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My husband & I are considering jobs in Aberdeen. We are in the oil industry. We would like some info about living in Aberdeen. Weather? We lived in Alaska for many years. Is the weather comparable? Cost of living? Crime? Traffic/commute? Suggestions on nice areas to look for house rentals with a decent commute time (<30 minutes?) We have 2 dogs. Is it difficult to find rentals with dogs? Anything would be helpful.
 

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My husband & I are considering jobs in Aberdeen. We are in the oil industry. We would like some info about living in Aberdeen. Weather? We lived in Alaska for many years. Is the weather comparable? Cost of living? Crime? Traffic/commute? Suggestions on nice areas to look for house rentals with a decent commute time (<30 minutes?) We have 2 dogs. Is it difficult to find rentals with dogs? Anything would be helpful.
I've not lived in Alaska, and I live in Edinburgh, but I am quite certain that you will find the winters much more mild than in Alaska. Scotland is on a high line of latitude, but is much more mild than one would expect because of the warm gulf stream. They can get quite a lot of snow in the Highlands, but again, it should be less than you are used to in Alaska, and I highly doubt it will seem cold to you. I am from Michigan, and living in Edinburgh, I spent all winter being surprised by how warm it seemed to me. Everyone else was complaining of the cold, but in comparison with Michigan winters, it was practically balmy! I kept waiting for the "real winter" to arrive, but then spring did instead...

Getting a rental with animals can be a bit tricky. I have a cat and there were a lot of places that I couldn't rent because of her. However, the key seems to be that you should never assume that a place will turn you down, even if it isn't listed as "pet friendly". Very few rentals are, but many do not say "no pets" either, and if you talk to these landlords/estate agencies they may be willing to accept your dogs. They may want an additional security deposit, but you will doubtless be used to that from the States. It will take you a bit longer to find a place, but they are out there. I have a friend with a dog who has now had 2 flats; both accepted her dog. Another friend of ours got permission from her landlord to pet-sit both my cat and my friend's dog at various times. So some landlords, even if they do not specify that they are alright with pets, will be flexible with you.

Have you looked at what is required to bring your dogs to the UK? I'm sure you've heard, but it is a long "self quarantine" process. It will take you just over 6 months to get your dogs prepared to travel to the UK, and no matter their size they will need to be shipped, either with baggage on your flight or as cargo on a separate flight. Shipping a dog, depending on size, can be quite expensive.

For more information, check out Defra, UK - Animal health and welfare - Bringing pets to Britain and you may also do well to contact your state USDA APHIS office. They will be part of your process for preparing your dogs, and can be quite knowledgeable and helpful. They've seen it all before. Look at http://www-mirror.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/downloads/vsavic.pdf to find your local office.


If you have any questions about preparing your dogs for travel, don't hesitate to ask. It was a bit daunting, but my cat and I got through it with no problem in the end.


Best wishes,
Elizabeth
 

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We have a few members here in Aberdeen, but while you're waiting for them to chime in, you may want to contact the AWA of Aberdeen AWA Aberdeen Website - Home It's an expat club made up of American and Canadian women living in Aberdeen.

They are part of the FAWCO federation of American women's groups overseas, and they are generally a great source of nitty gritty information for those looking to move to the area.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi Nancyfak,
My parents moved to Aberdeenshire about 8 years ago. It's a fantastic city surrounded by great countryside and scenery. Both myself and my Father have travelled quite extensively between us and we agree that the Scottish Highlands re probably one of the most stunning places we've been. Like all big cities there is crime and of course the media love to report it in all it's detail, but the reality is if your living in the nice areas and stay away from the dodgier bars you'll be unlucky to witness it first hand. Are you looking to live in the city its' self or in one of the small towns/villages in the area? When you say you want a 30 min commute, but which part of the city you want to commute to will dictate where you live to be able to be there in half hour. Dyce (where the airport is) is the heart of the industrial area but the oil industry is prevalent across the city. If you tell me the address of the company you are working for (if you know it) I can give you an idea of the areas to look in. If you are looking to stay outside the city and its suburbs, be aware that getting in for a night out will be costly of you use a taxi.

