Seven questions that will face everyone who decided to move to the United States
When moving to another country, many things cause concern - how not to get lost, where to find a company to communicate? How to solve domestic issues - renting a home, buying insurance? How to travel - with whom, how and where to go to feel as comfortable as possible and be in the subject?
Sergey Fradkov, Managing Partner iDealMachine, author of the iDM USA Landing program and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of business experience in the USA.
How not to lose yourself when you move
In fact, after going through several emigration, you understand that losing yourself is almost impossible, especially in the modern world. When people moved from the USSR to other countries at the end of 1980, there was practically no one in their circle who would be the carrier of a similar cultural code. And they are deeply immersed in the culture of the country where they moved. Now, almost no one is immersed.
When you find yourself in an environment where you are a stranger, and no one speaks your language, you try to go to all the cultural events that are characteristic of the new place. Thus, assimilation happens very quickly - in a year you can practically disappear from one society and go to another.
But today, almost never and anywhere from your society will not leave, because if you are at least a Finn of advanced years, having moved to New York, you will find enough Finns of advanced years, with whom you will have fun walking on Broadway in the direction of the nearest wine shop. The culture is so mixed up that in almost any US metropolis you can find people in whose company you will continue to “drag out your miserable existence in a foreign land”.
- How to rest in the country - ski resorts, famous routes, cultural attractions
In the States there are several places of rest that are considered mandatory to visit. For example, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans.
- Vegas or a week of awesome shows
So, Las Vegas since the days of Frank Sinatra is not only focused on the fact that people come to play in the casino, there are also concerts of stars. The choice of evening events is amazing - from Cirque du Soleil to opera singers and jazz performers. You can be there for a week, and every day go to a completely different show. Every major casino invites a star, and around it is being built the whole evening.
- The atmosphere of good old jazz in New Orleans
New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz. During the tour, walking around the city, you find yourself in a park where jazz was once born. At the open-air site, after working day, plantation workers gathered and retelling their life with music - in the way they could.
Walking through New Orleans, at every corner you can meet one or more musicians who play such music that you cannot hear anywhere else.
And in the bars of the city you can take any drink with you. When ordering, immediately ask - here or with you. Tourists walk around the streets with plastic cups, listen to jazz, have fun 24 hours a day. And then they go to Mississippi crocodile farms - ride a boat through the swamps and feed the marshmallows.
- East Coast with summer resorts
On the east coast of the United States there is a certain “necklace” of the American summer resort cities - West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Sunny Isle, Miami, North Miami, Miami South Beach. There go lovers of beach and club holidays. These are like good Spanish places like Ibiza. Party towns, with nightlife, music and young people. Further, the entire coast of the Caribbean Sea is also a continuous resort area, but a bit simpler and cheaper.
A separate direction is a cruise vacation. Very popular cruises in the Caribbean, where you drive through the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Cayman Islands. There are a lot of islands in the Caribbean, where the rest is designed for completely different tourists in terms of income - from the middle class to very wealthy people. It’s impossible to get to some islands, because they are private.
- When I missed a ski ...
As for ski resorts, the most popular of them are mainly located in the states of Colorado, Utah, California (Lake Tahoe), Wyoming (Jackson Hall), Washington, as well as in Canada - Edmonton, Alberta, in northern Quebec, near Montreal, Montana Tremblant, where the real Alpine village was built, is such a “little Switzerland”. Arriving at a ski resort by a company, it’s more profitable not to rent a hotel, but to rent a car, stopping not far from the resort, because, for example, in Veila (Colorado), in high season, a one-room hotel for a week can cost about 25 000 dollars.
- Hotel loyalty programs
As a rule, in American hotels there are international loyalty programs. In networks owned by the Four Seasons, Marriott, Novotel, Holiday Inn, Kempinski, pass-through programs around the world. Thus, it is worth staying in hotels of those networks whose regular customer you already are in other countries.
- How to book a trip - tours, hotels, cars, restaurants
A large number of tours in the US continue to be booked through agents. Of course, if you need to book just a couple of nights at the hotel, you will not go to the agency. In this case, for booking, you will most likely use booking.com, expedia.com or the site of the hotel itself. But if you go to the Dominican Republic for a week, and you need all inclusive for the whole family, with a flight, then just like in Russia, you should contact the agency and buy a tour there because it is cheaper.
