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  #21  
Old 13.04.2009, 22:07
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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too much freedom? like what exactly?
Yuhu says he went to high school in Singapore. I think chewing gum was once against the law in Singapore. In the meantime, people do all kinds of naughty in California.
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  #22  
Old 13.04.2009, 22:53
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

And the other thing is that some situations in Europe is not getting any better (oil, energy resources and stuff), and you better know how these things effects everything in each country. So are these stuff serious now? What about next 30 years? (I’m sure Switzerland is not an exception, but any thoughts?)
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  #23  
Old 13.04.2009, 23:07
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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in comparison with Switzerland. Can someone list?
(Iím more interested to know about life of academic people in USA vs Switzerland)
And is it worth to move from Switzerland to USA for someone who has opportunity to live in one of these countries?
I am sorry to be rude, but you cannot expect people to do all your work for you.

You need to specify your motivations and options in detail. Then, an abundance of people will go out of their way to help.

I am not attempting to be disparaging, but your post is so very broad.
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  #24  
Old 13.04.2009, 23:28
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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I am sorry to be rude, but you cannot expect people to do all your work for you.

You need to specify your motivations and options in detail. Then, an abundance of people will go out of their way to help.

I am not attempting to be disparaging, but your post is so very broad.
I think Iím too pessimistic about living in Switzerland
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  #25  
Old 13.04.2009, 23:44
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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And the other thing is that some situations in Europe is not getting any better (oil, energy resources and stuff), and you better know how these things effects everything in each country. So are these stuff serious now? What about next 30 years? (Iím sure Switzerland is not an exception, but any thoughts?)
I think any of the expats on this board can tell you that transitioning to a different culture is not always painless. You'll need to learn a new culture, while you unlearn your old one.

If you want to learn more about life and the world at large, California is a microcosm of the whole world. They have people from every part of the globe with all kinds of personalities and cultural baggages... I mean backgrounds. Generally, Californians are quite accepting of others, and very open in terms of exchanging information and knowledge. There is a lot that can be learned there.

To survive well in California, you'll need to develop a sixth sense in terms of people. You'll need to learn how to read people, as well as how to interact well with them. Unlike Switzerland, where you can forego social skills as long as you do your part very well, merit in California is largely based on personal-social skills. I know of a number of talented people who could not make it there because they were too self-sufficient at what they do. They simply never developed a community network to deal with more complicated problems.

There are already too many people in California. The place is quite dense. There is not enough water, and there are too many cars. The air quality is awful, and there is a high crime rate. There are also lots and lots of criminally insane people lurking around.

If you are Swiss, I bet you would go through a culture shock. I think you'll have to undergo a transformation to live in California. Some are able to do it, some are not. Those who have would probably tell you it is well worth it. But if your first concern is to live your life in safety, familiarity and comfort until the day you stop breathing, then I think you are better off staying here.
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  #26  
Old 14.04.2009, 06:57
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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too much freedom? like what exactly?
How should I word this out.... hmm,

Personally, I regard myself as a conservative individual. perhaps with 'freedom' i was referring to 'not being conservative'

Of course some people would disagree with me.
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  #27  
Old 14.04.2009, 08:59
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

Since when did California become USA? I think someone needs to represent the East Coast....any volunteers? Ok, I'll give it a try.

I can best vouch for New England. It has some very European towns and cities, the weather is more extreme than here. (hotter summers, colder winters) But the best universities in the world are concentrated here. (though you will need to pay quite a bit for them) There are ridiculously many research opportunities, especially in science and engineering. Internships are also quite plentiful. There is also plenty of unspoiled nature to go and visit, beautiful foliage in the autumn, good skiing opportunities and some great beaches in the summer. New York City and Boston are both reachable and possible day trips.

Further south, there are other nice states. I personally like Virginia, the Carolinas and central to south Florida. The latter especially due to the weather and the lower taxes.
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  #28  
Old 14.04.2009, 09:07
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

We lived on the East coast - Washington DC to be precise. Great experience but for us not a lifetime choice.

Pro
  • Size - houses, parking spaces, roads, shops, portions. Almost everything is bigger which is quite liberating.
  • People are friendly and optimistic
  • Prices are low compared to salaries
  • Great shop opening hours.
Con
  • health care system is very frightening - even if you think you are covered you still may have significant additional costs if things go wrong. It is like dealing with you car insurance company and all that entails.
  • Lack of work life balance, I had colleagues who had never taken a two week vacation in their entire lives. People do have a tendency to work and sleep - things close very early in the evening
A good experience to have certainly.
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  #29  
Old 14.04.2009, 10:12
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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How should I word this out.... hmm,

Personally, I regard myself as a conservative individual. perhaps with 'freedom' i was referring to 'not being conservative'

Of course some people would disagree with me.
The USA is one of the most conservative Christian places on Earth... half the population are god-fearing religious zealots, the type who voted for Bush.
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  #30  
Old 14.04.2009, 10:27
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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The USA is one of the most conservative Christian places on Earth... half the population are god-fearing religious zealots, the type who voted for Bush.
Wow...I know this is an opinion based message board but still.....

http://tr.truveo.com/Christianity-fa.../id/3890817989

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29585222/

And the VAST majority of these 'zealots' are just non violent, harmless, (friendly and accepting) people
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  #31  
Old 14.04.2009, 10:29
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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The USA is one of the most conservative Christian places on Earth... half the population are god-fearing religious zealots, the type who voted for Bush.
There is a difference between being religious and a religious zealot.

