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Antipodista

Raising kids

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    This may have been asked a billion times on here (in which case apologies!) but where, in people’s experience, is the better place to raise children - Aus or UK? Is Aus far better? All the stats seem to point that way and if the news is to believed UK education etc is going to the dogs - does anyone have any thoughts and experiences? I have two young ones (one about to start school) and am keen to get thoughts based on direct experience. TIA! 

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    You can't answer a question like that. There is a huge range in the quality of life just within the UK. It's like asking which country has the highest IQ. It doesn't imply someone from that country is smarter than the other.

    You get more sunshine in Oz, that's true.

    But does that compensate for the loss of family?

    If you live in a rubbish place in the UK, then move to somewhere better in the UK.

    If you want to go to Australia, then go to Australia.

    But there's nothing better about it. Just different.

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    3 hours ago, Antipodista said:

    This may have been asked a billion times on here (in which case apologies!) but where, in people’s experience, is the better place to raise children - Aus or UK? Is Aus far better? All the stats seem to point that way and if the news is to believed UK education etc is going to the dogs - does anyone have any thoughts and experiences? I have two young ones (one about to start school) and am keen to get thoughts based on direct experience. TIA! 

    No Australia isn't far better re education.  Surely it varies from school to school in the UK just as it does here.  

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    I don’t think it’s fair to say education in th UK is going to the dogs.  It might be fair to say education has become too focused on tests and there is too much pressure on kids in the UK but even this would vary depending on the school.  There are excellent schools in both countries and there are poor schools in both countries.  The trick is identifying which ones are which and getting yourself in the zone for a good one.

     

    The best place to raise kids is the place you feel happy and safe and can earn enough to have a comfortable life.  Which could be either country.

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    Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.

    Dale Carnegie – 1888-1955, Author and Lecturer

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    Tend to agree with NicF on this. UK has become far too test based and pressure on teachers and kids. Parents get very hung up on Ofsted rankings now too. And this begins at kindy/nursery/pre school level and kids are assessed there also.

    I prefer the Aus system so far for us. I find it more relaxed in the early years, kids start a bit later. Testing goes on but it doesn’t seem to have taken a hold as much. That could change. 

    I like there is more access for people to the private system in Australia, at least where we live. It’s more affordable here than the UK. Yes you get some high priced private schools but you also get some very affordable ones. We can afford private here, we’d not have been able to in England, pretty much anywhere. However, at primary level here I feel the state primary system, helped by being in a good local school is great and no need to spend the money on private yet. May not do at all but we have the option for high school if we feel it’s better suited. We are keeping an open mind. 

    I also like there isn’t quite the hang up on unis here. Kids tend to stay local unless their degree course isn’t available and then they may look to another city. Most kids I know going to uni here live at home while doing so. Kids from the country obviously have to travel and live away from home. 

    Both countries have positive and negative. Much depends on you, your kids, the area you settle in and the schools available. Happy kids tend to do well to their ability wherever they are. That could be either place.

    We were happy in England, happy in Aus. I’m happier with the education system here in Aus. Happy with the lifestyle we have (no dramatic changes other than hubby plays more sport now he is back in the land of Aussie Rules) and we have a good network of friends. Son loves it here and has embraced things like learning to dive (hopes to start competing soon) which is only a 15 minute drive to the pool. In England our nearest diving pool was over 2 hours drive away. We do lots but did lots back in England too. Boogie boarding at the beach of an evening 2-3 times a week in the summer is a favourite pastime since moving to Aus. Swimming with dolphins going past a few metres away is amazing btw. 

    End of the day, don’t move for the myth of a ‘better life’. If you don’t do much in the UK, I doubt you’ll magically become active and out and about here. People tend to be as they were although some do experience and try out new things and do more after move, but that goes both ways :) 

     

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    Having not taken two children through education I think it depends on the child and the school and if your children are academically minded and in a good school with good teachers they'll do well regardless.   It was us as parents (not the children) who struggled initially with how relaxed it was.  Our children came from a school were before school the bell rang to stand still in the playground, rang to line up and rang for each class "to proceed single file" into the class room.  Here, the first time hubby dropped our children off, they dumped their bags on the outside bench as soon as they arrived and went into the class .. hubby was "OMG what are you doing - don't you have to wait"??  Our son was in year 2 when we moved and in the UK on a Friday would bring home several pieces of homework - often about 6 double sheets.  Here, the teacher's ethos in the same year was - I assure  you that they will be working hard in my class, the only time they will get homework is if they haven't finished what I've asked them to do.  When you've worked hard all week - i'm sure you want your down time ... children need their down time to relax too.  

