Nestled in the picturesque San Bernardino Valley, San Bernardino is a medium-sized city in the heart of Southern California. Often referred to as the Gate City – a reference to the city's location as the “gateway” to Los Angeles – San Bernardino is famous for the nearby San Bernardino National Forest, a spectacular national park which is home to the 11,500 foot high Mount San Gorgonio. The city is also notable as the site of the world's first ever McDonald's restaurant, which has now been converted into a museum. As one of California's larger cities, expats living in San Bernardino enjoy an excellent quality of life, with modern infrastructure and glorious weather combining to create a relaxed and friendly community.
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As with any international relocation, moving to San Bernardino can require a lot of planning. One of the largest challenges for expatriates can be working out how you will actually move your possessions over to the city, especially if you are moving from Europe, Asia or Africa. In general, it is best to only move with what you absolutely need to take, as most shipments to the States are prices by weight and moving large items of furniture can become expensive. Of course, you will also need to find a place to live before you move over. San Bernardino and the surrounding areas – particularly the Highland and Rialto neighborhoods – have many attractive and reasonably priced apartments for rent. Rental prices tend to be lower than those of nearby Los Angeles, making San Bernardino a popular destination for commuters. It is also worth checking out InterNations' Expat Magazine, which contains many informative tips on international relocation.
San Bernardino's economy is mostly based around the service industries, with hospitals and schools making up most of the city's major employers and expats in San Bernardino will also find that the transport industry is similarly well-represented in the area. As with any American city, however, international citizens must get the correct visa before they are able to begin working in San Bernardino. There are a range of different American work visas available, with some intended for temporary workers and some intended for permanent staff. In general, expats need some kind of required skill before they can be granted a visa, however, so it is usually best to check with the American Visa Bureau before making plans. In addition, the InterNations forum offers potential expatriates a way to get in touch with and get advice from fellow expats living in San Bernardino, California, the US or around the world, and is a good source of general advice on working in a foreign country.