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An Expat Talks about Living in Athens, Ohio

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Athens

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

There are many volunteer organizations in the area. Some focus on social services (Big Brothers/Sisters, homeless issues, Appalachian services and development, and civic organizations). There are also cultural and artistic organizations since Athens is home to Ohio University (local theater, art showings). The university has sports programs-intermural- that are open to the community. Also a program called "outdoor pursuits" which includes weekend outdoor adventures and classes. Athens is also home to may state parks and Wayne National Forest. This helps to create a nice atmosphere-open space- along with providing recreational activities.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

The university has a high population if foreigners. Because of this, the community has become accustomed to different colors and religious preferences. Economic diversity is definately present.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Most jobs are focused on the university. There is also construction and government jobs. Farming is also present. Athens is located in Appalachia Ohio, which means that the unemployment rate is higher than most counties. However, what makes Athens so special is that it is not caught up in the business that most cities are.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

It is a laid back town. Most things are focused on the community and family...and the university. For the younger crowd, the social scene is good. There are many bands-jazz, hip hop, folk, blues-that are always playing in the local joints. Athens is a university town, but the surrounding area is its own entity.

If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

To come....at least for awhile. If they were going to go to Ohio University, it is a great school. The community is wonderful and the area is beautiful. Athens is close to Columbus Ohio, which aids in going to a bigger city.

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