Coming over to the US



  • Hello All

    I'll soon be coming over to the US for a couple of months and seeing as this is an American site with plenty of Americans visiting it too I thought it the right place to ask some questions.

    Specifically, I'll be going over to Atlanta for a couple of months.

    What are the kind of accommodation  fees I can expect? This is for your average flat/apartment (semi) furnished. Really anything suitable for a student or two.

    Daily costs. Stuff like food (not fast food, nor caviar)  and public transport.

    Anything else that I should take into account. I doubt there are major cultural differences between the UK and USA but apart from a lack of tea, is there anything I should prepare for? What's expected of employees etc.

     The whole thing is coding related, by the way.
     



  • @JCDenton said:

    Hello All

    I'll soon be coming over to the US for a couple of months and seeing as this is an American site with plenty of Americans visiting it too I thought it the right place to ask some questions.

    Specifically, I'll be going over to Atlanta for a couple of months.

    What are the kind of accommodation  fees I can expect? This is for your average flat/apartment (semi) furnished. Really anything suitable for a student or two.

    Daily costs. Stuff like food (not fast food, nor caviar)  and public transport.

    Anything else that I should take into account. I doubt there are major cultural differences between the UK and USA but apart from a lack of tea, is there anything I should prepare for? What's expected of employees etc.

     The whole thing is coding related, by the way.



    Cost of living varies widely depening on what part of the country you're in and the size of nearby cities.

    As far as office culture goes, my boss is English and I'll point him over here and see if he can give you some pointers.



    • Atlanta? I'm guessing you're going to be dropping $800-$1000 a month, with utilities. Roommates will help cut down on that.
    • Food... can be as cheap as you want it to be. Live like a college student, go to WalMart and buy Ramen noodles, Sunny Delight and crackers and you could spend $40 a week and not get scurvy. Or you could eat fast food 2/3 times a day for $20 daily. If you want to eat well (fresh food from the supermarket, eat out at a sit-down restaurant twice a week) you're looking at $160 a week.
    • There's no lack of tea. Georgians fucking love tea. Iced and sweet, however, as the weather is really hot and humid.
    • You can drink hot tea at work and not get laughed at. But I recommend learning to like coffee.

    • Let me emphasize this: You need a car. You do not want to live in downtown Atlanta.



  • @kirchhoff said:

    • You can drink hot tea at work and not get laughed at. But I recommend learning to like coffee.

     

    tons of people drink hot tea at my work and not coffee.  I recommend not learning to like coffee as coffee tastes terrible and tea is good. 



  • @tster said:

    @kirchhoff said:
    • You can drink hot tea at work and not get laughed at. But I recommend learning to like coffee.



    tons of people drink hot tea at my work and not coffee.  I recommend not learning to like coffee as coffee tastes terrible and tea is good. 

    Regardless of where you are, I recommend learning to like cold, non-carbonated liquids, as they are much easier to come by and don't discolour your teeth or take much effort to prepare. 



  • @asuffield said:

    @tster said:
    @kirchhoff said:
    • You can drink hot tea at work and not get laughed at. But I recommend learning to like coffee.



    tons of people drink hot tea at my work and not coffee.  I recommend not learning to like coffee as coffee tastes terrible and tea is good. 

    Regardless of where you are, I recommend learning to like cold, non-carbonated liquids, as they are much easier to come by and don't discolour your teeth or take much effort to prepare. 

    When all else fails, work at a company that has a coffeemaker, a watercooker, and a big fat fridge with beverages up the rimram.



  • @asuffield said:

    Regardless of where you are, I recommend learning to like cold, non-carbonated liquids,

    Like... tap water?

    Actually, in my home town Vienna, the water is of excellent quality; in fact, a company even sells water from the same source in bottles.



  • @ammoQ said:

    @asuffield said:

    Regardless of where you are, I recommend learning to like cold, non-carbonated liquids,

    Like... tap water?

    Actually, in my home town Vienna, the water is of excellent quality; in fact, a company even sells water from the same source in bottles.

    As in Coca-Cola? Or in fact any other company that sells 'mineral water'?



  • @Hitsuji said:

    As in Coca-Cola? Or in fact any other company that sells 'mineral water'?

    The other company sells mineral water. To clarify: Most of the Viennese tap water comes from the Styrian alps, transported ~150km through aqueducts. The company takes the water from one of the three sources and fills it in bottles. But of course they take it directly from the source, not from the tap in Vienna.



  • Lifestyle: 

    • If you're from northern climes, prepare yourself for the heat: Atlanta in the summer is like the Nile delta or Jiddah. Just be thankful it's not Houston or Orlando.
    • Don't eat fast food unless you want the complete American experience (cholesterol, hypertension, etc).
    • If you drink beer, be ready for a shock: most American beer is of the "making love in a canoe" variety. The American term for what Europeans call beer is "microbrew".
    • "Bourbon" whiskey, on the other hand, is not that bad and real cheap. Drink enough of it and you'll see America through American eyes, and even behave like one.
    Couple notes on American (computer) business culture: 
    • Americans are more informal than anyone else, although we rarely shoot people for no reason.
    • We really are a meritocracy, although we no longer shoot people for having a bad idea. We send them into politics.
    • America (especially the software business) is more multicultural than anyone else. You'll find all sorts of cultures mixed together, and by that I mean working together and managing each other. You won't find particular categories of people locked away in closets. Well, WTF readers, perhaps.

