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Old 08-12-2008, 03:50 AM
 
8 posts, read 16,186 times
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A warm "Hello" from Scotland. This is my first thread here. I was offered a Post Doc job in University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. I haven't decide whether I will accept it because I don't have a single idea on WI until I found this site. Here is my question,

1) My wages. this is what I might get "After covering health and other benefits the take home is usually between $34,000 to $38,000 per year". Is this money enough for two (my wife and myself) to survive?
2) where should I stay? There are two thing I consider before making decision, affordable (around $750, 2 bedroom flat/house) and the safety.
3) Things I should avoid in WI as I am a very friendly and as always, I try not to put myself into problems/conflict.

I am first timer here. Please forgive me if my question sound silly to you. I have never been to US in my life so I am desperate for helps. Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
448 posts, read 1,819,875 times
Reputation: 267
It will be tight but if you leave out any trips to Scotland during your time here, you could make it. As you may have heard, the economy is kind of poor here, so prices for heat, groceries, travel, etc are getting high. In your situation a car isn't necessary and will cost you more money. Bus fares are 10 tickets for $16, which would last a week. You could also buy an unlimited weekly pass for the same amount. UWM offers a cheaper U-Pass for it's students but I'm not sure how you would fit in that category.

You'll probably want to stick close to the university to avoid extra travel expenses for the bus. Rentals near the university are easy to find. Ideally you would find a place with heat and water included. Heat costs, especially during the winter can be high.

Things you should be aware of are that winters here can be harsh. Last year had record snowfalls although the cold wasn't the worst. Otherwise, just be aware of your surroundings when walking about and by all means be friendly but don't trust strangers too much. There are plenty of people walking about the city with sad stories which always end in them asking for money. It's the typical city experience.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:06 AM
 
8 posts, read 16,186 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuclear_Art View Post
It will be tight but if you leave out any trips to Scotland during your time here, you could make it. As you may have heard, the economy is kind of poor here, so prices for heat, groceries, travel, etc are getting high. In your situation a car isn't necessary and will cost you more money. Bus fares are 10 tickets for $16, which would last a week. You could also buy an unlimited weekly pass for the same amount. UWM offers a cheaper U-Pass for it's students but I'm not sure how you would fit in that category.

You'll probably want to stick close to the university to avoid extra travel expenses for the bus. Rentals near the university are easy to find. Ideally you would find a place with heat and water included. Heat costs, especially during the winter can be high.

Things you should be aware of are that winters here can be harsh. Last year had record snowfalls although the cold wasn't the worst. Otherwise, just be aware of your surroundings when walking about and by all means be friendly but don't trust strangers too much. There are plenty of people walking about the city with sad stories which always end in them asking for money. It's the typical city experience.
Thanks for the reply. I have another question, is it easy to get a part time job in Milwaukee? My wife might need to work.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
448 posts, read 1,819,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterYeoh View Post
Thanks for the reply. I have another question, is it easy to get a part time job in Milwaukee? My wife might need to work.
I assume it's easy if she's not too picky although if she doesn't have a green card then that will make it more difficult. If she has permission to work here then maybe she can find a temp job at Manpower which has its headquarters here.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,567 posts, read 5,312,527 times
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You should be okay on that kind of salary. I know several people who work at UWM and make that amount or less, and they're able to support another individual (typically a kid, but in one case a partner). If you get an apartment near campus, you may even get most or all utilities included in the rent; you'll probably pay in the $700-$1000 range for an apartment with utilities (you can find places costing more and less, though). This will leave you with enough cash for food, some entertainment, etc.

It's true that prices on some things are going up, but the cost of living in Milwaukee is overall relatively low. Utilities, esp. for heat in the winter, can bust a budget, but do look into apartments that include utilities in the rent. As Nuclear said, if you don't have a car, you'll save yourself a bit of money. In the UWM area you'll have access to all sorts of amenities, shops, etc. in walking distance. Also, as an affiliate with UWM, you'll be eligible for a sharply reduced price on the all-you-can-ride bus passes, and it's really a good deal and very helpful.

Many grad student couples in the area live on far less than $35,000 per year, so if they can do it, you can do it. You'll wind up meeting a lot of international students and post-docs there, so you'll have a ready community of people to do inexpensive things with. And being near UWM, you'll have access to all of the cultural stuff on campus (including many free events, films, etc.), and you'll be near other parts of town with lots to do. It sounds like a good deal.
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:58 AM
 
8 posts, read 16,186 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks Nuclear_Art and quijote for this information. I have accepted the offer and looking forward to visit Milwaukee. Thanks again for helping.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Upper East Side, Milwaukee
27 posts, read 80,689 times
Reputation: 48
the U-Pass is included in tuition and therefore "free" to all students
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