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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, my husband and I are moving to Madison, WI in the next 4-6 weeks with our 15month old little girl with my husbands job. It's initially for a year and we're really looking forward to the opportunity. I know the winters can often be brutal in that part of the world but we're prepared for a challenge.

If anyone can give me any info on Madison and what to see/do I'd really appreciate it. Also would love to meet some people as I'll be a stay at home Mum.

Thanks all, hope to hear from you,

Liz x
 

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Hi there, my husband and I are moving to Madison, WI in the next 4-6 weeks with our 15month old little girl with my husbands job. It's initially for a year and we're really looking forward to the opportunity. I know the winters can often be brutal in that part of the world but we're prepared for a challenge.

If anyone can give me any info on Madison and what to see/do I'd really appreciate it. Also would love to meet some people as I'll be a stay at home Mum.

Thanks all, hope to hear from you,

Liz x
Welcome! No idea about WI, I'm afraid! But will try to answer anything else that stumps you.

First piece of advice is try to get everything HR says down in writing. And watch your tax liability if they pay relocation expenses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the heads up, I've just mentioned that to my husband and you're right, I'd feel much happier if I had everything in writing from HR. Will look into the tax situation too.
Thanks again!
 

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Thanks for the heads up, I've just mentioned that to my husband and you're right, I'd feel much happier if I had everything in writing from HR. Will look into the tax situation too.
Thanks again!
While you're over there, the power is with you. Once you're over here, it shifts markedly to the other side. Your employment contract should cover all possibilities and be in writing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
While you're over there, the power is with you. Once you're over here, it shifts markedly to the other side. Your employment contract should cover all possibilities and be in writing.
That's fab, thanks for the advice, we've got a bit of time so and I think my husband is going to chase his company up for the letter of confirmation and contract to make sure everything we've agreed on is covered.
 

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My wife and I moved to Cederburg WI (20 miles
north of Milwuakee, about 1 1/2 hours away form Madison) 2 years ago and we love it. The winters are brutal but there snow blowers (like a lawn mower that shifts snow), but the summers are really nice, not to hot and not to rainy.
The WI people are really laid back, and moving to Madison you have the UWM and the Badgers, so loads of funky things going on there, we have not got to there yet but from what i hear it's all good.
Up the road from you is the Wisconsin Dells, loads of waterparks and a big tourist place with some lovely restaurants and bars.
Milwaukee has a lot of festivals ranging from irish, german and mexican to the 2 week summerfest (largest outdoor music festival in the world, apparently), loads of art shows and the like, home of the Harley Davidson motor bikes, the Bucks (NBA) and the Brewers (NBL).
Chicago is a couple of hours away, and ids pretty neat, you can go shopping on the miracle mile for jimmy choos, and a 5 min walk will take you to the beach (lake Michigan).

Hope that helps a little, there is not a big ex pats community in this neck of the woods, but there are some of us.
If you need anything else let me know, and i'll try to help out.

Steve
 

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Hi there,
I live in Chicago now(well a suburb of, evanston to be more precise) but my hubby is from WI and we ived in Dubuque, IA for a year before moving here.
Madison is a nice town, it is a decent size for wisconsin, you have a lake with great bike trails (so i hear from my parents in law) and it is fun in the summer.
Winters are brutal. I think it is not as bad as you mmight think because you wont be outside a lot, life being so different, driving everywhere etc.. you dont stay outside much. but that is the main thing is that winters ar elong and we get stuck inside quite a lot.
It goes down to -30 quite easily and it is happened a few times that I get "brain freeze"(like when you drink something very cold to fast and it creates a headache) for just standing outside
Apart from that, you will need to learn to drive in the snow (lots of it) although they do clean it pretty well.
There is a big young population in Madison because of the university which has a good reputation. overall I would think it is good place to raise kids, not too big not too small.
I have had a little trouble adapting to the Midwest mentality but that is mostly because I am french and fairly liberal, and was living in an area that was smaller and people just had not met much foreigners. Plus that does not say that you will not love it! Madison being a college town, it is quite different.
I hear there is quite a nice farmers market in the summer!
Good luck! and let me know if you have any practical questions.
 

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an Aussie in Madison

Hi Liz,
I only just logged into expat forum after a bit of a break and i came across your message. I am an Aussie expat living here in Madison with my wife (who is from Rockford, IL). We have been here just over ten years now.
So, you have probably just experienced your first Madison winter! Except for that big snow dump in December, the winter this year has been quite mild. You've lucked out this year. And once we get past the "April showers", you will love the summers.

How have you found life here so far? Not sure what advice you would need now that you have been here awhile but, if you have any questions, let me know.

I will tell you about an expat group here in Mad city that we joined only last year. International Professionals gets together once a month at different venues here in Madison once a month for drinks. There are expats from the UK, Western and Eastern Europe, South America and those from the US who have lived overseas. Its a good place to meet people in a similar situation, and also to try out some different bars/pubs/restaurants here in Madison.

Ian
 

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This may seem like a stupid question but how serious is the tornado situation? My wife and I would like to move but this point is holding us up
 

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"Not serious" in terms of loss of life, which seems like a pretty reasonable way to look at the risk. According to the National Weather Service there were 47 deaths caused by tornadoes in the United States in 2014. None of those fatalities were in Wisconsin. Only 2 of the deaths were in any states bordering Wisconsin that year (in Iowa).

The last reported fatality (one) caused by a tornado in Wisconsin was on August 29, 2011, in Marinette County. That was a very bad tornado year, the second deadliest on record with 553 fatalities nationwide. But for perspective, there are approximately 4,300 pedestrians killed each year in the U.S. due to highway collisions and similar causes. Deaths caused by lightning hover around 30 per year nationally as another point of comparison.

It's rather easy and straightforward to reduce tornado-related risks. The U.S. government provides helpful advice on reducing the low risks associated with tornadoes. To summarize: be ready to receive warnings, then "get low." For example, U.S. mobile phone carriers can send tornado warnings, and there are also inexpensive weather alert radios. Then just head down to the basement/cellar (ideally) or into an interior ground floor room. (A ground floor bathtub, and underneath a mattress, is a good option.) If outdoors, get tucked up underneath a highway overpass or find a ditch.

It's good to have property insurance, of course. The property insurance industry paid out about $12.3 billion in 2014 to compensate insured U.S. property owners for losses associated with tornadoes and thunderstorms.
 

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This may seem like a stupid question but how serious is the tornado situation? My wife and I would like to move but this point is holding us up
There is lots of information available on line. Use common sense, get the local weather alert app, get a weather radio, be prepared. FEMA and some counties offer heavy discounts on shelters, some builders add them as perk or you can retrofit a house. We had one come through last night. Unusual for this time of the year. Who would have thought of tornadoes in Germany before this summer.
 
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