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An Expat Talks about Living in Bernardsville, New Jersey

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

Bernardsville

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

There are a lot of different options in terms of what people do for recreation, both in and out of town. The Somerset Hills YMCA in nearby Basking Ridge is quite popular and offers many kinds of activities. In the summer, the Bernardsville Pool would be a great option. There are some private country clubs all around the area, though they are expensive and often have a long waiting list.

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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.

Bernardsville has a growing population of individuals from South and Central America. Though originally settled by Scotch, Irish and English a long time ago, there were many Italians that moved to the town in the 1900s and this is now also a vital and enriching part of the community. Overall, I would say it is not very diverse, though this does not reflect people's attitude towards multi-culturalism.

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

There are all kinds of opportunities for people that live in Bernardsville. Very nearby is AT&T, Lucent, Avaya, Merck, (among others) and several small consulting companies that have sprung up as the result of being near these large corporations. If you are willing to go into New York, the train and buses provide easy access to Manhattan, which is about an hour or so away. In terms of finding work, most people probably network through friends and family to get jobs.

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

People are very family oriented in Bernardsville, although it definitely is home to the exceedingly career conscious. There are all kinds of telecom, pharmaceutical, etc. corporations in the area, which allows many people to balance the work/family tight rope. (There are also a lot of people that work in New York, too.) Local high school sports are popular, too.

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

I would tell them that this is an upscale community that is the largest of what is considered to be the Somerset Hills area. There are a couple of big grocery stores, some great restaurants, many little "shops" that sell furniture, decorating services and other businesses that reflect its country setting. There is a small movie theater and public parks that provide great outdoor access. This is a quiet community and the people in the town are very serious about keeping it that way. It is not the greatest place for someone right out of college looking for fun on the weekends. If you are looking for a nice, safe place to raise a family that has reputable schools, you could hardly do better.

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