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An Expat Talks about Living in Princeton, New Jersey

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

Princeton

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

For Moms and young kids, the Moms Club of Princeton (or any other regional club), Newcomers Club (ywca) and certain subdivisions have groups. You can check www.princetonol.com for different groups with divergent interests to join. Many families get involved with Music Together or Kindermusik (sp?) classes, Gymboree, classes at the YMCA/YWCA or families from their area schools.

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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.

I would say that this area is particularly diverse in terms of religious, economic and cultural diversity. Churches, synagogues, mosques are everywhere. Based on the reknown and international scope of the university and the pharma industry, this area is very diverse with multi-nationals from all over the world. At my son's preschool, for instance, his class consists of kids from Spain, England, Germany, India and China. The disparity in economics is quite vast, similar to that in many old, established communities. For the most part, people seem accepting of one another.

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

I would believe the pharmaceutical industry is pretty major here (J&J, BMS, Merck, and many other smaller pharmas are headquartered in this area). Siemens is also in the area. From that spawns consulting co., marketing, research, etc. There are reasonably large public opinion polling organizations in the area (Gallup, I think). The Dow Jones org. is also in this area, and accordingly many of the large brokerage/financial org. have offices all over. Princeton University is also central to the job market, I would assume. The Institute for Advanced Studies, an independant org. centered on research (in fields I'm not quite sure) and the Princeton Theological Seminary, also reside here. Check the papers, specific co. websites for jobs or find a headhunter.

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

This is a community with different interests and priorities. There's the university community, the commuters (train stations in Princeton Jct for those that work in NYC), the young families (with kids going to preschool or the area public/private schools) and then the mature families. Each group has their own priorities and interests. This area might also be described as somewhat transient...people here for a couple of years before moving on. Many Europeans are here on 3 yr contracts, etc. There doesn't seem to be an overwhelming desire to exercise in this area, but many take advantage of the canal paths along the D&R Canal to run, bike or walk. Also, you can rent a canoe or kayak in the canal or in the river nearby.

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

You must get yourself involved and seek out the things you enjoy doing otherwise you can feel quite isolated in this area. Check out the library and municipal offices for additional resources in the area.

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