    My two are very different - my daughter academic and what she did have the opportunity of doing here as she entered HS was go into an academic extension programme for maths, science and English  which wouldn't have been afforded to her at the HS she started in the UK.  My son is a far more social creature and into sports - it's never been his plan to go to Uni, although he did well enough at school.  We were lucky that our local school met both their needs, whilst in HS my son was able to sit his theory driving test, he's got his skippers ticket to drive a boat, he was able to study and get qualifications in outdoor recreation, sports coaching, phys ed (in addition to the usual subjects) and is now doing further study for sports development.

    There are schools here of course that are very exam driven - my daughter on placement as a pre-service teacher wanted to introduce a concept which was to be included the next year - all her mentor wanted to know was how she was going to test it.  At this particular school they spent the first two days prior to the pupils returning from holidays pouring over exam results.

    As others have said, there will be good and bad here as well as the UK - both countries produce doctors, lawyers, cooks and bottle washers ... they're probably much of a muchness when all things are considered.

     

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    I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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    14 hours ago, Antipodista said:

    This may have been asked a billion times on here (in which case apologies!) but where, in people’s experience, is the better place to raise children - Aus or UK? Is Aus far better? All the stats seem to point that way and if the news is to believed UK education etc is going to the dogs - does anyone have any thoughts and experiences? I have two young ones (one about to start school) and am keen to get thoughts based on direct experience. TIA! 

    No Australia is not far better lol. I have seen nothing to make me think it's better at all. What news have you heard that makes you think UK education is going to the dogs, that' not something I have heard and I'm actually in the UK lol. Our (Australian) children prefer it here in England and have no plans on returning 'home' so to them at least you could say it's better here but it just actually proves there is no answer to your question as it's an individual thing. 

    Our 2 children are currently in 6th Form and are excelling, they are in a school rated Outstanding. 

    I think this comes down to something we see all too often, those wanting to move to Australia want to be told that it's the absolute best thing they can do for their children and that is totally understandable but there is nothing to say that either country is better to raise children. 

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    Stuck in dismal old Blighty....not lol

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    Lived as a kid in both.  Far better in Oz imho  

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    5 minutes ago, Bulya said:

    Lived as a kid in both.  Far better in Oz imho  

    It's perfectly fine to have that opinion of course, I also lived both in Australia and England growing up and my opinion is different as is the opinions of my 2 children. It's why it's obviously impossible to definitively say one country is better as it's an individual thing. One of my son's says everything in Australia wants to kill you lol


    Stuck in dismal old Blighty....not lol

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    2 hours ago, bristolman said:

    It's perfectly fine to have that opinion of course, I also lived both in Australia and England growing up and my opinion is different as is the opinions of my 2 children. It's why it's obviously impossible to definitively say one country is better as it's an individual thing. One of my son's says everything in Australia wants to kill you lol

    So true, one size doesn't fit all.  Neither country offers a utopia - you just have to do some research - ask "is this right for us" and go with it.  Nothing has to be forever.  I think the membership is proof that people want and need different things at different parts of their lives and if it's right for you then it's right.

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    I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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    Children generally thrive if they feel loved and secure, have friends and a range of interests and things to do -  and they can have all of that and more in both countries. They are both first world, life is different but not necessarily better or worse.  My Aussie nephews and their UK cousins were taught different foreign languages and took up different sports, the academic ones went to Uni while the more practical found work after leaving school, but apart from the lilt of their accents you would be hard pushed to know where any of them were raised. T x

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    1 hour ago, bristolman said:

    It's perfectly fine to have that opinion of course, I also lived both in Australia and England growing up and my opinion is different as is the opinions of my 2 children. It's why it's obviously impossible to definitively say one country is better as it's an individual thing. One of my son's says everything in Australia wants to kill you lol

    You really cannot let someone have an unbiased opinion can you? I’ve seen @Bulya post some strong views on what he/she does not like about Australia which you hurriedly and appreciatively like but as soon as it’s something even slightly in favour of Oz you can’t handle it and have to counter it 😂😂🇬🇧🇬🇧

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    2 hours ago, Bulya said:

    Lived as a kid in both.  Far better in Oz imho  

    Thanks Bulya....what do you feel was better about it, if you don’t mind me asking? 

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    17 hours ago, Toots said:

    No Australia isn't far better re education.  Surely it varies from school to school in the UK just as it does here.  

    I went to a fantastic school in australia, Mt Lawley SHS. My children go to a fantastic school in the UK. Needless to say, they are in expensive areas.

