U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > South Carolina > Columbia area
 [Register]
Columbia area Columbia - Lexington - Irmo
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-07-2016, 05:06 AM
 
20 posts, read 16,709 times
Reputation: 11

Advertisements

Hi All
I am new to this forum and I would like to ask all of you for assistance / advice.
Recently I have been offered a work relocation from Europe to Columbia, SC.
I am still considering an offer but I am under pressure to make decission. Can you tell me few words about life and its quality in Columbia? I know there are probably posts about it, but at the moment I have limited time to read forum so I would appreciate all your help.
Myself and husband , are both 30+ yrs old, husband is much into sport / martial arts. We love outdoor activities.
What can I expect in Columbia? What is average rent cost (I would be looking for nice mid size house), utility bills etc?
Do you like Columbia? Are people nice there?
I am foreigner and I wonder how it might be welcomed there, it my accent wouldn't be funny to others, are there any nice shopping malls, movie theaters, events?

Thank you so much for all your help! I appreciate it
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-07-2016, 08:45 AM
 
47 posts, read 38,983 times
Reputation: 22
Hello,
Where in Europe are you from? Perhaps tailor the discussion for the sake of comparison.
Let me first offer you a recent post discussing many cultural, political, and social aspects that contains many different views (including mine). I feel it's important to hear more than just one sided opinions, and this discussion will have plenty of those, but also opposing views. Although it's mostly a comparison of two SC cities, there's plenty of useful info for you. Is Columbia worth a $5,000 raise? (From Charleston)

I have lived in Europe for 9 years total and my wife is British, so it was a bit of culture shock to my wife at first. We have grown to like it, but not necessarily love it. I will comment more in a bit when I have some more time.

Last edited by jjmmww; 01-07-2016 at 09:22 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2016, 09:15 AM
 
47 posts, read 38,983 times
Reputation: 22
What job are you considering if you don't mind me asking?
Quality of life in Columbia is very different to Europe. It's very much a driving city...it's got it's areas that are walkable, and for the most part I'd rate it very low for walkability. Public transport is virtually non existent. There are outdoor activities in Columbia and surrounding. But I find Columbia far behind in tapping into their outdoor resources, so I wouldn't call Columbia an outdoorsy type city, but it is there and available.
Cost of living is very reasonable. You should be able to get a good size house in a nice neighborhood for ~$1000-$1500/mo. My utility bills are very reasonable.
People are generally nice here. I will say that my wife was really bad at judging a book (aka people) by its cover, but having worked with customers, she's learned that even the rough looking ones are generally friendly. Despite what people will say on here, church is a huge deal around here (especially compared to Europe)...you will get prayed for, invited to churches, and asked about your church. My wife and I are not religious people so we just avoid the discussion and politely turn down invites, and it's not a problem. It's not a daily occurrence or anything, but you will notice it.
You will definitely be accepted...people will be very curious about your accent because its not that common to find Europeans here. You will get lots of questions. My wife is a novelty where she works lol.
There is some decent shopping. Columbiana mall is nice, but the fashion is different here so you'll have to get used to that. My wife's sense of style is definitely European and there are a few stores here that she really likes. Some nice movie theaters. There are different events, but I don't find as many as you would get in bigger cities. Some decent annual festivals...we like the Crawfish Festival. A lot of big name entertainers seem to skip Columbia for Charleston or Charlotte.
One of the best attributes of Columbia, in my opinion, is it's proximity to other cities, the beach, and mountains. Bear in mind the size of the US, so it's all relative. We happily drive 2 hours away just for a day out. We spend most of our weekends traveling.
If you do take the offer, you've really got to manage your expectations. The culture, the economy, the scenery, the social life...all completely different. Plenty of people love it here so I'm not trying dissuade you at all, but I just wanted to give you my perspective because I can relate to your experience. I want to be as impartial as possible. My wife has really grown to love the States, just not this particular area. Have you been to the States before, if so where?

