Asking all Americans - Especially Californians
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  1. #1
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    Asking all Americans - Especially Californians

    I'm planning on moving to the US on a working visa for the summer 2011 (end of May until end of August), to experience the social life and pickup. I'm 19 and from Ireland. I'm really excited as this could be a great growing experience, to work and meet new people all by myself in a new country. It's likely I could be going out by myself - so it's gonna be a big challenge meeting people from scratch - my pickup skills will be put to the test!

    California! Thats the plan! So all the advice you can give me - advice from a local is worth a million more than anything I'll read on the net!!
    (I'm also considering NY,Florida, Boston and Chicago - so please advise if you know anything about these places)


    Accommodation - Where to stay?
    Where in California should i live? I'm looking for the beach, sunshine, etc. I've heard of Santa Barbara, Huntington Beach, San Diego - What you think?


    Jobs/Work
    What to work as - as a summer Irish student? Where is good for work? I've heard vallet, waiter, caddy (the tips)?

    The people/social life
    What are the people like (especially towards the Irish)? What is the social life like - especially toward college-aged people? What's the drinking like?(I'm Irish so I've been drinking since the teens) I may get a fake ID for the clubs!

    Any general advice?

    Many thanks! Look forward to sarging in the US with you all!


  2. #2
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    Asking all Americans - Especially Californians

    welcome

    Finding a job may be a bit of an issue. To work in the country legally, I believe you need a work visa. Of course there are a large number of people working illegally, and the chances of getting caught are small. Anyway, welcome. Sevice position jobs are the easiest to find. Waiter/bouncer jobs are relatively easy to get.

    BY US standards, Califormia is expensive. I live in Florida largely because of the cost of living. Its still warm, but without the ridiculous real estate prices. Anyway, to each his own. I used to live in California, and it is very nice. Though a car is almost required in California. You might consider Canada, since I believe you have priveleges coming from the "Commonwealth". If you want to check prices, I find that Real Estate sites give a good perspective on generalcost of living. Look at home prices for a 2,000 square foot home, and you can compare cities in a general sense.

    I spent a summer in new York. It is one of the few places where you can get along without a car without too much trouble, but the prices are still high. Chicago is cheaper than NY or California, but again a cor would make life a lot easier. I don't have a lot of experience with Boston, but people I know do not speak highly of it. Like NY though, there is a lot of history and culture if that is your thing. I've lived in Florida for the past 8 years, and it is where I've chosen to live. The South Florida/Miami area is almost as easy to get along without a car as New York, and the prices are reasonable. It is also one of the US's most ethnically diverse cities with a lot of clubs and restaurants. The Central Florida/Orlando area is more laid back though even cheaper than Miami. There are a lot of restaurants and tourist attractions in the area, so they're always looking for people. I live on the Florida Panhandle in Panama City, Florida. It is the cheapest area in the state, but there is a stron "red-neck" culture in the area. (Think soccer hooligans with pickup trucks.) One advantage of Panama City is that like Central Florida it is a tourist destination, especially around most colleges "spring break" in April and May. Vacation destinations also have the advantage that the large number of transient people make it easier to fit in, and people often don't know the area, so they are quick to make friends.

    Drinking may be a problem anywhere in the US. Most locations have been cracking down on "underage drinking" (under 21). Many clubs will let you in, but will not serve you alcohol, and will often charge a higher cover charge to get in. Staff members are trained in spotting fake ID's, because they may loose their job if they serve you a drink. (Welcome to the North American 'Nanny-state' where they run your life to keep you "safe"). Finding a friend to buy you alcohol should be easy, though again illegal, but then you're drinking at home.

    As for social life, I think you'll find that most people are very accepting. Having an accent (or speaking correctly depending on your perspective) will instantly brand you as "exotic". I imagine you'll have an advantage when it comes to meeting people. You also have an "instant opener" for almost any situation. Think up a few "Why is it" questions and you'll have a lot of ready made material for opening. For instance, "I'm wondering, why do you think the US never adopted the metric system"? You also have the "I'm new in town and I was wondering where the best places to hang out are"? I'm sure you can think of a few on your own.

    Anyway, best of luck. If you're in the Panama City area, feel free to send me an e-mail.