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    2 hours ago, bristolman said:

    It's perfectly fine to have that opinion of course, I also lived both in Australia and England growing up and my opinion is different as is the opinions of my 2 children. It's why it's obviously impossible to definitively say one country is better as it's an individual thing. One of my son's says everything in Australia wants to kill you lol

    Actually - I loved Sydney, hated Perth and quite liked the UK.

    But that was mainly down to the friends I had.

    So - making comparisons is pretty silly really.

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    You are talking about two first world countries. Both have issues and both have benefits. Both have some amazing schools and both some crap schools. I volunteered at a school in WA that had horrendous issues - most parents addicted to ICE, kids sent to school unwashed, un-fed and even naked and we are not talking just little ones. Likewise I nearly went to work at a school in Pinjarra WA that is classed as having most pupils from lower socio economic backgrounds and spent some time there and it was a wonderful place. 

    On the other hand, the school I went to was a total waste of time. I gained the grand total of a grade 4 CSE art and that made me one of the better qualified. Then my kids went to an amazing school that is mainly working class but where kids come out not just with very good examination results but very well rounded. 

    If education is a massive motive, why not look at what is available without moving around the world in either direction. For example, our niece and nephew who we are very close to were due to start school and we wanted to look at it as well, we discovered that nearly half of the kids at Eton are not from wealthy backgrounds and are on scholarship (We had particularly looked at Eton as it is commutable from where they live and we lived in Windsor). 

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    12 hours ago, bristolman said:

    No Australia is not far better lol. I have seen nothing to make me think it's better at all. What news have you heard that makes you think UK education is going to the dogs, that' not something I have heard and I'm actually in the UK lol. Our (Australian) children prefer it here in England and have no plans on returning 'home' so to them at least you could say it's better here but it just actually proves there is no answer to your question as it's an individual thing. 

    Our 2 children are currently in 6th Form and are excelling, they are in a school rated Outstanding. 

    I think this comes down to something we see all too often, those wanting to move to Australia want to be told that it's the absolute best thing they can do for their children and that is totally understandable but there is nothing to say that either country is better to raise children. 

    You just hear so much about funding being pulled from UK schools and that Australia is just better for raising kids...the stats seem to be in favour of Oz but I wondered what actual experience was...I adore the uk (with its myriad faults, lol) but looks like will have to return to Oz soon so wanted to sound out opinion 

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    3 minutes ago, Antipodista said:

    You just hear so much about funding being pulled from UK schools and that Australia is just better for raising kids...the stats seem to be in favour of Oz but I wondered what actual experience was...I adore the uk (with its myriad faults, lol) but looks like will have to return to Oz soon so wanted to sound out opinion 

    Well our kids have done very well academically and our friends kids also seem to be doing very well, so we certainly have no worries about education here. What do you mean 'Australia is just better for raising kids'? I have seen absolutely nothing that makes me think that is true and practically everyone commenting agrees. It has nothing to do with the country and eveything to do with how kids are bought up. I understand as you are returning to Australia you want to hear it is the best thing for the kids but really kids will do well (or not) regardless of where you are. 


    Stuck in dismal old Blighty....not lol

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    I have recent experience of both Australian and UK primary education.  First of all, I don't think that there is a better place.  Both are first world countries with excellent education available.  Our experience in Australia was largely positive at the primary level.  Some good teachers, some not so good.  Quite a bit of bullying of one daughter, no bullying of the other.  Both kids are academic/arts focussed rather than sporty which did seem to mean they were favoured less than other more sporty kids by some teachers, but valued more by others.  I am quite happy with the education that the girls received in Australia.  It seemed well rounded in the main, and gave them bucket loads of confidence in things like public speaking.  However, you need to bear in mind that 20km down the road could tell an entirely different story.  The same can be said of the UK.  It is hard to remember sometimes that the UK is actually made up of different countries with devolved powers in terms of the education system.  One of the reasons we moved to Scotland rather than England (where we had come from) is that there is far less focus on standardised tests in Scotland than England, with no SATs and no OFSTED.  Kids go to their catchment school as a general rule (and there are no selective schools other than private), with kids of all sorts rubbing shoulders and getting along.  Add to that the starting date is slightly later/cut off is different, meaning that our kids are in the year below than they would be in England, and therefore the eldest in the class.  For OUR girls, those things are an advantage.  For other kids they might not be.  Our girls have settled right in to school here in Scotland, and I am really happy with the school we chose.

