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Learn to drive in Australia before coming here and plan on buying a car here if you are staying for any long period of time. American cities (particularly in the midwest) are VERY car-centric. The cities here are structured quite differently than European/Australian cities (commercial districts are mostly built around the major highways in long 'belts', rather than being in 1 centralised location that you can walk to from your house...no concept of local shops like in Australia). They are built for the car and walking is not really an option for most travel. Madison isn't too bad cause of the student population in the downtown area but other Wisconsin cities (e.g. Green Bay) are terrible in this regard. American suburban sprawl is far worse than in Australia ... everything is incredibly spread out and inaccessible on foot.
Well its nice to know that us Australians are considered a rare. Just wanted to touch base and say hello. Im a 32 year old Australian who has just moved to Milwaukee from Perth Western Australia. I have been here since November and im just getting used to this sub zero degree winters. I have moved here with my partner and currently chasing employment - visa sponsorship in the finance area. I am finding it difficult because its not a common thing here and it just getting frustrating. Im having to go back to Australia soon to then reapply for an F1 student visa. Im having to go to university just to stay in this country. I have been in the finance industry for 12 years so if you know anyone that wants to hire an experienced Aussie. Other than that, nice to know that there is a fellow Aussie here. Im living in the southside of downtown Milwaukee so its great not being far from the city. I do miss the warm weather and restaurants of Perth but other than that im fitting in well. Oh yeah and dont ask for a white coffee with two as they have no idea what the "white" refers to. lol.
I'm curious... if you're looking for a job in finance, why did you move to Milwaukee? It's not exactly a renowned financial hub of the U.S. If you want to stay in the relative area, you're probably going to have much better luck looking in Chicago, which is one of the nation's major financial hubs. If you get work there, you can still be close to Milwaukee as there's a train that runs from Kenosha and will take you straight to Chicago's financial district.
I'm fifteen, was born in madison and love it. i know i may not have credibility due to my age but this is my opinion. Ive spent long periods of time in other cities chicago, milwakee, etc. and spending time there just makes me appreciate madison even more. i would recommend anyone to live there.
the cycling and activities are what i miss the most.
I have never used my hockey skates since leaving lake mendota.
and the last ride i had that i enjoyed every meter of was around paoli.
i will return there soon!
thanks for all your posts guys I'm from california and my husband just got a job at epic so we are about to move there soon, from what ive been reading the weather is the only con for me, I can bear that for a few years
I love the diversity here in Madison. I've lived serveral places since I moved from Indiana... 27 years ago... and I find you can experience just about anything and everything... nature is close at hand, politics if you want to get involved, the arts, exercise (great bike paths!) and in winter many cross country trails. Union terrace is a great place to have a cold beer and people watch and have great conversations with good friends.
Many great concerts in all venues.... price of housing (property taxes for one) is very high but not as high as total basic rent in Juneau, Alaska (place I fell in love with). A place one could certainly fall in love with if you must have all the creature comforts.
I grew up in Glen Ellyn IL (yes it has College of Du Page), but also near Wheaton College. And other private colleges are not too far (Elmhurst College 35 - 40min drive) and I definitely understand the quintness there. In Illinois, I would rank it on my tops list along with: Geneva, IL (no college) and Crystal Lake, IL (McHenry County College). I choose these cities for there 1. Metra line 2. Good school systems (i have 4 young children) 3. Pretty downtown and parks 4. Low crime 5. Community atmosphere. I'm drawn to town with small boutiques and restaurants and clean low crime feel. In Geneva you have the riverwalk and phenomenal restaurants (Naperville is a nice one to visit too, but not the business district). Glen Ellyn doesn't have the restaurants. Crystal Lake where I currently live has everything. It has the quaint downtown area with a few restaurants train station farmers market, then it has another area with Lake and 2 public beach beach areas (awesome fests and concerts in the park), then it has endless shopping down another area Randall Rd. There are 3 hospitals within 30 mins drive. Schools are 9 & 10/10. You literally have everything here without having to drive to other towns. The community is awesome. Very fitness minded. The neighborhoods are diverse with the nicest home located in the downtown area or around the lake (the gates also called Lakewood). And if you want a taste of country, corn fields Apple picking, pumpkin patches, stables , cut your own Christmas tree are all a very short drive. Which makes it unique to most of the burbs. Keep in mind if your basing your decision on colleges there is no 4 year college nears Crystal Lake, in fact the only one near any of these cities is Elmhurst or Wheaton (Christian) colleges. If you're wanting to go to a 2 year community college, don't expect much from the small colleges besides the necessary degree, but the towns listed are great. There is a ton to do in the chicagoland area, but the train ride from these towns is 50-110 mins. It is expensive to commute regularly and generally an experience that you can't wait to end if daily. Weather is similar to Wisconsin.
[LIST][*]Great education system, when the teachers aren't shoving their political agenda down the throats of the children.[*]Some of the best burgers you will ever eat in your life.[*]A great mixture of multicultural restaurants.[/LIST]
[LIST][*]This city is filled to the brim with some of the most bigoted, stuck up, and self righteous people I have had the displeasure of knowing. By "bigot" I mean that if you are looking to have a spirited political discussion you wont find that here, if you are not on the liberal side of things then be expected to be looked down upon in the most hateful of ways.[*]The weather will be a shock to your system if coming from Australia. The winters are brutal, the summers are so humid you will want to jump off a bridge. The only saving grace are spring and fall but expect a lot of rain.[*]There is nothing to do here. You go to the mall and walk around like a zombie, go to the bar, go to a movie, drink at home or go to state street and pretend like it is interesting. To find things to do you have to drive an hour to the dells, an hour and a half to Milwaukee or two and a half hours to that hell hole Chicago.[*]The cost of living is absolutely ridiculous.[*]Madison seems hell bent on having everyone live in apartment buildings, you really don't see many new house developments but you will see construction on apartment buildings constantly.[*]The traffic is ridiculous. You will take the belt line to get across the city and you will hate it, if you try to take university to east wash to get around the belt line...you will hate it. There seems to be no way around the traffic especially during rush hour.[*]People from Madison praise their downtown and state street for no reason at all. State street is just a really long bar with a couple of shops in between and plenty of homeless in the summer. They do have taste of Madison and the farmers market a couple times a year but no one really cares.[*]People from Madison praise the lakes but very few go out on them because they are polluted and smell like sewage a good deal of the time.[*]The only other things to do are "Brat fest" where you can go be bored and get some soggy, sub par brats and the fair which comes to town. The fair is your standard crap fest where you can ride the same rides you have seen since childhood and get some over priced food from the sketchy vendors. People only go there because they finally watched everything netflix has ever aired because, again, there is nothing to do here.[/LIST]
I wouldn't recommend this city to my worst enemy. Any experience of the people who post here are clearly subjective in the highest regard. My experience with Madison will differ from others and that is fine, I know people that love Madison with every fiber of their being and there is nothing wrong with that either. I just gave my opinions, you can take those as you will as well as the other opinions stated here.
Good luck in your journey.
To provide a little more context to the point about "Madison seems hell bent on having everyone live in apartment buildings, you really don't see many new house developments but you will see construction on apartment buildings constantly." It's because most of the newcomers to Madison WANT to live in apartment buildings, and there's a huge shortage of them, so that's what they're building.
There's plenty of new house developments in Verona, Cottage Grove, Sun Prairie, Fitchburg, Waunakee, and even the far east and far west side of Madison-- just not downtown. To me that seems to be the natural order of things-- you build apartment buildings downtown and houses in the suburbs.
I actually kind of agree with your other points, much as I am surprised to do so. But the point about the house/apartment mix definitely needs clarification.
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