As it's situated in the East Coast of the country, Washington D.C. gets all the four seasons. The best times are spring and fall because the temperatures aren't extreme then. During summer, it gets incredibly hot and stuffy, while in winter, extremely cold spells and a few blizzards aren't uncommon in the area. As of now, the American capital has a population of 5.3 million, a good chunk of which are foreign residents. It's actually pretty diverse here too, though not in the level of New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. Still, no matter what your heritage. you'll definitely feel all-American while staying in this city.
Nowadays, the US is pretty strict regarding borders and its immigration process. Depending on where you're coming from, you will need to get a US visa in order to gain entry to the country. However, thanks to the ESTA Visa Waiver Program, citizens from 40 countries can get into the US without a visa. They include the EU countries, the UK, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Chile, and more. But those are just for entry! To legally relocate to the US, you will need a Green Card. And you can only get that if you meet certain conditions like a petition from an American employer or marriage to a US citizen.
Out of all the cities in the US, D.C. rivals that of New York when it comes to public transport. Some might even argue that the modes of public transportation here are better than those in the latter. Its underground metro, for instance, is a lot cleaner and more accessible than its more famous New York counterpart. And while the city gets busy at times, you won't see that much traffic as you would in the latter as well. Buses are also very organized here and travel throughout many districts. And if you want to use a transportation app to get a ride, you can easily do so as it's pretty common in the city.
The great thing about living in Washington D.C. is, while you still get a taste of the city life, it isn't as hectic or busy as it is in the likes of New York, Los Angeles, and more. The American capital city’s neighborhoods strike quite a unique balance of urban living and a suburban-like vibe. Foggy Bottom, for instance, is quite near the White House, but it's not as noisy or crowded here as it might seem. Georgetown, on the other hand, is a beautiful district of nostalgia, packed with the charms of old Americana. While Adams Morgan, out of all the D.C. districts, is perhaps the most suburban-like in the lot.
What many might not realize about Washington D.C. is that it's actually an incredibly expensive city. It might not be known as a luxury hub in the same way as other American cities are, but don't expect life here to be totally affordable. Whether you go for a luxury rental or a mid-range apartment, rent here will still be in the thousands. $1,4000.00 to $6,000.00 per month, to be exact. Buying your own home here, on the other hand, is more expensive. A place costs around $2,690.98 to $9,785.00 per square meter here. Multiply that to the total number of square meters you need in a standard home and it might just overwhelm you!
With a city as important as Washington D. C., you'll surely get a lot of opportunities to find the right job for you. Sure, it might prove to be quite challenging since the US job market isn't at its best right now. But this doesn't make landing employment here extremely difficult. You just need to know where to look and who to ask for help. Enlisting the aid of a recruitment agency is relatively common here, so you can always start there. But if you're more of a go-getter yourself, you can always log in to many job-searching websites such as Indeed, Monster, and the like.
You're moving to one of the most important and the most historic city in the US. So, of course, you can expect a good many prestigious schools here. If you're worried about your kids moving to Washington D.C., know that you have nothing to worry about. You'll have a lot of great options on where to enroll them when you've settled down here. A good choice is the School Without Walls High School, a liberated institution that celebrates diversity and encourages inclusivity. While the Washington International School is a private international school that offers high-quality education.
When it comes to healthcare in the US, while it remains a hot political issue, as long as you're covered, you'll be fine. Whether you get Medicare or private insurance, you won't find it difficult to get treated here. Especially in a city like D.C. which houses a handful of well-respected medical centers. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, for instance, though university hospital, has one of the best intense care units, not just in the city, but on the entire East Coast as well. The Children's National Hospital is also a go-to institution for children with all sorts of health problems, no matter how serious it is.
Washington D.C. is a bit of a paradox of a city. It's both one of the safest and most dangerous places in the country. It's safe because it's still the seat of power in the US, which means security is tight in many areas here, particularly those in close proximity to the White House. But as the city's crime rates suggest, it's also infested with too much crime for its own good. As of this writing, the general crime rate here is 68.99%, which is considered pretty high. And while it's 66.24% safe to walk around the city, it drops to a low 38.97% come nightfall.
You're going to live in the capital city of the US and you don't know a thing about American taxes? Good luck! The country takes taxes pretty seriously. And since you'll be staying in the same city as the Internal Revenue Service headquarters, you might want to brush up on the country's system before settling down here. The overall gist of it is that you're taxed on your income, property, and the goods & services you purchases. The rates often depend on how much you earn, pair for your property, and the like.
While D.C. isn't that large of a city, you'd still benefit from getting a local SIM card here to keep in contact with people. Sure, the American capital has plenty of wifi hotspots, but it will only help you when you're there. At least, with a local SIM card, you can get a great deal that gives you plenty of wifi data at an affordable rate. And speaking of affordable rates, make sure you open your own American bank account as well. Remember, D.C. is an expensive city. You'll need to manage your finances wisely if you want to survive and maintain your own lifestyle here.
Are you getting relocated to one of the most important cities in the world, Washington D.C.? Let this guide help you move and start your life from the ground up in the best way possible. This way, setting up a new life won't be as intimidating and challenging as it seems.