    With that in mind, you should always choose the location you settle in very carefully.  A small difference in location can mean a vastly different experience at school.

    In terms of where is 'better for raising kids', again I would say both.  Depends on the parents, and it depends on the kids.  For us, we like it here in Scotland.  We were pretty happy in Australia too, but living there didn't change our lives or anything, just as we don't expect living here to.  We are still the same parents, and our kids are still the same children wherever we live.  Personally, for the things that we enjoy doing as a family, Scotland is better.  We do lots of walking, and even in the cold and rain that is preferable to us in Scotland.  Others will disagree.

    I suppose what I'm trying to say is it's horses for courses.  We are all individual and what suits one won't suit another.  The best thing to do is work out what is important to YOU/YOUR FAMILY and see what suits best from there.

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    12 minutes ago, LKC said:

    I have recent experience of both Australian and UK primary education.  First of all, I don't think that there is a better place.  Both are first world countries with excellent education available.  Our experience in Australia was largely positive at the primary level.  Some good teachers, some not so good.  Quite a bit of bullying of one daughter, no bullying of the other.  Both kids are academic/arts focussed rather than sporty which did seem to mean they were favoured less than other more sporty kids by some teachers, but valued more by others.  I am quite happy with the education that the girls received in Australia.  It seemed well rounded in the main, and gave them bucket loads of confidence in things like public speaking.  However, you need to bear in mind that 20km down the road could tell an entirely different story.  The same can be said of the UK.  It is hard to remember sometimes that the UK is actually made up of different countries with devolved powers in terms of the education system.  One of the reasons we moved to Scotland rather than England (where we had come from) is that there is far less focus on standardised tests in Scotland than England, with no SATs and no OFSTED.  Kids go to their catchment school as a general rule (and there are no selective schools other than private), with kids of all sorts rubbing shoulders and getting along.  Add to that the starting date is slightly later/cut off is different, meaning that our kids are in the year below than they would be in England, and therefore the eldest in the class.  For OUR girls, those things are an advantage.  For other kids they might not be.  Our girls have settled right in to school here in Scotland, and I am really happy with the school we chose.

    With that in mind, you should always choose the location you settle in very carefully.  A small difference in location can mean a vastly different experience at school.

    In terms of where is 'better for raising kids', again I would say both.  Depends on the parents, and it depends on the kids.  For us, we like it here in Scotland.  We were pretty happy in Australia too, but living there didn't change our lives or anything, just as we don't expect living here to.  We are still the same parents, and our kids are still the same children wherever we live.  Personally, for the things that we enjoy doing as a family, Scotland is better.  We do lots of walking, and even in the cold and rain that is preferable to us in Scotland.  Others will disagree.

    I suppose what I'm trying to say is it's horses for courses.  We are all individual and what suits one won't suit another.  The best thing to do is work out what is important to YOU/YOUR FAMILY and see what suits best from there.

    Yes I agree with this, just exchange England for Scotland lol. It's quite funny, try telling our Australian born kids they would somehow be better off in Australia, they are an age where they clearly remember their lives in Australia so it's not as if they have forgotten. 

    It's what I always say, there is no 'one size fits all'. Some kids will do better in Australia, others will do better here. Our kids are in no way sporty so aren't missing out on anything in that way, they arent great in the heat so dont miss out there. At the end of the day Australia is great for kids and the UK is great for kids. Some won't like that but there you go lol


    Stuck in dismal old Blighty....not lol

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    5 hours ago, Antipodista said:

    You just hear so much about funding being pulled from UK schools and that Australia is just better for raising kids...the stats seem to be in favour of Oz but I wondered what actual experience was...I adore the uk (with its myriad faults, lol) but looks like will have to return to Oz soon so wanted to sound out opinion 

    I hated school and left as soon as I could   ...........  2 weeks after my 15th birthday.  I always wanted my lads to be happy at school and they were.  The went to the local school which was a 10 minute walk from our house - no roads to cross.  This was in North Ryde (Sydney).  They are still friends with the pals they made there.  After that they went to Epping Boys High School and did well there participating in different sports and both were in the debating society.  They both graduated from Sydney Uni and now both are in jobs they love.  

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    On 2/2/2018 at 00:47, Antipodista said:

    This may have been asked a billion times on here (in which case apologies!) but where, in people’s experience, is the better place to raise children - Aus or UK? Is Aus far better? All the stats seem to point that way and if the news is to believed UK education etc is going to the dogs - does anyone have any thoughts and experiences? I have two young ones (one about to start school) and am keen to get thoughts based on direct experience. TIA! 

