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Old 01-04-2007, 04:58 AM
 
6 posts, read 215,817 times
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Hey,I'm from Australia and I want to move to Madison,Wisconsin when I turn 20 (5yrs) and I was wondering if some of you could plz tell me a little about it.
Such as Housing prices,weather patterns,job market.I would love to hear from some of you.
Thankyou.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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I must warn you that as an Australian I'm sure you'll find the winters to be unbelievably cold. We're talking average overnight temperatures of 13 below zero celsius. That's AVERAGE, meaning you'll have days when you wake up and it's 20 below zero celsius outside. As for the rest, I'll simply repeate myself from a previous post from someone who asked essentially the same question:

I'm a former resident of Madison. I loved living there and I still make it a point to visit several times a year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Madison's unemployment rate as of October 2006 is 2.9%. That's very tough to beat. An anecdotal indicator that the job market continues to grow is that the population itself continues to grow, both in Madison Proper and in the metro area. This is a long-term trend and it probably wouldn't be happening if the job market weren't also expanding. Plus there are a lot of government jobs in Madison; in addition to the city bureaucracy, Madison is also the county seat, state capital, home of the state's flagship university, and host to a federal court building. That's a lot of recession-proof employment that has a secondary stabilizing effect on the surrounding/supporting private sector.

Pros:
  • The aforementioned unemployment rate of less than 3%
  • The winters may suck (that's a matter of opinion, I happen to like cold snowy winters) but the summers are fabulous
  • Lots of outdoor recreational opportunities in the city itself (two large lakes and some nice parks) or within a short drive (every corner of the state provides its unique opportunities be it hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, canoeing/kayaking, rock climbing, river rafting, et cetera)
  • Hanging out on University of Wisconsin Union terrace overlooking the lake on a summer evening
  • If you're a beer snob, Madison has the best local beer scene in all the Midwest -- nearby world-class breweries include Great Dane (right downtown), Capital, New Glarus, Tyranena, Lake Louie, and probably a couple others I've forgotten
  • Lots of community support for local business gives the city a unique, eclectic personality and keeps it from being a generic chain-store Hell
  • Lots of good restaurants, particularly ethnic restaurants
  • Amazingly good schools for a city of its size that compete with the best suburban school districts the state has to offer

Cons:
  • Insane housing costs, especially for a city of its size and location
  • The insufferable self-righteousness that wafts from the university, but at least it's less militant than I've observed from other major universities
  • Speaking of universities, UW is both surprisingly civilized and quite rambunctious. The former element rules downtown during the day; unfortunately the latter takes over downtown at night, especially on weekends
  • Sky-high property taxes. BUT, for once you actually get what you pay for in the way of high-quality schools, nice clean parks and a sound, well-maintained infrastructure
  • Traffic through downtown can be a snarl during rush hour, but compared to major metros like Chicago, DC, L.A., NYC, and whatever, it's a minor inconvenience.

I can't recommend Madison highly enough, and in fact, I hope to move back there myself within the next 2 to 3 years.

Good luck with your move if you decide to undertake it.

Last edited by Drover; 01-04-2007 at 09:42 AM..
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:18 PM
 
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Thankyou I have rated your post positively.
I have been reading some other threads and I think I am leaning more to Glen Ellen now.But you have been very helpfull.
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,588 posts, read 57,867,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GodlyAce View Post
Thankyou I have rated your post positively.
I have been reading some other threads and I think I am leaning more to Glen Ellen now.But you have been very helpfull.
I'm just curious as to what it is about Glen Ellyn that would be attractive to a single 20-year-old foreigner? Glen Ellyn is more geared toward people who have settled down and have families whereas Madison is a veritable playground for single 20-somethings. Are you looking at going to College of DuPage or is it something else?
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:22 PM
 
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I grew up in Madison, and my Mother grew up in Glen Ellyn:

Apples & Oranges!