In the States, many book through Expedia.com - hotels, cars, insurance. At the same time you need to be very careful and attentive - the price of renting a car per day can be 40 dollars, and in fact you pay 90 - insurance, additional services, equipment (navigator , child seat and so on), taxes.
In addition, if the car is not with all-wheel drive, in winter in the mountains on the wheels, you must wear chains that you can buy or rent. In Colorado, for example, there is a local law that a front-wheel drive car cannot drive in snow without chains.
Regarding restaurant reservations, a popular application in the US is OpenTable. It is known as Gettable in Russia. The application works with many restaurants in many large cities and can even help out, it would seem, in hopeless situations. For example, book a table in New York at 8 Friday nights for eight people.
- TV channels and radio stations - what to watch and listen in New York to be aware of what is happening
Today, media in both Russia and the United States is first and foremost politics. And people now do not really understand what to watch and listen to, and what is not. Therefore, watching sports. And the news is received from those sources that are more convenient for their personal perception. Someone is listening, for example, BBC, Bloomberg, Fox.
I listen to Fox on radio, National Public Radio (NPR), educational programs. And on TV all America watches TV shows or sitcoms. Many people like crime series, for example, Blue Bloods (about the Irish police clan) or Law and Order (“Law and Order”).
There are popular TV shows on other topics, for example, Silicon Valley - everything is very clear about startups. As shown there, startups live in America. In the series, there is a correct terminology and healthy sarcasm. Also popular are TV series about politics, such as House of Cards (“House of Cards”), which largely reflects Washington, which is a purely political city.
When I first moved to the USA, I watched Cheers - it was a very famous sitcom. Then the popular sitcom was Seinfeld. And there were and remain popular entertainment talk shows, which gradually became known in other countries.
Take, for example, "Evening Urgant" - it is completely copied from the Late Night Show with David Letterman. The followers did their best and took over literally everything from the design of the cup and the “backdrop” to the band that performs during the show. At one time I was on the Letterman show, and it’s very cool to be part of what millions of people across the country will see later.
- Medicine in the USA
Medicine in the USA is very good, but very expensive. You can pay for some procedures yourself, but for serious diseases you need to have insurance. After Obamacare was passed under Obama, the prices for insurance rose strongly, and I started paying for them 1,5 times more than in the middle of 2000's.
Moving to the US, you must be prepared for the fact that how much you earn, you spend so much on housing, insurance, and education.
- How does the system of preschool, school and higher education in the USA
Kindergartens in America are private. The state program includes only one year of pre-schooling - from 6 to 7 years. Prior to that, kindergarten will have to pay. In this case, it happens that a good private garden just does not get, moreover, it can cost about 20 thousands of dollars a year. Therefore, many opt for a nanny.
With schools, the situation is different - there are public schools, and there are private schools. Private school tuition can cost 40-50 thousands of dollars per year. That is, during high school, you can spend on teaching a child about 200 thousand dollars.
There are people who choose home schooling, but this is rare. Most, like me, believe that the American education system is the best in the world, and children go to school.
College costs 60-80 thousand dollars a year. Americans have such a thing as life events. These include wedding, childbirth, college / university admission and death. And in the American way of life it is customary to save money for this, for example, through certain funds. There is a special tax program (529 article of the tax code), which allows you to make deductions from the salary of amounts that are not taxed (in the event that they are later spent on education). People in the States are very serious about where their children go to learn, and they save for it.
It is necessary to choose the place of training according to the needs and preferences of the child, while mostly choosing on the basis of ratings - QS or THE, for example. They come out annually and give an objective picture both in the world and in the subject ranking.
The selection process is very serious. Children served in dozens of institutions, and after receiving a letter of admission - they travel around campuses to “try on” the atmosphere and the university itself. Also recently, quite a lot of Jewish Americans send children to study in Israel. There is a very high quality and fairly inexpensive education.
- How to rent an apartment or house for a long term, what documents are needed for this
For long-term rental housing requires a credit history, social insurance, as well as a guarantee of solvency. You can rent a house for a short period through Airbnb, but with a long-term lease it is more difficult - guarantors will be needed.
When it’s impossible to rent an apartment, my advice is to use co-livings. In addition, I would advise those who have children to rent an apartment or house in New Jersey — there are good schools there, and for the same money the quality of life will be better than in New York.
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