Last edited by jjmmww; 01-07-2016 at 09:43 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2016, 10:21 AM
 
36 posts, read 32,462 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady1234 View Post
Hi All
I am new to this forum and I would like to ask all of you for assistance / advice.
Recently I have been offered a work relocation from Europe to Columbia, SC.
I am still considering an offer but I am under pressure to make decission. Can you tell me few words about life and its quality in Columbia? I know there are probably posts about it, but at the moment I have limited time to read forum so I would appreciate all your help.
Myself and husband , are both 30+ yrs old, husband is much into sport / martial arts. We love outdoor activities.
What can I expect in Columbia? What is average rent cost (I would be looking for nice mid size house), utility bills etc?
Do you like Columbia? Are people nice there?
I am foreigner and I wonder how it might be welcomed there, it my accent wouldn't be funny to others, are there any nice shopping malls, movie theaters, events?

Thank you so much for all your help! I appreciate it
The degree of culture shock may depend, to some degree, on where you are from in Europe. Where do you live? If you can tell me this, I can give you detail that will be best suited for you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2016, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
1,710 posts, read 1,498,732 times
Reputation: 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady1234 View Post
Hi All
I am new to this forum and I would like to ask all of you for assistance / advice.
Recently I have been offered a work relocation from Europe to Columbia, SC.
I am still considering an offer but I am under pressure to make decission. Can you tell me few words about life and its quality in Columbia? I know there are probably posts about it, but at the moment I have limited time to read forum so I would appreciate all your help.
Myself and husband , are both 30+ yrs old, husband is much into sport / martial arts. We love outdoor activities.
What can I expect in Columbia? What is average rent cost (I would be looking for nice mid size house), utility bills etc?
Do you like Columbia? Are people nice there?
I am foreigner and I wonder how it might be welcomed there, it my accent wouldn't be funny to others, are there any nice shopping malls, movie theaters, events?

Thank you so much for all your help! I appreciate it
You will experience a great deal of culture shock, but not all of it will be negative.

Positives will be the weather (perhaps except for summer), cost of living, friendliness of the people, access to mountains and beaches. As for outdoor activities, there are several state parks, including one National Park, around Columbia. There are kayaking and tubing tours of the river which runs through our downtown. There is a large lake nearby. However, Columbia is not an "outdoorsy" place like the Pacific Northwest.

Negatives will include needing a car, Bible Belt culture, the very hot and humid summers, the fact that Columbia is a small/mid-sized city without the culture and entertainment of large cities. You WILL need a car here.

I would live downtown if I were you. You could get a fantastic house or apartment downtown for $2000 or so, something nice but less glamorous for $1500, $750-1000 for something basic but suitable. Cost of living, including utilities, is very reasonable by US standards. You will have to purchase your own health insurance, though, and you will likely pay more for medical care than you're used to in Europe (although the quality will be as high if not higher).

I've lived in Europe for two years of my life. I'm a bit of a europhile and would love to live there again if the right opportunity presented itself. I'm a native South Carolinian, so I am used to the culture here (even though there are aspects of it I don't like). I'm happy in Columbia, but like anywhere, some people love it and some people hate it. All in all, it is a good place to live, though.

I don't think you'll have any problem being accepted. I recommend finding activities, groups, etc., to help you get plugged in to with locals. This will make all the difference.

If you do decide to come here, I recommend going to free-times.com, the website of our local alternative newspaper, and reading up on the various neighborhoods around the city as well as the local events. Not every big name act comes here, but there is still plenty to do. Also, Charlotte is a quick drive and generally gets most big name concerts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2016, 02:20 PM
 
20 posts, read 16,709 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks a milion for this info. I am from Poland but live and work in Ireland past 9 years. I think coming from small city of Cork in IE to small city on US will not be bad plus change of weather - from 360 days of rain during the year into nice warm climate will be huge positive change
I am currently working for large global company and been offered management level position in SC. Incl relocation package so temporary housing and car will be provided for first month. Of course I will buy a car as soon as I can, I am used to be driving anywhere so it's good to hear that I will need a car, if only roads are better than here in IE

My accent is definitely something poeple always ask me about, I never wanted to have any (if I could I would love to have American accent) by naturally my accent is a mix of polish / Irish

