Welcome to Providence, Rhode Island – the capital city of America’s smallest state! But although it is a capital city, it feels more like an ‘olde worlde’ town, with its winding streets, 19th century architecture, and near-constant sea breeze. Providence is one of the oldest cities on the East Coast of America, and was originally named ’God’s Merciful Providence‘ by the religious exiles who settled there in the 17th century. Since then, it has been known by a number of monikers, including ’The Divine City‘, ’The Beehive of Industry‘, ’The Renaissance City‘and, most recently, the ’Creative Capital‘. Today, it is all of those things. Its old churches will remind expats living in Providence of the city’s religious origin, while the Capitol Center is modern and business-oriented, with areas like Waterplace Park heaving with life. Providence is also home to Brown University, an Ivy League school, and one of the Eastern Seaboard’s cultural hotspots.
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Like most coastal cities, Providence is very expat friendly, and welcomes thousands of seasonal workers every year. As a result, it is very easy to get to and from the city. Providence train station runs daily direct routes to New York and Boston. As it is the closest major train station to the Cape Cod area, it can get very busy during the summer with tourists and day-trippers making their way towards the beaches. Any expatriate considering a move to Providence should probably work on their tolerance for seafood – clam chowder, clam cakes, and stuffed clams feature heavily on the local menus, and you cannot leave Rhode Island without sampling their famous Quahog clams. Before moving to Providence, speak to fellow expats about what to expect from life on the East Coast of the United States. The InterNations discussion groups and forums are full of current and former American expatriates who are always keen to share their experiences.
Providence city center and the nearby beaches are charming, beautiful places to live and work. However, the city and its suburbs are separated by a web of ring-roads and freeways, which can turn your morning commute into a bit of a headache. Before starting work in Providence, take some time to get used to the roads and work out your route to and from the office. There is a local bus service but it is unreliable, so expats working in Providence would be advised to get a car. As with any move to the States, make sure you have your visas and permits in order before you leave, and keep an eye out for any changes to employment law which may affect you. If you have any questions or concerns about this, sign up and become part of the InterNations expat community. Expats living in Providence can use for example our forums to speak directly to other expatriate workers.