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An Expat Talks about Living in Columbus, Ohio

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

Columbus

How long have you lived there?

47 years

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

Franklin County Metro Parks, meetup.com, volunteer and arts sections of Columbus Sunday Dispatch

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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.

Many foriegners are shocked by the culture when they arrived. Churches are nothing more than very artificial once or twice a week get-to-gethers. It is not whether you will be accepted. It is more like no one could care less. The numbers of people pouring through mental health service agencies are staggering.

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

The biggest single employers are Ohio State University, city, and county governments. Good paying jobs are much harder to find. Lower income employers like gas stations and restuarnts have a harder time finding workers who can provide their own transportation.

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

The culture is very fragmented. Most neighbors prefer little or no contact with other neighbors. Very few families are staying together. Sports is more and more limited to people of better incomes. Many people to theatres alone.

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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.

The area is undergoing a negative shift in the local economy. The lower income areas are growing rapidly. People who have the opportunity are trying to move farther away from central Ohio. Public transportation is not easy to large portions of Franklin County making owning a car extremely important. Because of gas prices, of lower incomes can no longer get to work if they are not on the public bus and close to a bus stop. There is also growing crime at these bus stops making them unsafe in many areas.

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