  3. #3
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    Asking all Americans - Especially Californians

    Florida!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nels View Post
    Finding a job may be a bit of an issue. To work in the country legally, I believe you need a work visa. Of course there are a large number of people working illegally, and the chances of getting caught are small. Anyway, welcome. Sevice position jobs are the easiest to find. Waiter/bouncer jobs are relatively easy to get.

    BY US standards, Califormia is expensive. I live in Florida largely because of the cost of living. Its still warm, but without the ridiculous real estate prices. Anyway, to each his own. I used to live in California, and it is very nice. Though a car is almost required in California. You might consider Canada, since I believe you have priveleges coming from the "Commonwealth". If you want to check prices, I find that Real Estate sites give a good perspective on generalcost of living. Look at home prices for a 2,000 square foot home, and you can compare cities in a general sense.

    I spent a summer in new York. It is one of the few places where you can get along without a car without too much trouble, but the prices are still high. Chicago is cheaper than NY or California, but again a cor would make life a lot easier. I don't have a lot of experience with Boston, but people I know do not speak highly of it. Like NY though, there is a lot of history and culture if that is your thing. I've lived in Florida for the past 8 years, and it is where I've chosen to live. The South Florida/Miami area is almost as easy to get along without a car as New York, and the prices are reasonable. It is also one of the US's most ethnically diverse cities with a lot of clubs and restaurants. The Central Florida/Orlando area is more laid back though even cheaper than Miami. There are a lot of restaurants and tourist attractions in the area, so they're always looking for people. I live on the Florida Panhandle in Panama City, Florida. It is the cheapest area in the state, but there is a stron "red-neck" culture in the area. (Think soccer hooligans with pickup trucks.) One advantage of Panama City is that like Central Florida it is a tourist destination, especially around most colleges "spring break" in April and May. Vacation destinations also have the advantage that the large number of transient people make it easier to fit in, and people often don't know the area, so they are quick to make friends.

    Drinking may be a problem anywhere in the US. Most locations have been cracking down on "underage drinking" (under 21). Many clubs will let you in, but will not serve you alcohol, and will often charge a higher cover charge to get in. Staff members are trained in spotting fake ID's, because they may loose their job if they serve you a drink. (Welcome to the North American 'Nanny-state' where they run your life to keep you "safe"). Finding a friend to buy you alcohol should be easy, though again illegal, but then you're drinking at home.

    As for social life, I think you'll find that most people are very accepting. Having an accent (or speaking correctly depending on your perspective) will instantly brand you as "exotic". I imagine you'll have an advantage when it comes to meeting people. You also have an "instant opener" for almost any situation. Think up a few "Why is it" questions and you'll have a lot of ready made material for opening. For instance, "I'm wondering, why do you think the US never adopted the metric system"? You also have the "I'm new in town and I was wondering where the best places to hang out are"? I'm sure you can think of a few on your own.

    Anyway, best of luck. If you're in the Panama City area, feel free to send me an e-mail.
    Many thanks for the reply. Just a couple of questions for you.

    1.
    I'll have a working visa so I'll be legal. So you are saying that there shouldn't be too much trouble getting a summer job? And that most of the work is in the tourist sector? I've been advised that the tips are generous in the US so try to get a job with tips?

    2.
    The weather is obviosly good in Florida, but is it that same "sunny, sunbathing, chilling on the beach" kinda weather as Cali? (I know that may seem stupid but I've only ever heard about these places, never actually been there). I've also heard FL can become REALLY hot in the summer. Can it be too hot? I tan . . . but I'm still Irish!

    3.
    I've heard Florida is really expensive, especially Miami. Are you saying it's not that expensive? Less so than California and NY? Any suggestions to what areas to look for accommodation in - preferably not too expensive, but not too far from the beach and the social life?

    Thanks again!


  4. #4
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    Asking all Americans - Especially Californians

    Florida vs. California

    Yes, Florida is hotter than California. I'd estimate daily highs of 30C vs 35C. The humidity tends to be higher in Florida too. However, most people live in air conditioning, so it isn't an issue most of the time. More than the heat, the sun is a little more direct being further south. You'll need sun screen in both places, but you'll probably need a higher SPF in Florida.

    Both places have great beaches. California has the added attraction of mountains inland. Florida is incredibly flat. Miami is more expensive than other places in Florida, though I think it is still cheaper than most parts of California. Like anywhere, you adapt your budget to your situation.

    LA and Miami are both noted for model/actress types, so the dating environment is similar.


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