Need info on what it's like living in California? Contact me

I was raised in California and lived in San Francisco and San Diego for a total of 33 years and know everything about the state.

I will relocate soon with my family to California (Belmont or San Diego possibly) from Europe. It is a big step for me and my family. I feel a little nervous about it but I am also very excited. I hope it will give  a nice twist to our lives.

Would you please share some thoughts on how life is in there. You know... the feel of the place, people, weather, places to visit and do activities ( I have a 3 years old daughter), schooling, job market ( I am a translator and interpreter), is it a safe place... and so on.


Thank you for any information you are so kind to offer!

Hi Robert,

Welcome to Expat-blog! :)

Hi Kultart. If you are moving to San Diego soon, just contact me. Now for Belmont, we have a park named that but the town is in Northern California. So are you moving to Southern or Northern Californa? they are two different cultural personalities! The North is more liberal, care-free like in Europe. The South is very conservative.

Kultart, now where in Europe are you coming from? This helps with determining cost of living differences. Generally, Europeans do very well living anywhere in the US. For schools for kids, I would only recommend private schools because the public system is mostly bad with bad kids and bad influences. People in San Diego are not that intelligent unfortunately. It's a very slow paced atmosphere compared to Los Angeles or San Francisco. For job market, it depends on what languages you know...You would really have to market yourself in order to get a job. Another idea is to offer other services like written translations and tutoring as well as for business people on the go. Place to see in San Diego are: the zoo, coronado island and other beaches like La Jolla, Pacific Beach, etc. We also have the wild animal park which is fun and bigger than the zoo because it's a large land just with animals as if you are in Africa. You can also drive into Tijuana Mexico since it's only about 10 min from San Diego by car. You can drive 2.5hours North to Los Angeles and enjoy many things there. There are water activities too. Now in the US, a few states are known to focus on organic eating: California and Florida. The most is California and you will notice a lot of people here love to stay in shape and healthy by focusing on eating right. Safety: It depends exactly where because there are a lot of small pockets of areas that are good and bad and sometimes next to each other. Generally, it's pretty safe. Just use common sense and don't go into bad areas..just like any place.

Christine, I can't seem to send messages still. Please help.
thanks, robert

RobertfromCalifornia :

Kultart, now where in Europe are you coming from? This helps with determining cost of living differences. Generally, Europeans do very well living anywhere in the US. For schools for kids, I would only recommend private schools because the public system is mostly bad with bad kids and bad influences. People in San Diego are not that intelligent unfortunately. It's a very slow paced atmosphere compared to Los Angeles or San Francisco. For job market, it depends on what languages you know...You would really have to market yourself in order to get a job. Another idea is to offer other services like written translations and tutoring as well as for business people on the go. Place to see in San Diego are: the zoo, coronado island and other beaches like La Jolla, Pacific Beach, etc. We also have the wild animal park which is fun and bigger than the zoo because it's a large land just with animals as if you are in Africa. You can also drive into Tijuana Mexico since it's only about 10 min from San Diego by car. You can drive 2.5hours North to Los Angeles and enjoy many things there. There are water activities too. Now in the US, a few states are known to focus on organic eating: California and Florida. The most is California and you will notice a lot of people here love to stay in shape and healthy by focusing on eating right. Safety: It depends exactly where because there are a lot of small pockets of areas that are good and bad and sometimes next to each other. Generally, it's pretty safe. Just use common sense and don't go into bad areas..just like any place.

Robert thank you for all your info : we move in Northern California. I am coming from the western part Europe. I know Romanian, English, Dutch and Italian.

What scares me a little is my lack of "American experience" when looking for a job there. I like to do translations and interpreting, but I have also done editing work for newspapers and magazines. I even have my own project on the way... Hopefully I will be able to do this where I move also, because I really like it. However, to have access to such a job probably I will have to accommodate with the "American way" of doing this kind of job and learn on the run. What I surely know is that I will start with an internship and from there probably i'll do some more professional courses to learn new editing skills.

Can you tell me more about SF. What do you like most about the city life, about the people living there? What about your dislikes?

Thanks again!

