcakes here! I am not joking! My friends and I call each other if we see something the other one is looking for and buy it for each other, we know what happens
and we aren't playing around here.
The euro & dollar. Don't compare euro to dollar. The exchange thing sucks. Stop saying oh, 5 euro that is 7.75 american. Forget about the dollar when you are in town. Its the
euro. You have to get used to it. You'll learn very quickly what is cheaper and what is not.
Make sure you do shop! Get things to send home to family. Things you never in your life thought you'd see.
You may end up buying a car here. We'll discuss cars in a bit.