You can be forgiven for immediately thinking of theme parks and tourist holidays when someone mentions Orlando, Florida. However, behind that veil is a city that has a very hard-working, business as usual approach that welcomes workers from all over the United States and the world. But what can those expats moving to Orlando expect from life in the city?
In a 2008 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, Orlando was voted the 4th most desirable American city to live in, placing it one position above its Florida neighbour Tampa. There are many possible reasons for this. Certainly, a helpful factor in its popularity is the consistently pleasant weather that rarely falls below 15°C and occasionally gets up to 36°C.
If there is one thing that the tourism trade has brought with it to Orlando is a lively energy that keeps the city buzzing. There is no shortage of evening entertainment to cover a diverse range of tastes from theatre (including the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre) to live music, to a thriving LGBT nightclub scene and much more.
If you are heading into Downtown Orlando and want to find something to eat or meet colleagues and friends for a drink you can do much worse than going to Wall Street Plaza. This busy complex houses a mix of bars and restaurants with many of them offering outdoor seating, perfect for al fresco socialising.
Tourism aside, Orlando welcomes a vast number of people into the city on business thanks to the Orange County Convention Center which is reportedly the second largest conference centre in America. The OCCC has around 2.1 million square feet of conference exhibition space, 74 meeting rooms and a handful of lecture theatres and halls.
Orlando is home to the largest university campus in the USA. The University of Central Florida enrolled 66,183 students in the 2017-18 academic year and was originally founded to help support the nearby NASA base. UCF still has a strong foothold in Science and Technology education to this day. This helps bolster the knowledge and experience that expats bring when moving to Orlando with home-grown talent and enthusiasm straight out of a very reputable school.
Not far from the university campus is the Central Florida Research Park (the 7th largest research park in the country). The Central Florida Research Park is home to around 120 companies, employing more than 8,500 people in the local area, with many of those in the aerospace, technology and aviation industries. In general Orlando has a strong employment rate and plenty of job opportunities.
According to property website, Zillow, the average property price that can be expected by those moving to Orlando is around $241,000 whereas the average property to rent is around $1,590. To put this into context, according to the same website the average house price in Chicago is a little less at $228,000. Just across the state line in Georgia, the average house price in Atlanta is $260,000. So, this puts Orlando in an affordable price bracket for the majority of expats, further adding to its appeal.
For a city that has made a name for itself for tourism, Orlando has a more serious and hard-working side that sees a lot of people working in all kinds of industries including science and technology. The downtown areas help these employees unwind with plenty to keep them entertained.
When you are ready to move to Orlando, Florida and have read our expat guide to Orlando, get in touch with our specialists who can help you with moving to the USA.