RobertfromCalifornia :

Christine, I can't seem to send messages still. Please help.
thanks, robert

Please read the anti spam system rules: http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=23238

Thank you. :)

Hi Kultart, don't worry about learning the American way...It will come over time like everywhere you go. What I suggest is don't just count on the internship you have coming. Try and line up other things ASAP. It's about job survival and in America it's the toughest because employers can let a worker go for no reason if they want. Laws in America are made to favor companies in many ways. Vacation per year sucks...if you are lucky you might get 10 days in the first year but mostly you won't. Other benefits are a joke like healthcare..Premiums are robbery high here.
So, try to get the next high paying job that you are offered. Plus, do extra work on the side FOR CASH so you don't need to report this extra money. Sadly, in order to really survive..you have to make at least 70,000$ or more and it depends on how many people you have to support too. San Francisco is beautiful. The weather is colder than the rest of the state because you're at a higher elevation. Downtown is only about 10km long. It's the financial centre for the entire Western part of America. There is a lot of money that can be made in SF. The hourly pay is around $18/hour, depending on the job. In your case, you can charge a person around $50-75/ hour and go at your own pace with the assignment. You can quote a client that it might take 50 hours to do a job but in fact in only takes you 15 hours. If the client agrees on 50 hours total cost, then let it be. It's extra money for you to survive. If you can get an assignment escorting a business person in a country and be the interpreter, then that's where the real money is made!! You can charge around $80/hour to $140 depending on the importance of the language, is it spoken widely?, and the country you go to...what's the level of danger?, etc. If you're fluent in Spanish, you can make $80/hour..if you have to travel to Colombia, you can charge $100/hour, plus hotel and meal expenses the client must pay, AND of course the travel down there. You can network for interpreter jobs by joining associations that involve this profession. Just google Interpreter/Translator associations.  Another route is to contact the Embassy and Consulate of the country you were born in AND the country you currently live in and find out if they have a job board in their office. Another great place is to contact the US Department of Commerce because it specializes in helping Americans do business in other countries. There are many American companies that want interpreters to help in their transactions. This is a solid route to try. Basically, try ALL ANGLES of options to see what comes open for you.
Areas of SF: Reasonable areas are towns of: Burlingame, San Bruno  that are South of downtown. SF has a great public train system that makes is SOO easy to get around!! It's the only place in the West that has something similar to NY or Europe. Food is plenty and there are all kinds of restaurants.

You mentioned you speak Romanian also. Are you Romanian? If so, there are many who live in the Chicago area than any other place in the US. SF is very diversified, with many Asians, and Europeans. It's a great city. Many things to do and people are generally friendly and very smart. Many people have multiple degrees. In fact, the SF area has the most number of people with PhD's than any other city in America!!
You can also live near San Francisco State University, which is on 19th Avenue. That area is safe. For apartments, try living in a small studio size so you can save money. The cost is around $600-1000 per month. SF is the most expensive city in the Western States. It's similar to NY.  I hope some of my info helped you a little. Just ask and I will answer.  Robert.
PS: what is your name?

Helped a lot ! :) Thank you for everything. When I have more questions I'll come and ask you :).

Just call me Deea:)

Hi,
I was born in San Diego California and I hope visit it one day, please tell me what are the place to know? If you have photos to show me, it'd be nice :)

(I currently live in Algeria)
Thank you

Nadya

California is a great state to live, weather, people and outdoors.

As for the job though, unemployment is almost 10% and more budget cuts this year. If you are in the tech industry though, you would have no problem finding a job.



kultart :

I will relocate soon with my family to California (Belmont or San Diego possibly) from Europe. It is a big step for me and my family. I feel a little nervous about it but I am also very excited. I hope it will give  a nice twist to our lives.

Would you please share some thoughts on how life is in there. You know... the feel of the place, people, weather, places to visit and do activities ( I have a 3 years old daughter), schooling, job market ( I am a translator and interpreter), is it a safe place... and so on.


Thank you for any information you are so kind to offer!

Hi Robert
Please md me. I am a newbie to CA.

Hi Roxy Hurley > Just to inform you that this is an inactive old thread.

Thanks Christine for letting me know

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