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Switzerland to New Jersey

Switzerland to New Jersey

Old Feb 2nd 2012, 8:56 pm
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Default Switzerland to New Jersey

Hi,

Looks like I'll have the opportunity to work in New Jersey for a few years at least . I've been working in Switzerland for a large pharma company for the last 5 years (first as postdoc and then independant position) and have thoroughly enjoyed it. However my contract finished last month and I really want to continue the same research, which is not possible at my old company.

The new position would be in Newark (gulp!). I've not heard many positive things about that city (and that's putting it mildly ) and the salary would be a step down, but the research would be really interesting and I'm a single guy with no family ties. I've been offered accommodation at the university residences for the first couple of months whilst I find my bearings (they're in Newark and I'm not keen on living there for long). I'm being sponsored for a J1 visa.

The initial salary will be $60,000,hopefully enough to rent an apartment in Downtown Jersey City (it seems like Hoboken is financially out of reach) and enough to purchace a second hand banger . Are there any other areas close enough to NYC for entertainment, but good for a Newark commute? I'm not wanting to live in the suburbs.

Anyway, I look forward to interacting more on these boards over the coming weeks as the wheels are hopefully set in motion.

Cheers
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Old Feb 2nd 2012, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: Switzerland to New Jersey

No idea on the area, but welcome to BE and good luck!

Though one thing to look into on getting the J1 is if there might be a 2 year home residency requirement, which would mean you'd not be able to stay in the US afterwards if you wanted to. Not all J1's have it, but some do.
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Old Feb 3rd 2012, 3:03 am
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Default Re: Switzerland to New Jersey

Originally Posted by owls_79 View Post
Hi,

Looks like I'll have the opportunity to work in New Jersey for a few years at least . I've been working in Switzerland for a large pharma company for the last 5 years (first as postdoc and then independant position) and have thoroughly enjoyed it. However my contract finished last month and I really want to continue the same research, which is not possible at my old company.

The new position would be in Newark (gulp!). I've not heard many positive things about that city (and that's putting it mildly ) and the salary would be a step down, but the research would be really interesting and I'm a single guy with no family ties. I've been offered accommodation at the university residences for the first couple of months whilst I find my bearings (they're in Newark and I'm not keen on living there for long). I'm being sponsored for a J1 visa.

The initial salary will be $60,000,hopefully enough to rent an apartment in Downtown Jersey City (it seems like Hoboken is financially out of reach) and enough to purchace a second hand banger . Are there any other areas close enough to NYC for entertainment, but good for a Newark commute? I'm not wanting to live in the suburbs.

Anyway, I look forward to interacting more on these boards over the coming weeks as the wheels are hopefully set in motion.

Cheers
Guertzi!

Hmmmm - I'm currently living between New Jersey and Switzerland lol! Where were you working, was it Basle or Geneva? My spouse is working in Zug Canton - it's beautiful but we are hopeless with trying to learn Swiss German One of my closest friends is a research scientist in Grenoble, France and stayed with us in Zug at New Year.

I'm currently in NJ, just 10 miles west from Newark airport but it's another world compared to the city of Newark. Actually some parts of Newark are considered to be fairly safe eg. the Ironbound district which is historically Portuguese but many immigrants from places like Ecuador, Costa Rica, Brazil etc. and there are some good ethnic restaurants there.

You might be interested to know that Newark is one of the car crime capitals of the US.....however, I strongly suggest you buy a cheap car with a manual gearbox (called a 'stick shift'). These cars are rarely stolen....the thieves only know how to drive automatics lol! Insurance will cost more than you think - and almost all insurance quotes are for six months coverage only, unlike one year which is the norm in Europe.

I agree with you that Hoboken will cost quite a lot more than Jersey City. However, do *not* live in Jersey City Heights. My friend who lives in Hoboken says it's very dangerous (lots of gangs, robberies, muggings, gunshots there). The area around historic Hamilton Park, JC (lovely brownstones) is nice and of course there are the newer apartments near the waterfront and Newport/Pavonia which reminds me a little of when Canary Wharf was being established.

Links:

http://www.panynj.gov/bus-terminals/...on-center.html

http://www.panynj.gov/bus-terminals/...nnections.html

http://www.njtransit.com (also check out the light rail which goes through Jersey City)

http://www.destinationjerseycity.com...g-around/rail/

http://www.stayonthewaterfront.com/maps.php

http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/Licenses/index.htm (You will need lots of ID to get a driving licence and must get an NJ licence within 60 days of moving to NJ)

http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/Licenses/...n-Citizens.htm (this applies to expats!)

Hope this helps!
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Old Feb 3rd 2012, 3:16 am
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Default Re: Switzerland to New Jersey

$60k is competitive for a post-doc, by NIH standards. It's not competitive by industry standards, as you have noted.

