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An Expat Talks about Living in DeLand, Florida

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

DeLand

How long have you lived there?

5 Years

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

Not sure of any clubs or orgs, but having a chat with locals at local shops (not the big chain stores) is always a good idea to find out who's who in the zoo and what events are going on in the vicinity.

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Expats living in United States interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

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

Fair amount of diversity - mostly white, though. Generally, I don't find folks in the South to be very accepting of other cultures and they are also generally very ignorant of the latter. Also, the US is rather barren in a visual sense. Although it has beautiful countryside, visual diversity has been destroyed by chain stores and franchises - one town looks very much like the next. Gets very boring after a few years.

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

There are next to no career opportunities in this town - it brags about being "a one horse town" so that really sums it up. You have to commute to larger towns like Orlando for the decent jobs with decent pay. Call center work is easily obtainable if you can stand being micro-managed. Anything IT related is usually a very good bet. Job fairs are a good way to find jobs as well as the local newspapers.

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

Work, work, work. This is the same in every place I've been in the US (been in US for 8 years). I've lived in California, Nevada and now Florida and traveled through many other states and it's been the same story in all of them. I find there is very little time to do anything besides work. US = plenty disposable cash but little time to enjoy and savor life. (I don't have children - can't imagine how busy things would be if I did!!!).

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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.

If your primary motivation is a decent wage, affordable housing, cheap cost of living then the US is the way to go. But be prepared to work like a dog. We moved to Florida particularly for the cheap cost of living. However, this is not worth much when you have so little leisure time and so few activities that satisfy the European mind. Be prepared also for a lack of what is termed "civilized behavior" if you come from Europe. Example: when conducting business - it is very rare to be offered something to drink... here it's all about the bottom line and results as quickly as possible, which means little time for pleasantries. We're actually seriously considering moving back to Europe.

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