San Jose is a popular expat destination due to its status as the 'Capital of Silicon Valley'. Newcomers moving to San Jose will discover that the city is at the heart of technology and innovation in California, the US, and indeed globally, attracting many giant tech companies to establish a presence here. As can be expected, these companies, in turn, have attracted highly skilled workers from all over the world.
Living in San Jose as an expat
San Jose is located near the southern tip of San Francisco Bay and is surrounded by mountains. This beautiful region offers many recreational facilities, including parks, beaches and hiking trails. Those looking to escape the city can venture to Yosemite National Park, visit the Napa Valley wine region, or spend a day on one of the nearby beaches along the Pacific Ocean. San Francisco is also just a short drive away, and a ride along the Pacific Highway offers an opportunity to explore the magnificent western coastline.
San Jose is a multicultural and multi-ethnic society, and foreigners are generally made to feel welcome. There are plenty of neighbourhoods to choose from and all kinds of accommodation, although supply is limited and applicants should act fast when they see something they like.
While electronics manufacturing dominates, other major industries in San Jose include finance, aerospace, real estate, retail, insurance and medicine. Legal services and tourism are also prominent sectors. While there's a healthy job market, San Jose has a highly educated population and competition can be fierce. Newcomers looking to work in the city should network and be prepared to compete with experienced candidates from top international universities.
Cost of living in San Jose
As the heart of the tech industry, San Jose is one of the wealthiest American cities. In line with this, the cost of living in San Jose is also among the highest in the US. Housing, in particular, is expensive as there is high demand. That said, high salaries often offset the high cost of living; households in San Jose generally have a higher-than-average disposable income.
Families and children in San Jose
Although it's one of the largest cities in America, San Jose still retains something of a small-town feel. A temperate climate, relatively low crime rates, high salaries and many family-friendly facilities ensure that San Jose offers expats an excellent quality of life.
The city is also an excellent place to raise a family, and newcomers with children need not worry about their education, as there are many exceptional public and private schools in the San Jose metropolitan area. The region is also especially renowned for its tertiary institutions – most notably, Stanford University in nearby Palo Alto.
Climate in San Jose
San Jose has a Mediterranean climate. The city is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is sheltered from the Pacific Ocean by mountains, which provide relief from the rest of the area's typically high rainfall.
An exciting, up-and-coming city, San Jose may be expensive, but for those who earn a good salary in the city's famous tech industry, this Bay Area metro might be just the right place to raise a family.
Are you an expat living in San Jose?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to San Jose. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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