If you are British, and on a J1, you won't have to pay income tax for the first two years, which adds to your effective income substantially. Note however that if you stay one day past two years, you owe it all back with fines and interest. If you are not British you will have to see what your own native country's tax treaty is.

I thoroughly enjoyed my post-doc in the US. As I have written elsewhere recently, the specific program of research and the personality and reputation (and funding) of your PI are more important than the location.

Although UW, Stanford, Caltech, UCLA and Berkeley all have a lot of good PIs......
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Old Feb 3rd 2012, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: Switzerland to New Jersey

Hi and Congrats.


Looking at what you want from a living situation Hoboken might not be out of reach (especially if you are not paying income tax). That said downtown JC is quite nice.

Personally I think some of the more metropolitan suburbs of New Jersey are great places to live. Like South Orange which is about 25 minutes out of Hoboken on the train (same for NYC) but has its own thriving nightlife and town centre. Its classed as a University Town and has Seton Hall just up the road.

Be careful with JC is all I will say, if you need help with areas feel free to send me a PM for opinion. My wife and her family are either from or still living in Jersey City and know it very well.
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Old Feb 3rd 2012, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: Switzerland to New Jersey

Originally Posted by owls_79 View Post
The initial salary will be $60,000,hopefully enough to rent an apartment in Downtown Jersey City (it seems like Hoboken is financially out of reach)
You could live in Hoboken if you OK to live in shared apartment and there are many around. Will be around $1,000 a month - check Craiglist for listings. Will be a good way to meet new people as well.

Downtown JC isn't bad especially around Grove St and Hamilton Park. The Waterfront and Paulus Hook is very nice but expensive. I would stay away from Journal Sq and the Heights.

If you live in Hoboken or JC you could get the Path train into Newark which would mean that you wouldn't need a car. This would save you a lot of money as car insurance is crazy in NJ.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I've lived in both cities.

http://www.panynj.gov/path/maps-schedules.html
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Old Feb 3rd 2012, 6:56 pm
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Default Re: Switzerland to New Jersey

Thanks to you all for the warm welcome.

Englishmum
- I'm currently in Basel (originally from Sheffield) and I'll be sorry to say goodbye, but also looking forward to new adventures. Zug is a great place and you're closer to the moutains for skiing or hiking

I still really struggle with Swiss German, my German friends describe it as a throat disease rather than a language .

Thanks for the heads up about car crime. I'm working my way through the links you provided.

Bob - thanks for the info about home residency requirements. I'm now in the process of carifyingg this with the HR department.

Caleyjag - Thanks for the info. I was lucky enough to do my postdoc with a world leader in my field in Switzerland. This position is for me to introduce my technology to certain disease areas and would allow me to build up a lab. I have to be honest, if I was coming for an initial postdoc I would have rather gone to Berkley or Caltec

I'll probably pay tax from the off. At this point I have no idea how long I will stay (a lot depends on the success to grants from myself and colleagues). I really don't like the idea of being fined if I decide to stay longer.

Njmackem - is that Mackem as in Sunderland? I had a year in Newcastle as part of my degree. Had a great time in that neck of the woods.

I had a quick look on trulia.com and it sems that Hoboken isn't as expensive as I thought (though not exactly cheap). Weehawken also looks decent. I hadn't considered South Orange before, I guess I assumed suburbia was only for families, but SO seems to be much more lively. Cheers for the advice, I'll probably folllow up with you later once I've done a bit more research.

THFC - Thanks for the info. I've been considering a shared place as a way to meet people. Not sure I could cope with it in the long term (I like my own space) but it's something I'd definately do for at least a few months.

Car insurance is really starting to concern me. It's good to know that I could survive fine without one (I've never needed one up to now).

Cheers
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Old Feb 4th 2012, 8:35 pm
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Default Re: Switzerland to New Jersey

Originally Posted by owls_79 View Post
Hi,

Looks like I'll have the opportunity to work in New Jersey for a few years at least . I've been working in Switzerland for a large pharma company for the last 5 years (first as postdoc and then independant position) and have thoroughly enjoyed it. However my contract finished last month and I really want to continue the same research, which is not possible at my old company.

The new position would be in Newark (gulp!). I've not heard many positive things about that city (and that's putting it mildly ) and the salary would be a step down, but the research would be really interesting and I'm a single guy with no family ties. I've been offered accommodation at the university residences for the first couple of months whilst I find my bearings (they're in Newark and I'm not keen on living there for long). I'm being sponsored for a J1 visa.

The initial salary will be $60,000,hopefully enough to rent an apartment in Downtown Jersey City (it seems like Hoboken is financially out of reach) and enough to purchace a second hand banger . Are there any other areas close enough to NYC for entertainment, but good for a Newark commute? I'm not wanting to live in the suburbs.

