Relocating to Palm Beach with children in tow can seem like a daunting prospect. The US schooling system is well regarded, with many qualifications recognized internationally by higher education institutes and universities. In Florida, children begin elementary school at the age of five, graduating to middle school by 11 and transferring on to high school at 14. They graduate at 18 years old with a high school diploma and the option of continuing through the college and university systems. These are general estimates however: a child’s progression through the US schooling system is governed by their individual ability, rather than age, with the option to move up or down a class determined by aptitude.
The curriculum is managed at a county level, and Palm Beach has a good reputation for schooling. Alongside a number of state schools, the county also boasts over one hundred private and international institutes catering to the expatriate community. Here, children can undertake bilingual programs and study for international qualifications, including the GCSE curriculum (UK) and the International Baccalaureate.
On the other hand, the Palm Beach County counts with a couple of universities and colleges in which expats and their families can go for further education. At the public level, schools like Palm Beach State College (Known before as Palm Beach Community College) and Florida Atlantic University. At the private level Northwood University and Palm Beach Atlantic University just to mention a few.
The standard of healthcare in the US is one of the highest in the world, with the country playing home to world leaders across multiple fields. Palm Beach County has a number of hospitals well placed throughout the area, providing good access to both day-to-day and emergency medical care. The well regarded and specialist Joe Di Maggio Children’s Hospital is also located in nearby Broward County.
Healthcare services in the US are largely privatized, although the government does provide a limited service for low-income families through the Social Security system. As an expatriate living in Palm Beach, however, you must ensure that you are adequately covered by medical insurance prior to needing treatment. Visa and Green Card holders are not always eligible for the public programs Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP, but there are companies specializing in providing cover for expats. It is worth noting that this service can attract a premium, making it important to thoroughly research this area and factor in the cost of healthcare when budgeting for your move.
The county is well served by transportation links, with Palm Beach International Airport, two county airports, Amtrak and Tri-Rail services. The Tri-Rail runs the length of Interstate 95 and conveniently connects many towns in the county, Broward and to Miami. For county-wide connections, most residents rely on cars, particularly in the barrier island areas where bicycle trails and bus routes are limited. Road links within the county are excellent, and the area is served by the controlled-access expressways, Interstate 95 and Florida’s Turnpike, as well as several major highways.