$1,000 fine for littering.
Speed enforced by aircraft.
street signs besides highway 1
$1 000 Strafe für Umweltverschmutzung.
Geschwindigkeitskontrolle per Flugzeug.
Straßenschilder entlang highway 1
|This page provides information about California, finding a job as a foreigner, and relocating. Basically it is a primer for bootstrapping in the US.||Diese Seite bietet Informationen über California, Arbeitssuche als Ausländer und Umsiedlung. Ich würde es als eine Art "Leidfaden für den beruflichen Start in den USA" sehen.|
This page still is under construction. -- Seite noch im Aufbau befindlich.
In California you might not want to do anything of the following:
Die folgenden Aktivitäten sollten in Californien am besten vermieden werden:
Though the following things are totally tolerated:
Die folgenden Dinge werden hingegen vollständig toleriert:
|This compilation could simplify your life. I left out the more basic words which are just mispronounced + garbled, like "water" ("wodrrr").||Diese Zusammenstellung kann Dein Leben leichter machen. Ich habe die einfacheren Wörter ausgelassen, die nur falsch ausgesprochen + verstümmelt werden, wie z. B. "Wasser" ("wodrrr", water).|
2 Finding a Job as a Foreigner
2.1 Who are you?
2.2 VisaThink about what kind of visa (J1 for student exchange/internship, H1B for high tech, etc.) is appropriate in your personal situation. If you enter the country with a tourist's I-94, you should tell the immigration you are here as a tourist, shooting photographs of beautiful California. You are not allowed to work on an I-94. If you go for a J1 in the first place and later for an H1B, make sure it is not sponsored by a governmental institution, otherwise you might be blocked for reentering the country for a couple of years. Be prepared to leave the country anyway for obtaining a visa.
For a J1 visa, you should currently be a student, or you should have finished your studies within the last year.
For an H1B visa, making contact in September is best, as the visa are issued every year. It can help to have an own lawyer who is familiar with immigration law, and even an own translation agency.
There are other visa types that might be applicable to you, e. g. a foreign investor, or you could have a "stage visa" for table dancing + work in the red light district. Contact an immigration lawyer. They are not that expensive for a consultation on the phone, and it is great fun talking to them.
2.3 Resume + DocumentsYou must have a resume in *.pdf and ASCII format. Electronic form sufficed for me all the times, but maybe you also print one.
Check out the web what a resume looks like. Think about a job title. I am a "Diplom-Informatiker" but for the US this might cause misunderstandings — a "diploma" has a much lower value in the US, the German diploma is considered to be equivalent to a US Master's degree (in this case in computer science), and in the US you can have nearly any job title anyway. I tried to be a "Software Engineer" or "Computer Scientist". Use prefixes like "Junior", "Senior", "Principal" (e. g. Senior Software Engineer") to rank your experience. Check monster.com for the type of qualifications associated with that position, and include it in your resume if you match it.
To avoid discrimination the following items are not supposed to be part of a resume:
Have all necessary documents ready, preferredly on a password-enabled web server.
2.4 ContactYou need a cell phone. Get one on location, or bring a 1,900 MHz GSM from Europe. The triple-band Motorola Timeport worked excellent for me.
Have your contacts sorted and easily accessible. Have a Palm or a Handspring, or at least a Filofax. Meet more people: worldinternetcenter.com (contact Lucien Dixon; their pubs are nice + very effective)
Initial contact should be made via job search engines (monster.com). For San Francisco + the Silicon Valley I especially recommend posting to craigslist.org. Specify your visa status. If it is good, your phone rings immediately.
You might also want to have contact to commercial recruiters (head hunters) who somehow scan the offers for you and get more interviews. As recruiters usually get one third of the initial salary for successful reference (this is more than $20,000) this might decrease your salary expectation.
2.5 Job InterviewsBe prepared to go through job interviews. It is one to four hours of getting into detail of your education and your experience. If you are successful somehow, there will be a second round which e. g. concretizes your salary expectations + benefits. California is expensive. In computer science, an anual salary for a newbie currently is $60,000, and after a couple of years of work experience it reaches the $100,000 border.
