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Experiences of Chicago?

(6 Posts)
upthewolves Fri 13-Oct-17 06:29:20

Hi all. A possible opportunity has come up for us in Chicago USA. It would mean more money and a permanent position rather than going contract to contract as we are now, so is tempting from that perspective. Would be excellent for him career-wise.

But I'm nervous about the US, know nothing about Chicago, and we are currently in Perth Australia so imagine it would be a big change in lifestyle.

Anyone know or lived in the area? Have any tips? Any experiences good / bad would be helpful.


SquareWord Fri 13-Oct-17 15:59:30

You need @mathanxiety as she lives there.

misssmilla1 Sat 14-Oct-17 00:41:40

Lots of threads on here about pros and cons in moving to the US, which are worth a read for background.

The first things I would look at are what visas you'd be coming on, the sort of job and therefore benefits such as health insurance you would get (key as its so expensive) Also whether you are married and have kids - the marriage thing because of visa limitations if you're not, and kids as this will likely massively influence where you want to live due to education / schooling

The other big thing is weather, especially if you're coming from Oz. Cold weather plus wind chill temperature can make it feel brutal over winter

upthewolves Sat 14-Oct-17 00:53:15

Thank you! I'll have a read through. We are married and have a 2 year old and new baby due in 2 weeks but we wouldn't move until next August. Education is definitely something important to look into. I think we would move on permanent visas but not 100% on that yet and healthcare would be included. I don't know what kind of healthcare plan (or how to tell if a healthcare plan is good!)

Yeah the weather will be a massive change. But tbh the summers here kill me and it's one thing I wouldn't mind changing. We have 3 months of extremely hot days and that's tough with young children - particularly as mine have pale, Celtic genes!

Ifearthecold Sat 14-Oct-17 00:56:12

Math anxiety is your person as mentioned but I moved here a month ago from UK, hence user name. Feel free to PM, for what it's worth I'm loving it.

BeALert Mon 30-Oct-17 02:20:37

I don't live in Chicago but DH might as well - he's there so often for work. Last night we had dinner with two of his Chicago colleagues and we were talking a lot about all the things they love about living there.

I've visited a few times and loved it. Most people I know with kids who live there tend to live in the suburbs, and also love it.

The traffic is terrible and the winters are cold and windy, and the summers are hot and sticky, but it's a fantastic city, and has some really lovely suburbs.

You do need to make sure you get a good pay package and a good vacation deal (I got 26 days vacation in my last job, going up to 31 days after 5 years, and 36 days after 10 years - it can be done).

Expect your health costs - insurance, copays, deductibles etc - to cost you at least $1k a month, and possibly $2k a month, and negotiate the pay package accordingly.

You're not going to be affected by gun crime, so don't waste time worrying about that. Even DH who works mostly on the south side, in some fairly rough parts, has not encountered any violence in nearly 10 years of going there regularly.

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