At the moment situation in Europe is not that good and honestly I cannot imagine moving anywhere within Europe: U.K. Is same as Ireland in terms of weather so I am not interested, Poland - no, too poor quality of life vs salary, Spain - huge number of unemployed poeple, Germany / France - currently have big problem with refugees who came from Syria and Africa, terrorist attacks etc so this offer in Columbia seems to be best fit at the moment
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2016, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
1,710 posts, read 1,498,732 times
Reputation: 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady1234 View Post
Thanks a milion for this info. I am from Poland but live and work in Ireland past 9 years. I think coming from small city of Cork in IE to small city on US will not be bad plus change of weather - from 360 days of rain during the year into nice warm climate will be huge positive change
I am currently working for large global company and been offered management level position in SC. Incl relocation package so temporary housing and car will be provided for first month. Of course I will buy a car as soon as I can, I am used to be driving anywhere so it's good to hear that I will need a car, if only roads are better than here in IE

My accent is definitely something poeple always ask me about, I never wanted to have any (if I could I would love to have American accent) by naturally my accent is a mix of polish / Irish

At the moment situation in Europe is not that good and honestly I cannot imagine moving anywhere within Europe: U.K. Is same as Ireland in terms of weather so I am not interested, Poland - no, too poor quality of life vs salary, Spain - huge number of unemployed poeple, Germany / France - currently have big problem with refugees who came from Syria and Africa, terrorist attacks etc so this offer in Columbia seems to be best fit at the moment
That is good to hear. It sounds like not only will you have a good job and situation here, but you're coming from a place with a pace of life that won't leave you bewildered upon your arrival here. Columbia is somewhat larger than Cork, although Cork may have more tourism and there be a bit more cosmopolitan.

It sounds like you're happy about the possible move and have the right attitude. With those two things in hand, your experience will be much better. You may miss the beautiful old architecture of Europe, but Columbia, South Carolina, and the US as a whole will provide you a very different lifestyle and opportunities.

Start trying to learn the Imperial system (feet, inches, miles, Fahrenheit). Very, very few people understand the metric system here, and you will not be understood (or understand anyone) if you don't "speak Imperial."

Best of luck to you!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2016, 09:50 PM
 
47 posts, read 38,983 times
Reputation: 22
Good point re imperial system, but be aware that the US customary systems of measurements does differ from the imperial system a bit, particularly in volume. For instance an imperial gallon and pint is more than a US gallon or pint. Minor things indeed, but I know Ireland didn't completely adopt the metric system when it comes to volume (the pub!).
Keep in mind that there wont be the prevalent network of Polish/Eastern European here like you find in the UK and Ireland.
As far as the road networks go, they will be in better condition than your L or R roads in Ireland. The roads will be wider, but you'll also feel they're more chaotic at first. With the US being very service based economy, there are tons of restaurants and stores that are accessed by main thoroughfares, so there will be lots of entering/exiting roads all along the way. A lot more traffic lights and stop signs than you'll be used to and roundabouts are virtually non-existent. You wont find winding, narrow, single lane country roads. My wife was a bit overwhelmed initially, but now she finds it much easier to navigate and drive in the US than in England. In fact every time we go back its a bit of a shock to drive on some of those B roads.
Keep an open mind, understand that the settling process takes time, and that things will be different than what youre used to...like anywhere, its what you make of it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2016, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
1,710 posts, read 1,498,732 times
Reputation: 353
A new European food market recently opened in Columbia, so hopefully you will be able to find some products and delicacies from back home! Check out "European Market, Columbia SC" on Facebook.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-10-2016, 01:17 PM
 
20 posts, read 16,709 times
Reputation: 11
thank you again for all responses.
In Ireland we do have miles etc so I am a bit familiar with metics, however I will never learn on how to convert F to C, what a nightmare! I've heard that there is some agreed logic to apply when trying to convert but i guess i need to find it somewhere or simply print it and hang all around the house ha ha
I read that Columbia has some good BBQ? Can you say something about it? I love BBQ and i absolute love all grilled food, we do not have many opoortunities to grill here due to bad weather and often rain falls, so this is something i am really looking forward to do in USA.
it seems that we are going to move there within next few weeks.

Is the city safe? I read about KKK, bloods & cribs and this sounds kinda scary to me.

Thank you
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:



Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > South Carolina > Columbia area
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. | Please obey Forum Rules | Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top