    Education aside as I think good parenting tends to produce decent kids. You will get good and bad schools/teachers in both country. Although Australia does sit slightly higher than the UK in world education rankings. Don't think it's just the UK that has funding pulled the government in WA recently pulled the extra funding for the high achievers stream most schools run of which my daughter was just about to enter fortunately after public outcry the government listened and rescinded the cuts (wow politicians that listen I don't think the tories would have been so accommodating)  

    One of the major reasons we moved to Perth was because we believed it offered better surroundings to bring up our kids and everything we have experienced so far in the coming up to 4 years we have been here has reinforced that view. Kids really stay kids that bit longer here there isn't as much peer pressure to grow up, as an example my daughter has just turned 12 and started high school a few days ago her UK friends started high school last September the UK kids on leaving primary had a full blown prom girls in ball gowns getting their make up done in town before getting picked up in bloody limos and taken to the venue which was a function room at a nightclub apparently girls sat one side of the dance floor boys the other and all the talk on the Monday was about who got off with who absolutely ridiculous!! My daughters school hired the local yacht club function room it was beach themed so no pressure on kids to get expensive dresses a few girls had put on some make up but not many and although they had a 3 course sit down meal after that it was a fun night with a disco and games with parents not allowed in until the last 30 minutes.........the kids had fun!

    We have just had the kids 6 week break and because of the great weather we manged to get away for almost 3 weeks of it you just can't do that with the crappy UK weather. It's all about memories for the kids for me, I remember looking out at the rain from a tent in Barmouth during our annual holiday!!

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    17 minutes ago, Sandgroper said:

    Education aside as I think good parenting tends to produce decent kids. You will get good and bad schools/teachers in both country. Although Australia does sit slightly higher than the UK in world education rankings. Don't think it's just the UK that has funding pulled the government in WA recently pulled the extra funding for the high achievers stream most schools run of which my daughter was just about to enter fortunately after public outcry the government listened and rescinded the cuts (wow politicians that listen I don't think the tories would have been so accommodating)  

    One of the major reasons we moved to Perth was because we believed it offered better surroundings to bring up our kids and everything we have experienced so far in the coming up to 4 years we have been here has reinforced that view. Kids really stay kids that bit longer here there isn't as much peer pressure to grow up, as an example my daughter has just turned 12 and started high school a few days ago her UK friends started high school last September the UK kids on leaving primary had a full blown prom girls in ball gowns getting their make up done in town before getting picked up in bloody limos and taken to the venue which was a function room at a nightclub apparently girls sat one side of the dance floor boys the other and all the talk on the Monday was about who got off with who absolutely ridiculous!! My daughters school hired the local yacht club function room it was beach themed so no pressure on kids to get expensive dresses a few girls had put on some make up but not many and although they had a 3 course sit down meal after that it was a fun night with a disco and games with parents not allowed in until the last 30 minutes.........the kids had fun!

    We have just had the kids 6 week break and because of the great weather we manged to get away for almost 3 weeks of it you just can't do that with the crappy UK weather. It's all about memories for the kids for me, I remember looking out at the rain from a tent in Barmouth during our annual holiday!!

    Remember looking at constant rain from tents in Cornwall and Devon. Not something any kid should have to endure for a week or more

    Edited by Bulya
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    26 minutes ago, Bulya said:

    Remember looking at constant rain from tents in Cornwall and Devon. Not something any kid should have to endure for a week or more

    I only remember sunny days during the summer holidays.  We had almost 7 weeks off school.  For the first couple of weeks we helped on the farm then I used to go to stay in Richmond, Yorkshire with an uncle who was a horse trainer - I was outside from morning 'til night.  I'd be there for a couple of weeks then sister, brother, myself and Mum (Dad never took time off from the farm) would go to a lovely little place called Kippford for  week and we'd be on the beach all day every day.  I'm sure it did rain but I only remember the sun shining.  I do remember a camping holiday by Loch Lomond and it drizzled the whole week.  It was also warm and humid so the midges were horrendous.  They didn't seem to bother anybody else but I was almost eaten alive by the nasty wee things.  :(  Funny that because the mozzies in Australia hardly ever bit me.

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    I think we can tell from this thread that there isn't much difference between UK and Australian education.  My nephew and niece (brother's children) were born in Thailand and educated there until they were 17 years old.  My nephew graduated from Edinburgh University last year and his sister is there now doing a 6 year degree in medicine and surgery.  They went to a local primary school near where they lived in Bangkok then to the International School.  Given the chance, children can get on well wherever they live.

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