Aberdeen has no by-pass (although there have been talks of one for a while now and survey work was carried out some years ago - but I don't know how things are progressing at the moment) so all traffic basically goes through the centre. There are a number of "rat runs" the locals use, but you'll find them soon enough when you get there!

Cost of living? Well it is the oil capital of Europe so house rental can be pricey for a place in a nice area of the city, once you get outside the city though the cost falls and many farms have cottages/houses to rent at quite reasonable prices - distance comes into this though. Night life in Aberdeen is excellent. Loads of Bars, Clubs and Restaurants varying in price from very cheap to ludicrously expensive. The oil industry has meant that so many people from all over the world have made Aberdeen their home over the years so there really is something for everyone.

Weather wise, prepare for anything!! The weather can be quite changeable and I've seen us lambing at Easter in a blizzard (just 2 years ago in fact) but I doubt that its comparable to Alaska! The summer is generally quite warm and can be fairy hot by UK standards. Just now it is very wet.

Hope this helps a bit.
 

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60s and sunny in Aberdeen!

So, coming over to Aberdeen? My husband is in the oil business too here, but born and raised here.

I'm from New England so know of the winters, and actually did a TDY in February in Alaska (Juneau) so have an idea of it. You'll find Aberdeen great fun after Alaska. One thing I realize in Alaska, one must love outdoor sports, and here you have the hills, the munros, some skiing - everything but much more milder weather here than Alaska!!! And Aberdeen has a cultural center, as well as pubs and the like, but nice theater, Music Hall, social events, etc.

Winters here are mild compared to New England winters. Not as much snow (the sea keeps it warmer here) but more rain. We don't even have a decent snow shovel. No need for snow blowers here either. :love: However no real need for swim suits in summer either. The boardwalk attractions are open only the month of August....:pn Fleece is the clothing du jour.

Its a bit quieter than other European hubs like Barcelona or Madrid, but the standard of living is high (as are prices) and the countryside is marvelous.

Prices are about same as what I found in Alaska. More expensive than Texas of course, but about same as Alaska. And although we grumble about lack of flights out of Aberdeen (we need to hub it at Amsterdam or London) - you had the same situation there. So its easier here. SMILE. I do prefer Glasgow or Edinburgh to Aberdeen, but here are the jobs and $$, and the other cities are only a few hours away by car anyhow.

Commuting is a pain. The two bridges over the Dee are from the 1600s and can't be expanded. We live 10 miles from husband's work on upper Union and it takes him about 25 minutes to get there. No biggie for an American commuting 1 hour back in the States (me) but he doesn't complain. Rush hour is only a few hours here, not the 4-5 hours we experience in the metro areas of USA.

One thing my husband said is this - your husband will get a new useful experience working on North Sea projects. This experience is desired around the world (if you decide to move again) as the extensiveness of the work is valued all over. If that makes sense. The job recession didn't seem to hit the oil industry here, jobs are plentiful and work available.

Good luck!

ps: Ok, its not always sunny every day here in Aberdeenshire, but this is a unique September!!!!
 

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I had a friend that used to commute to Aberdeen by both car and train from Montrose, a nice small town relatively far away, but it was still doable.
 

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I travel up regularly for work (medical industry around the oil industry) and find that locals can be unwelcoming to the English accent, although that shouldnt be a problem for Yanks. This manifests itself in a strange way though, road signs tend to be few and far between and some bars are overly friendly, wheras others are overly hostile. Avoid the docks area, can be a bit rough.

Crime - that i've noticed - tends to revolve round a small group of people and if you avoid them, you avoid trouble. These people tend to be easily identifiable by their love of Aberdeen FC. Most of the oil workers we work with tend to hang out together, but it must be said most are single or there without their partners. Hence there is also a fair amount of lapdancing clubs/ prostitiution in the city.
 
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