     



  • @ammoQ said:

    @asuffield said:

    Regardless of where you are, I recommend learning to like cold, non-carbonated liquids,

    Like... tap water?

    Actually, in my home town Vienna, the water is of excellent quality; in fact, a company even sells water from the same source in bottles.

    Are there still parts of the US where they don't have potable running water? I knew they were backwards, but that's a bit much...

    Fruit juice is usually a good bet.
     



  • Fruit juice is not really good for you unless you have an amazing metabolism or do something besides sit in a cubicle all day.

    You should just drink water. We're lucky enough to have an in-building water filter, so we have special taps in every kitchenette with excellent water. It makes coffee taste better too.




  • I'm gonna hold off buying Earl Grey in large quantities. The compensation they offered is $250 and the return ticket. The rest I would have had to cough up myself and sort out the accommodation. I would be working on a product of theirs which is intended to go live in 3 months as part of my degree.

    Wasn't slavery abandoned in the U.S. ? Are such offers common?



  • I hate to sound like a troll.

    But how big are the chances of getting shot by a rampaging lunatic with guns when you go to the US???

    Or have I been brainwashed by to much news and Dutch people??



  • @JCDenton said:

    I'm gonna hold off buying Earl Grey in large quantities. The compensation they offered is $250 and the return ticket. The rest I would have had to cough up myself and sort out the accommodation. I would be working on a product of theirs which is intended to go live in 3 months as part of my degree.

    Wasn't slavery abandoned in the U.S. ? Are such offers common?

    The last vestiges of slavery in the US were supposed to have been abolished in the 1960s, but academia might not be included in that definition. Sounds like you were offered a variant of a college internship. Can you get a green card (work permit) out of it? That might be a good investment.



  • @Ice^^Heat said:

    I hate to sound like a troll.

    But how big are the chances of getting shot by a rampaging lunatic with guns when you go to the US???

    Or have I been brainwashed by to much news and Dutch people??

    I was mostly joking about people in the US shooting each other - the violence is almost completely limited to the poor areas of big cities. Then there are the domestic disputes, which usually involve alcohol and guns in the house. Learn how to avoid the poor areas, be careful about marrying Americans, and don't go on hunting trips with US politicians, and you should be fine. 

    The part that I was not joking about is that there is evidence that the US puts more stress on individuals than most developed countries. It is the other side of the coin of the economic and social advantages of living here. I believe that the developed countries that test as more stressful than the US don't let people have as many guns. Or as much freedom or rule of law, so nobody's perfect.

    As for the brainwashing, Americans are as fascinated as anyone else by the violent aspects of their past, and it certainly makes for good television. In reality, half of the US was settled by non-violent religious minorities such as the Quakers who are still (sans the religion) a major force in US lifestyle, culture, and politics. Atlanta is in the other half of the country, though...



  • @Ice^^Heat said:

    I hate to sound like a troll.

    But how big are the chances of getting shot by a rampaging lunatic with guns when you go to the US???

    Or have I been brainwashed by to much news and Dutch people??

    I can guarantee you that users of worsethanfailure are more likely to be killed by lightning than shot up. Unless you have a bad meth habit and are looking to go into da 'hood to score some shit. WEST SIDE



  • Well, I have a pretty positive vision on the US. My Dad works there (Austin, Texas). So I go there often.

    But my co-workers hate the US. So I get to hear the daily US bashing. And, Poland Bashing, and france bashing, and german bashing, and Turkiya Bashing, and pretty much every other country in the world. They would have you believe everybody guns each other down in the US. Too much news, and too much Paris Hilton fucks peoples minds up.

    Dutch people (and other americans, for that matter, yanks especially), would have you believe Texas is backwards as hell, but it was pretty nice though. 

    But I really, really don't like the Netherlands anymore, too crowded, and too small, and too boring.

    So I hope can do some of my next study in the US or Canada or Australia or something.



  • @RyuO said:

    Can you get a green card (work permit) out of it? That might be a good investment.

    Not when coming from the UK - it's not like the south american and eastern european countries where the equivalent standard of living is much lower than in the US. If you move from a white-collar job in the UK to the US, you will normally be slightly poorer overall (although not by much - the gap is much bigger from several of the western european countries). This is likely to increase, with the european economy on the rise, and the US dropping rapidly - although the "standard of living" relationships are subtle and not entirely driven by the economy, so it's always difficult to predict this.

    It was different back in the dot-com era, but that's over now.
     



  • By the way, JCD, there is something that you must do while in Atlanta. You have to eat at a [url=http://www.fiveguys.com/store_locator.aspx?s=GA&c=]Five Guys[/url].

    They just put two franchises down there in the city and a couple in the suburbs. You won't regret it.



  • @kirchhoff said:

    By the way, JCD, there is something that you must do while in Atlanta. You have to eat at a [url=http://www.fiveguys.com/store_locator.aspx?s=GA&c=]Five Guys[/url].

    They just put two franchises down there in the city and a couple in the suburbs. You won't regret it.

     

    Thanks for the tip. I declined the offer. $250 is nothing compared to other offers I receive and which are of companies based locally (I'd rather go abroad though). When dealing with the company I let them know I would be prepared to work for them (the placement is more like work than an actual task fit for your average student , but I don't mind) at $500 p. month. They aren't willing to pay 500USD so that's the end of that.


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