I don't mind people being religious as long as they don't try to
push it on me.
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  #32  
Old 14.04.2009, 10:54
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

Oh come on I was clearly exagerrating with "zealots"... just a bit of tounge-in-cheek... sigh...
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  #33  
Old 14.04.2009, 11:02
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Oh come on I was clearly exagerrating with "zealots"... just a bit of tounge-in-cheek... sigh...

language is tricky....religious zealotry has some really bad connotations
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  #34  
Old 14.04.2009, 11:04
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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...
Con
  • health care system is very frightening - even if you think you are covered you still may have significant additional costs if things go wrong. It is like dealing with you car insurance company and all that entails.
  • Lack of work life balance, I had colleagues who had never taken a two week vacation in their entire lives. People do have a tendency to work and sleep - things close very early in the evening
A good experience to have certainly.
Interesting how different experiences can be.

I had more vacation days per year in the U.S. than I have here now. Both times my employer was/is a large financial services company. And I always took all my vacation days, we even had a rule in the U.S. that you had to take a 2-week leave once a year.

I also found the U.S. health care system to be more affordable and of higher quality than the Swiss system.
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  #35  
Old 14.04.2009, 11:19
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

I lived in New Jersey (Parsippany) for 1 year before I shifted to Basel. Been in Basel for almost 8 months now. So here's my take on comparing life in the USA vis-a-vis Swiss. Beware though that this is the East Coast (Northern part) and that may siginficantly differ from the west coast.

USA (East Coast):

Pros:
  • Very liberal, more welcoming to foreigners, also easy to merge in because of lack of language barrier (depends on where you are coming from)
  • Great opportunities for employment, especially in the Boston-NYC-Philadelphia-Washington DC corridor
  • Distinct 4 seasons, you can really feel winter and summer in their full glory
  • Abundance of natural beauty, I can never get enough of the fall foliage
  • Cheap rentals (does not apply to above metros), low cost of gas and food, generally cost of living is much lower
  • People are very friendly and easy to strike a conversation with (that is, if they can divert their attention from work)
Cons:
  • Once you leave the main metro areas, public transport is non-existent. You will need a car for any and everything. That really used to irritate me sometimes
  • Distances are huge and therefore you need to depend on flights for vacations or getaways
  • Densely crowded. In fact New Jersey might well be the most densely populated state in the US
  • People work like crazy. Theres no work life balance. In my 1 year, I was able to manage just 2 days of vacation time
  • Places are more or less the same. So if you've seen NYC, theres nothing radically different in Boston or Philly or other cities
  • Crime rate is quite high. Plus
Europe (or to be more precise Switzerland)
Pros:
  • Very beautiful country and best of all it is small so you can cover it in short trips on weekends
  • Great work life balance. I have colleagues who religiously take 6 weeks of vacation a year
  • Loads of opportunities to travel as it is located centrally in Europe
  • Life is generally quite relaxed. Lets you enjoy the minute details which you can sometime lose out in the hustle and bustle of everyday life
  • Great culture, history (applies to whole of europe)
  • Excellent public transport system. I havent felt the need for a car since I've come over here
  • Very safe and secure.
  • Best of all, close to the mountains.... love that!
  • Good economic opportunities, especially in financial services, pharma and high tech
Cons:
  • Life can get boring sometimes, especially in winter when there is nothing much to do
  • Language barrier exists. Its tough to integrate with the common man on the street
  • Expensive! Cost of living in Switzerland is definitely way higher than in the states
  • Shops are open only upto 6 pm so you have to complete your entire week shopping on Saturdays
Overall from a personal perspective, I prefer living in Switzerland to the US. However I wouldnt mind a short stint in the states, just to mix it up

Hope this is helpful,
Cheers
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  #36  
Old 14.04.2009, 11:19
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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language is tricky....religious zealotry has some really bad connotations
Only if you take everything with Germanesque seriousness.
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  #37  
Old 14.04.2009, 11:38
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

Tnx all. One other thing is that most of you moved from US to here, so you had your own reasons depending on your situation. But I like to also hear from anyone who is thinking to move to US.
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  #38  
Old 14.04.2009, 12:27
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Wow...I know this is an opinion based message board but still.....

http://tr.truveo.com/Christianity-fa.../id/3890817989

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29585222/

And the VAST majority of these 'zealots' are just non violent, harmless, (friendly and accepting) people

A BIG flaw in those opinion polls is that a large number of Christians don't consider their faiths as a religion. Hehe...


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The USA is one of the most conservative Christian places on Earth... half the population are god-fearing religious zealots, the type who voted for Bush.

The proportion is about right, but the description is wrong. Many voted for Bush for smaller government and tax cuts.

Listen, if you don't know what you are talking about, spare us the dribble please.
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  #39  
Old 14.04.2009, 12:47
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

off-topics?
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  #40  
Old 14.04.2009, 12:52
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

About 5 years ago I had the same choice as you, accept a job offer in Austin (Texas) or come to Zurich (I am from Holland originally). I based my decision on:

Austin pro: - cheap housing
- multiple possible employers close together, job hopping easy
Austin con: - there are no people walking on the street, it's just cars
everywhere, I felt like in a bad scifi movie where all people were killed
- everything was too far. I had the opportunity to drive around a bit, it took 4 hours driving for the scenery to change
- I've been to NY and SF, basically the USA is the same everywhere. There is a Mac everywhere, Burger king, Wendy and they all look the same whereever you are. No real variety
- don't like US visa system
- cycling is dangerous, no real hills around Austin
- hot
- only 2 or 3 weeks holidays

Zurich pro: - central in europe, lots of interesting trips possible
- landscape changes quickly when driving around
- only 1 hour to fly to visit family
- close to Italy, mediteranian
- i love zurich in summer with the lake, the big fields where you can just lie down and relax, swim, boat, cycling through the hills
- i managed to negotiate 8 weeks holidays
Zurich con: - expensive (but matched by high salary)
- winter is boring (but high income allows for winter escape holiday to Miami)

Last edited by BasP72; 14.04.2009 at 13:20.
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