Anyway, I look forward to interacting more on these boards over the coming weeks as the wheels are hopefully set in motion.

Cheers
Welcome to BE fellow Sheffielder.

Up the Owls.

I see you have been given lots of great information already. I also live in NJ...but in Morris Country which is NW of the state.
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Old Feb 6th 2012, 1:33 pm
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Default Re: Switzerland to New Jersey

Yes Newark was a bit of an experience when I last went there. I did work out that if you sit next to (or near) the crazies in the train station then the pan-handlers don't bother you as much. By some accounts the place is starting to come back but it's still very grimy and run down.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=169957

Newark used to be a well off and bustling city but went into a steep decline after its heyday in the 20s and 30s. Then there was race riots in the late 60s and the population decamped to the suburbs. There are a lot of majestic buildings in various states of disrepair. There have been some renovations and attempts to revive the city but it's a bit too far from Manhattan for urban pioneers. Apparently the Portuguese area (the East ward) has good restaurants. At the other end of the scale the immediate suburbs to the west are extremely wealthy (Summit, Millburn, Madison, Short Hills). The suburbs to the north (Montclair, Bloomfield, West Orange) are also pretty well off.
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Old Feb 8th 2012, 3:15 am
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Default Re: Switzerland to New Jersey

Originally Posted by owls_79 View Post
Hi,

Looks like I'll have the opportunity to work in New Jersey for a few years at least. I've been working in Switzerland for a large pharma company for the last 5 years (first as postdoc and then independant position) and have thoroughly enjoyed it. However my contract finished last month and I really want to continue the same research, which is not possible at my old company.
A point to bear in mind is that if you want to stay in Switzerland long term, and get a C permit (if you don't have one already) and ultimately become a Swiss citizen, a temporary move to the United States may not be the best option.
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Old Feb 8th 2012, 3:24 am
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Default Re: Switzerland to New Jersey

Not sure if this will help but you can give it a try. I used this site extensively when I thought I was moving to NC (specifically Charlotte) upon graduation.
http://www.city-data.com/forum/new-jersey/
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Old Jun 10th 2012, 12:15 am
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Default Re: Switzerland to New Jersey

Thanks again to everyone for your advice. I signed for an apartment in Weehawken last week. After visiting the area I really liked Hoboken, but prices were crazily expensive for such small apartments and I was ideally looking for enough space for guests to crash occasionally. The area of Weehawken that I chose is walking distance to Hoboken and green!! (after 2 weeks in Newark I needed to see trees). It's also bikeable, which is a huge plus coming from bike-friendly Switzerland.

Theres also the Formula 1 Grand Prix taking place there next year. It's sure gonna be interesting having F1 cars racing half a mile from home
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Old Jun 10th 2012, 3:46 am
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Default Re: Switzerland to New Jersey

Originally Posted by owls_79 View Post
Thanks again to everyone for your advice. I signed for an apartment in Weehawken last week. After visiting the area I really liked Hoboken, but prices were crazily expensive for such small apartments and I was ideally looking for enough space for guests to crash occasionally. The area of Weehawken that I chose is walking distance to Hoboken and green!! (after 2 weeks in Newark I needed to see trees). It's also bikeable, which is a huge plus coming from bike-friendly Switzerland.

Theres also the Formula 1 Grand Prix taking place there next year. It's sure gonna be interesting having F1 cars racing half a mile from home
When we came to live in the US in 1996 much of Weehawken by the Hudson was waste land. I remember saying to my husband that it was prime real estate...as the best views of NYC IMO is from Weehawken. We have spent many Christmas Eve and NY Eve dinners at the Chart House. The Chart House has been rebuilt at least twice since 1996...the first time it collapsed into the river because of the ice...the second time was due to a fire.

Up the Owls.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Jun 10th 2012 at 4:05 am.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 12:01 am
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Default Re: Switzerland to New Jersey

Originally Posted by HumphreyC View Post
Yes Newark was a bit of an experience when I last went there. I did work out that if you sit next to (or near) the crazies in the train station then the pan-handlers don't bother you as much. By some accounts the place is starting to come back but it's still very grimy and run down.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=169957

Newark used to be a well off and bustling city but went into a steep decline after its heyday in the 20s and 30s. Then there was race riots in the late 60s and the population decamped to the suburbs. There are a lot of majestic buildings in various states of disrepair. There have been some renovations and attempts to revive the city but it's a bit too far from Manhattan for urban pioneers. Apparently the Portuguese area (the East ward) has good restaurants. At the other end of the scale the immediate suburbs to the west are extremely wealthy (Summit, Millburn, Madison, Short Hills). The suburbs to the north (Montclair, Bloomfield, West Orange) are also pretty well off.
Looks like a right dump. I can't believe that anyone would actually want to move from Switzerland to Newark.
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