It won’t surprise you to learn that Thousand Oaks is surrounded by forest. Although it is a city, living in Thousand Oaks feels like living in the country. Nature-lovers are spoilt for choice between the Conejo Ridge Open Space and the enormous Santa Monica Mountains National Park, which is sometimes referred to as "Los Angeles' Backyard". Urbanites are only a short commute from Downtown Los Angeles, and Thousand Oaks (or ‘T.O.’) is often treated as an upmarket suburb of the LA metropolis. As a result of this, Thousand Oaks is home to dozens of celebrities and movie stars, including Tiger Woods, Ellen DeGeneres, Megan Fox and Will Smith. Expats living in Thousand Oaks will be in good company – the city is regularly voted one of the best places to live in California.
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Thousand Oaks is very much a family-friendly city, with some of the best schools in the state, and some of the lowest crime rates in the country. It is particularly popular with expatriates who have lived and worked in Los Angeles and now want a slower pace of life. If you are thinking of moving to Thousand Oaks, plan ahead. It is a popular place to live and real estate is at a premium. Organize your accommodation before you leave, and if you are commuting to Santa Monica, Downtown LA, or Malibu make sure you are familiar with your route so you don’t end up lost in one of the nearby national parks! For tips on adapting to life in California, sign up on InterNations, the largest online expat community worldwide, and use the platform to speak directly to other expats living in Thousand Oaks or its surrounding area.
Thousand Oaks is one of the wealthiest areas of California, with many residents working in Los Angeles or using the city as a West Coast base. However, there are a number of businesses and national corporations based in the city: financing, telecommunications, healthcare, biotechnology, aerospace and electronics are the local main industries. Any expatriate working in Thousand Oaks will need access to a car to get around – it is a sprawling and rugged area and the public transport is not always reliable. Familiarize yourself with the Californian road laws and remember to drive on the right hand side of the road. Keep your work visas up to date, and be aware of any changes to employment law which may affect your right to work in America. For advice from other expats who have lived in California, sign up on InterNations and use the forums to socialize and network not only with fellow expatriates in Thousand Oaks or California, but with expats around the globe!