Q: What area should I live in/ what is a good neighbourhood/ Where are the best schools?
Maryland Living FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions by CAF Families Posted to the Maryland
A: In Maryland people live in many different areas, and since this is one of the most common question and a very tough one to answer, with the help of local families we have put together some information on the differnt areas.
Annapolis Elliott City
Severna Park Pasadena
In addition to those, your Military Family Services (MFS) can help you get the answers you need by matching you and your family with a 'sponsor' - a local individual or family that is similiar to yours (i.e. similiar demographics, maybe living in the same place you're considering, working in the same area etc.). They act as a local point of contact and support and give you input on what life is like in the area. If you're interested in being part of our sponsor program, email your MFS Community Program Provider.
Q: What are schools like?
A: In Maryland you will find some of the highest rated schools in the country. In the US, a high rated school will be referred to as a Blue Ribbon School.
Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools
Schooldigger is a great site to find and evaluate public schools in the area you're looking to live. Children's Education Management (CEM) is a great resource for families of school aged children. For tutoring allowances, FSD's, guideance counselling, etc., please visit their webpage.
Some families find that after moving to the US, their children maybe recommended for tutoring, especially in mathematics, due to major differences in the math cirriculum between Canada and the USA. Funding requests for tutoring expenses can be made through CEM.
Q: Will my child have access to french schooling or french immerion programs in Maryland?
A: French schooling and French immersion programs are not usually available in Maryland. The Spanish language is the most common language taught in schools. However, some families in the D.C. area live in Bethesda, Maryland because it has a French school, Rochambeau - The French International School. It is about an hour (without traffic) from Bethesda to Fort Meade.
French language tutoring for school aged dependants is available through Children's Education Management (CEM). For further information, please contact CEM.
To help ensure that basic instruction in the second language is provided to dependant students while abroad. Fifty hours of second language tutoring is provided per school year (except for children in junior kindergarten). Such requests must be approved by the employee's FSD Client Advisor.
Q: Can spouses work while on an OUTCAN posting? And how easy is it to find work?
A: All Canadians are required to have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to work in the U.S. For more information on how to apply for your EAD, click here.
Many professionals find the processing of licensing somewhat lengthy and challenging in the U.S., and some have chosen not to work or to work in another field. With Maryland being in such close proximidity to Washintoning, D.C., it is possible to work at the Canadian Embassy. Please note depending on where you decide to live, the commute might be long. To get connected to the H.R department at the Embassy, please contact your MFS.
U.S. Bases have a variety of Employment Readiness Programs to assist you as well, and include everything from resume and interview preparation, to access to job listings. On the Fort Meade base, they often host Community Job Fairs, where we Canadians can attend.
Q: What is medical care like in Maryland?
A: The majority of the Canadian families in this area use U.S. Base Medical Treatment Facilities (MTF) instead of private facilities. In Maryland, we can use the facilities at Fort Meade Hospital and we also have families who use the Naval Health Clinic that is located at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. When seen at a U.S. Base MTF, CAF Members and their dependants are covered under Tricare (the same medical system that covers U.S. members and their families), therefore you don't have to pay in advance or worry about billing, advances, reimbursement, etc. To learn more about health care in the U.S., please listen to the recording, "Navigating the U.S. Medical System," by CDLS(W). Also, please read an the FAQ document: Navigating Healthcare in the U.S. FAQ document.
If you have any further questions, please contact your MFS.
Q: What is the weather like in Maryland?
A: Just like in Canada, Maryland does experience all four seasons. The region of Maryland we live in has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and short to mild to cool winters. Canadian families very much enjoy the winters here as they are much different than Canada. However, we do get the odd huge snowfall that brings the everything to a standstill, as they are not equipped for the snow removal. Maryland does experience a lot of rain but the weather is manageable and enjoyable year round.
Q: What is the Canadian Community like in Maryland?
A: Awesome! We all come together to support one another as most of us do not have a support network down here. While it is challenging for all of us to get together due to distance, we at MFS do our best to support families by connecting those who are in close proximity to one another.
Q: Are you on social media?
A: Yes! We have a secret group for families in our region. Simply contact your MFS to be added. This is a great place to ask the community questions fo referrals or to link up with new friends.
Q: If I have a questions that isn't addressed here, who should I contact?
A: Your Military Family Community Program Provider, Kalyn Harris, is more than happy to help point you in the right direction, direct you to the appropriate contact person or resource, and provide overall support during your transition to the U.S. and during your posting. Reach out anytime!