Choosing where to work and live in the U.S. is a big decision. We’re here to help guide you through the process of selecting where to set down roots, so that you can get off to the best possible start in your new career as an international healthcare professional working in the United States.
One of the most important considerations when deciding where to work in the U.S. is the cost of living, which can vary substantially even between cities in the same state. It’s important to thoroughly research the cities you’re thinking about moving to.
Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, blends tradition and modernity. Situated in the southeastern United States, Atlanta experiences a humid subtropical climate with sultry summers and mild winters. The city is known for its tree-filled avenues and green spaces, earning it the moniker the "City in a Forest." Atlanta offers a relatively affordable cost of living in comparison to other major cities in the U.S., however, the city faces challenges such as limited public transportation options, and it contends with the occasional impact of extreme weather events like hurricanes and tropical storms.
Gastonia, located close to Charlotte in North Carolina, is known for its beautiful parks, stunning landscapes, excellent schools, and affordable cost of living. This makes it an ideal home for international healthcare professionals starting their new life in the U.S. – especially if you are keen to relocate with children. There are lots of family-friendly neighborhoods and a vibrant downtown area with options for dining and shopping. Nature-lovers will love Gastonia, particularly the nearby Crowders Mountain State Park. This breathtaking natural beauty spot is perfect when you want to escape into nature for hiking, camping, or to spend time at the lake. The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden offers stunning gardens all year round, with lots of events to enjoy. A trip (or several!) to the Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium is a must, where exhibits cover many aspects of the natural world and history of the U.S.
To give you a better understanding of how the cost of living varies between the two locations, this article provides a cost comparison between Gastonia and Atlanta.
Gastonia, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia
The cost of living in Gastonia is around 10% cheaper than the national average in the U.S., whereas Atlanta is around 2% higher than the national average. Housing is approximately 35% lower than the national average in Gastonia, with median rent at $869 per month compared to $1,475 in Atlanta. You can expect to pay less than the national average on utilities (8%), groceries (3%), and transportation (7%), too.
Below you’ll see examples of some common expenses and what they cost in each city.
Both Gastonia and Atlanta offer a great standard of living, though with its generally lower prices Gastonia is a great location to set up a new life in the United States. Necessary expenses in Gastonia are more affordable than many places in the country, which should mean less essential spending per month leading to a better quality of life and more expendable income to put towards savings and future adventures.
Can I afford it?
1. Work out your approximate monthly income (taking tax into consideration). Try not to rely on too much overtime pay – a good work-life balance is important for your well-being!
2. Then, take away any non-negotiable expenses, such as health insurance costs and money put aside for emergency funds or savings.
3. Write down the essentials you’ll need each month. These expenses will form the basis for a monthly budget. Include necessities such as rent, utilities, a cellphone, internet, groceries, and so on. You may want to purchase or hire a car, or you may need to pay for public transport to work and back. Shop around online to determine how much these things may cost in your preferred city. You’ll also want to take into consideration less frequent purchases, such as buying clothes and scrubs, haircuts, leisure activities such as a visit to the movies and so on.
4. Subtract your anticipated monthly costs from the figure in step 2. The amount you’re left with is your expendable income. This is what you can use for savings, to send money back home, for vacations – whatever you like.
You want your expendable income to be as high as possible for the best possible quality of life. If your preferred city of deployment is too expensive, then our experts will be able to suggest alternative locations where the cost of living is lower.
Can I choose where I work when I start my healthcare career in the U.S.?
We collaborate with healthcare organizations across the United States to provide opportunities for international nurses and medical technologists moving to the U.S., as well as nursing graduates on the F1 visa looking for OPT and Green Card sponsorship. Once you start working with Conexus MedStaff, we do everything we can to make sure you’re placed at a location that is a good fit for you.
To do this, we follow a placement process that takes your geographical preferences, career goals, acuity level, and other factors into consideration.
How can I start working as a U.S. nurse or medical technologist?
We specialize in helping international nurses and medical technologists build a life and career they love in the United States. Getting started is simple: apply today, and someone from our team will be in touch with more information.