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What Is Transportation Like in California

Is there really good public transportation in California?

That's the one of the parts that I struggled with when I came in California, the transportation, because I didn't have my driver's license yet. I was fortunate enough that I have my family here to drive me to and from wherever I need to go. It's the must that you have to drive in California, there are transportation, but the stop areas are limited to certain establishments.

So unlike in Fresno, LA, and San Francisco, they have Uber, they have taxis there. When it got here in Porterville and Hanford there are no uber. So nobody will take your Uber ride because everybody drives and there aren't a lot of like buildings where people work.

Mostly, like hospitals are the biggest buildings that I've seen this area of California so it's definitely a must.

It's a must to drive and most people in California drive so that is going to be a challenge for many international nurses. Some haven't driven for a long time, some have never driven and driven only in other countries where sometimes you drive on the other side of the road, or the rules are different.

So how did you go about getting your license and how did you get a car?

I stopped driving for like five years, I used to drive in a different country and then I came back home and stopped for five years because I didn't have to drive in the Philippines.

For the DMV, which is like the land transportation office in the Philippines is the DMV here. It's necessary that you have your green card first, your SSN. Proof that you are a resident of the US in California, before they can process your license application, there would be a written test, but the review materials, you can all get it from their website. It's basically easy. All the questions in the written tests are all in the review materials that they'll give you.

So I got it on first try the written test and then after that, once you've passed it, they will give you a student permit that you will use you can either enroll in a driving school or have somebody teach you that's also a licensed driver.

So for me, that was my brother in law, he taught me how to drive and the roads here. The biggest difference that I noticed is the stop signs. In the Philippines, we don't really have the stop signs in junctions and crossroads. We always have traffic lights, even back in the other country that I used to drive. There will always be traffic lights, even in the narrowest streets. But in here like you can see how disciplined the Americans are. Like there are no police on every stop signs, but people will stop even if there are no cars in the junction, you have to stop for three seconds before you can go and if there are cars in the junction, you have to wait for your turn. So, it's really disciplined and people are law abiding in California.

So I got my car well, honestly, I came here I didn't have money to splurge in California. I was fortunate enough that my family lives here. So I have support. Good thing that Connetics USA Nursing Agency connected me to a bank and that gave me a car loan because I didn't have a credit history.

When I was trying to get a car, I already have my car loan. I tried to get from Honda, from Toyota, they were asking for my credit score and they won't give me a loan if I don't have my credit score. So good thing Connetics has that bank and also an online car seller that they partnered with.

So it was breeze, it was it was smooth. I did everything online. I didn't get to see the car before I bought it, they just delivered it in my house in my front door.

What was it like when you got your new car in America?

It was so good. You have a new independence because you will get to drive around California, you will get to drive on your own to work and you can get to places. You don't have to ask somebody to drive you. If you need to buy something in the store, you can just go yourself.

So that's a great feeling. Because then you can explore, you're independent and it really it's it's life changing when you buy your own car.

One thing just to mention to any nurse that is coming to the US, you can download the booklet of the DMV, because when I came here from South Africa, I've been driving for many years in South Africa but the rules are very different.

As Cornelia said, you know that in America, people are very law abiding, they abide by street, those kinds of things. But even in the booklet, it's very different. I remember when I came here, and somebody said to me, "Oh you've been driving for a while you don't need to study the booklet" And the day before my test, I took out the booklet and I just about like fell on the floor, I was like "Oh my gosh there are things you need to learn" Anybody is going to be coming soon to America, download the booklet you can start studying now.

You know getting a car as Cornelia said, whether you are in Hanford Fresno area, or if you are anywhere else in the US, most places you have to drive and getting a car is really kind of a game changer. So you want to try and get a head start on that as much as possible.