The capital of Arkansas is synonymous with one person: President Bill Clinton. The former US President is an Arkansas native, and lived in Little Rock during his time as the state’s Attorney General, and Governor (1977-1992). His influence in Little Rock is hard to ignore, from the daily ‘Bill Clinton Tours’, to the namesake buildings dotted around the city. Expats living in Little Rock will soon become used to political tourists wandering around the Arkansas State Capitol Building, the site of so much contemporary American history. But there is much more to Little Rock than the Clinton legacy. This sprawling city is situated right in the heart of Arkansas, in the American Deep South. Balmy summers are conquered with iced tea and ice cream, and in the cooler months you can join the crowds of joggers and cyclists on the Arkansas River paths. When you first move to Little Rock, take the time to explore the city and soak up the atmosphere. Visit the Little Rock Audubon Center, and wander down the river paths to find out where the city got its nickname “The Rock”.
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Your experience of moving to Little Rock will differ depending on where you are moving from. Most Americans will feel at home with the local culture, while noticing a few subtle differences. Non-American expats should be aware of the visa requirements and permits needed before moving to the city. This may seem like obvious advice, but you cannot be too careful – once you have arrived on American soil, it can be difficult to amend your permits, so check, double check, and check again. If you are unsure about anything, check out the InterNations’ discussion boards and forums where you can speak to other expatriates who have been through the American visa experience and others who can simply offer some advice on the Deep South lifestyle.
Little Rock has been described as one of the most affordable cities in the United States. So when you are working in Little Rock as an expatriate, you can expect your paycheck to go further, allowing you time to explore the local food scene, the buzzing nightclubs, and the surrounding countryside. If you are working in Little Rock, the chances are you will be living in one of the city’s sprawling suburbs. While public transport in the city is good, it is hard to manage the suburb-to-city commute without a car. Make sure your license is in order, and don’t forget to drive on the right hand side of the road! You can read about other expats and their struggles with local driving custom or foreign cultures in general in our Expat Magazine, or in the InterNations’ forums. Once you’ve lived in Arkansas for a while, you may even want to add some stories of your own!