2.6 Closing the Deal
3 Find Housing
online (craigslist), free newspaper (Michal-reference) sample ad
3.1 Finding a First Place
friends or relatives -- if you have hostel (green tortoise), hotel, motel (car!, US distances) room mates (deposit!) sample ad: German engineer, male, 30 years, seeks roommates in San Francisco or Oakland, preferredly along a BART station. I am a clean + calm person, respectful, no smoker, do not no drugs (besides socially drinking beer). I clean up after myself + integrate very well. I am heterosexual though I do not care what you are. Shared kitchen would be nice. cell: 415-xxx xxxx (any time) Want to know more? -- http://www.hildner.de *peace* Klaus
door-to-door -- nice + easy u-haul + storage -- cheap
4 Obtaining a Driver's License, Insurance, etc.It is no problem to get a rental car or motorcycle with any out-of-state or foreign license. Though things are easier when you have gone into the effort of obtaining an international license in advance.
insurance: If you intend to buy your own vehicle it is difficult to find cheap insurance or insurance at all. The AAA (American Automobile Association, the major American automobile club) for example sells its insurance only to people who hold the CA license for more than a year. They will sell you another insurance, though, but it is more expensive.
If you had any (even minor) accidents back home you might not want to admit that. Rates are cheaper then. It might not be checked back ...
driver's license: So if you are looking for information on obtaining the CA driver's license for cars + motorcycles then click here. I found it much easier to pass the test for cars than that for motorcycles.
automobile club membership:
Problems are inevitable.
You might lock up your car keys inside,
run low on battery on an automatic car,
or bury your car
in the Nevada desert
(I have done all of those).
So it is better to have automobile club coverage.
The German ADAC
membership is better respected than anywhere else I found out
— well, maybe not precisely the ADAC
but at least the German nationality + citizenship.
Just call 1-800-AAA-HELP
and tell them you are a fucking German tourist
(e. g. "I am travelling in California and got stuck in this huge sandbox
— do you have any heavy machinery to pull me out?")
and a member of the major German automobile club
(nobody outside Germany knows the ADAC anyway).
In Italy I once got into a very loud conversation at a BMW dealer
when I pulled out my membership card,
in the US you might not even have a valid membership
— my ADACPlus membership card card
states "valid startig from" ("gültig ab")
— no expiry date!
Again: It might not be checked back ...
and try to look as innocent as a tourist as possible.
The German ADAC membership is better respected than anywhere else I found out — well, maybe not precisely the ADAC but at least the German nationality + citizenship. Just call 1-800-AAA-HELP and tell them you are a fucking German tourist (e. g. "I am travelling in California and got stuck in this huge sandbox — do you have any heavy machinery to pull me out?") and a member of the major German automobile club (nobody outside Germany knows the ADAC anyway). In Italy I once got into a very loud conversation at a BMW dealer when I pulled out my membership card, in the US you might not even have a valid membership — my ADACPlus membership card card states "valid startig from" ("gültig ab") — no expiry date! Again: It might not be checked back ... and try to look as innocent as a tourist as possible.
5.1 In General
all prices specified without tax factory outlets (especially Levis, Adidas) -- limited variety -- 501 for $32 http://www.costco.com (membership fee) San Francisco: Chinatown!
5.2 FoodOK. Get ready for some hard judgements: In my opinion, food is not only a matter of taste, it is also a matter of health — of
From a European viewpoint finding real food is difficult in California. I lost weight during my first months. Things like bread, cheese, eggs, milk, muesli/cereals, and beer are a problem. High quality is available but you pay three to five times the price you are used from Europe. You might want to look out for organic food, or if you do not get it, for imported European food (e. g. Italian or Swiss cheese — make sure it really is imported and not only made like Americans think Mozarella would taste).
The problem with bread is the flour and the addition of sugar.
You can find Wasa crispbread from Sweden.