College liberal city vs. a conservative wealthy suburb.
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,588 posts, read 57,867,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Pros:
  • The aforementioned unemployment rate of less than 3%
  • The winters may suck (that's a matter of opinion, I happen to like cold snowy winters) but the summers are fabulous
  • Lots of outdoor recreational opportunities in the city itself (two large lakes and some nice parks) or within a short drive (every corner of the state provides its unique opportunities be it hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, canoeing/kayaking, rock climbing, river rafting, et cetera)
  • Hanging out on University of Wisconsin Union terrace overlooking the lake on a summer evening
  • If you're a beer snob, Madison has the best local beer scene in all the Midwest -- nearby world-class breweries include Great Dane (right downtown), Capital, New Glarus, Tyranena, Lake Louie, and probably a couple others I've forgotten
  • Lots of community support for local business gives the city a unique, eclectic personality and keeps it from being a generic chain-store Hell
  • Lots of good restaurants, particularly ethnic restaurants
  • Amazingly good schools for a city of its size that compete with the best suburban school districts the state has to offer
Forgot to list: unbeatable farmer's market on the Capitol Square on Saturdays in the summer. Best. Produce. Evar. (Plus venison jerky and fresh cheese curds that squeek against your teeth when you bite into them. )
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Old 01-05-2007, 01:42 AM
 
6 posts, read 215,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
I'm just curious as to what it is about Glen Ellyn that would be attractive to a single 20-year-old foreigner? Glen Ellyn is more geared toward people who have settled down and have families whereas Madison is a veritable playground for single 20-somethings. Are you looking at going to College of DuPage or is it something else?
Hmm your right,i'll do more research into the colleges there. Glen Ellyn soundes just divine though.
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Old 01-05-2007, 03:30 AM
 
Location: Chicago
36,588 posts, read 57,867,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GodlyAce View Post
Hmm your right,i'll do more research into the colleges there. Glen Ellyn soundes just divine though.
Uhm... well, it really is a nice place. I just don't know that it's a terribly appealing for a college-age student. I strongly suspect that if you were to come to the U.S. and tour both cities, you'd find Madison more to your liking. In fact, visiting any city before going to school there would be a good idea unless your mind is so set on going to a particular school that its location doesn't matter. For instance, you probably couldn't pay most sane people to live in New Haven Connecticut. But that isn't going to stop most folks from attening Yale if given a chance... I just don't see College of DuPage being that special. So I reiterate: visit before deciding.
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Old 01-05-2007, 04:12 AM
 
6 posts, read 215,817 times
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Will do, thankyou for the advice.
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Old 01-10-2007, 01:20 AM
 
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Hehe funny I should stumble across this forum and this post today.

I'm a 24 year old Australian (I live in Canberra) currently in Madison, Wisconsin. I'm usually here several months a year for family reasons so I am very familiar with Madison and Wisconsin in general, it's basically my second home.

Madison is simply one of the best medium-sized cities in the midwest, bar none. Food, entertainment and cultural attractions are top notch for a place of its size and it has plenty of well-paid jobs. This is of course all thanks to being a college town with a young and well educated population. As far as colleges go, UW-Madison is one of the most respected public universities in the country. I barely even know where Glen Ellyn is to be honest and I doubt most around here know much more than I do.

Reiterating the first reply though, the winters are cold. Not cold as in what Australians call 'cold' (i.e. 10 C), but COLD. Winter minimums below minus 20 C are common and with windchill factorered in the apparent temperature can be as low as minus 30 C. Right now as I type (around midnight) it's minus 13 C outside (and it's been a warm winter). BUT - dress appropriately and it's not a problem, and having a real winter with real snow is honestly a wonderful thing that I truly miss when I go back to mild, snowless Australian winters. Winter in Madison is also quite long, basically November to March. Spring is brief and violent (barely lasts more than 4-6 weeks and is quite stormy). Summer (June-August) is warm and humid but rarely uncomfortably hot. Autumn (September-October) is probably the nicest time - warm and sunny with cool nights.

Other than that it's fairly similar to living in Australia really (once you get used to the hundreds of words/idioms that Americans use differently than Australians and the small day-to-day differences in road rules, banking, customs and culture etc). The locals are very friendly and you can take it from me, Australians are VERY rare here and quite a novelty, so you are sure to have many people interested in you.
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