Welcome to Lansing in the heart of Michigan. There are few places as patriotically American as Lansing – the American flag hangs proudly at the front of most homes, while the city’s annual Fourth of July fireworks and celebrations are second to none. Lansing has a long history of service, with most families having a close relative or two fighting in foreign wars. Understanding and supporting the troops is an essential part of living in Lansing, not least because this is the political and administrative capital of the state of Michigan. In fact, any newly-landed expatriate may make the Michigan State Capitol Building one of their first stops in Lansing. A walk around this impressive building will offer a fascinating insight into Michigan (and American) history and politics throughout the ages. Another must-see for expats living in Lansing is the Turner-Dodge House & Heritage Center, a testament to the famous Michigan automobile industry which fuelled the American dream in the last century.
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Your experience of moving to Lansing will differ, depending on where you are moving from. To non-Americans, it is the very epitome of Mid-Eastern culture, with its shopping malls, restaurants, and other city center attractions, contrasting with the wide open plains, stunning lakes and wilderness hikes just a few miles away. American expatriates planning an intra-country move may be more surprised by the city’s climate. Unlike most Southern states, Michigan experiences four very distinct seasons each year, and winter in particular can be a challenging time, with Arctic temperature and several feet of snow. Residents are well-used to stocking up on essentials such as bottled water, batteries, candles, salt and tinned food before the winter storms kick in. Expats in Lansing who have yet to experience a Mid-Eastern winter can check out the InterNations’ discussion boards for tips on how to best prepare for them.
Lansing has enjoyed a stable economy over the years, making it an attractive prospect for expatriates. However, before you start working in Lansing, be aware of any visa requirements or differing working conditions which may impact on your career. Non-American workers require a green card to work in the country, and any discrepancies in your residency can cause problems for you and your employer down the line. Many member of the InterNations community have been through these situations before, so scroll through the forums and discussion boards for advice on arranging and maintaining your visa, and to learn more about life in the USA, and Michigan in particular. Or browse through InterNations’ content section, including the Expat Magazine, where you can find numerous articles on various expatriation topics, from moving abroad to how to best cope with culture shock.