A country of great opportunities and houses with perfectly trimmed lawns. A country in which almost all climatic zones are represented - from the Arctic to the tropics. A country of outstanding businessmen, scientists and artists. A country of over 325 million people, the vast majority of whom immigrated to start their lives from scratch and eventually say, "America, I love you." ForumDaily I figured out why people leave everything and move to the US, and why is it so nice to have a new home?
Over 61 million US residents as of December 2015, according to Center for Migration Studies, are immigrants or state-born children of immigrants. However, the number of those who want to move to the United States is much larger.
Portal research Gallup.com indicates that 150 millions of people around the world dream of moving to the United States.
Freedom of speech, pay-to-living ratio, cultural diversity, nature, abundance of healthy food and quality of medicine appear among the main reasons for moving. Among potential immigrants, most of all are citizens of India, China, Mexico and the Philippines, but residents of the former CIS countries are far from last in this list. According to various sources, from 1,5 to 5 million Russian speakers settled in the United States, choosing the largest and most expensive cities in America for life: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington, Miami, Denver.
Finding my place
Olga Khalkina wanted to live and study in America from 16 years. From Rostov-on-Don, she moved to Moscow and worked there as a waitress to help her family. She could not save money to achieve her dream. When Olga was 20 years old, one of her friends told her about a program for Pacific Islanders at the university. Bringham Young University on the island of Oahu (Hawaii). Olga caught fire with the idea and submitted the documents. In exchange for training, the student had to work in the center of Polynesian culture as a tourist guide 20 hours a week. Although the residents of Russia could not study under this program, Olga wrote a letter to the director of the admissions committee - in it she explained that she really wanted to study with them, but for this she did not have enough funds. It was incredible, but an exception was made for the girl and she was admitted to the university.
“A lot of people have helped me realize my dream. One person promised to buy textbooks while I study, an American friend gave me her scholarship for a year so that I could pay for my visa and tickets ... It looked like a miracle. If they told me that this is possible, I would never have believed, ”the girl shares.
Olga assures that she is grateful to America in the first place for being able to get an excellent higher education, which she simply could not afford in her native state.
“I love America for being a land of opportunity. In the United States, you can study at one of the best educational institutions in the state, even if you have no money. The main thing is knowledge, desires and dedication! ” - says Olga.
The girl did not want to stay in Hawaii, in addition, she wanted to try to study at different universities. She moved from state to state several times. Then she got married and started moving again - now because of her husband's work. Olga lived in the Texas Houston, the small Californian town of San Ramon, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. But in the end she stayed in Denver, Colorado, where she still lives and has 4 children.
“My ex-husband and I moved both before and after the birth of our children. This is a common situation for American families who often migrate for a good job, and I also really like this in America. Nobody is attached to their place of birth. You can put all your things, furniture and move in one moment, changing your whole life, ”says Olga Khalkina.
At the moment she has been living in Denver for 3 years and is just in love with the city.
“It's easy for me to breathe in Denver. In my historical homeland, the climate and weather are the same. The nature is insanely beautiful here! Forests, lakes ... In addition to nature and weather, Colorado has very decent, smiling and sympathetic people. Here I have never met people on fake show-offs, as it was, for example, in California, ”a resident of the city confesses.
Olga works at home, makes accessories for girls, while her children are busy in kindergarten and school. She admits that in Russia she would be afraid to start her own business, but here everything is calm and predictable. After graduating from university, the immigrant worked for some time as an accountant, and at night she sewed accessories for sale at home.
“Here I learned that you need to work for yourself. Even if the capital is small, you can start with something small. And while you are working for someone, there is an opportunity to develop your business in parallel. But when the profit becomes tangible, you can safely leave your main job. I did just that, ”says Olga.
An important point - the cost of living in the state. A woman says that tuition and extracurricular activities in Denver are very affordable. For example, a gym class costs $ 8-10, in Texas and California she had to pay $ 20 for this.
“I am pleased to know that I have settled in such a wonderful place where I can raise my children,” Olga Khalkina concludes her story.
In the US, you are free to choose - to live in a glass-asphalt metropolis or on a sandy beach in the very center of a sunny city. Artist, videographer and photographer Alexei Yaroshenko chose the latter and settled in the ever-warm Miami.
He came to 2012 in South Carolina from Dnepropetrovsk according to the program Work and Travel, and so it remained by changing the type of visa. Later, the guy moved to Miami.
“I never dreamed of living in America, but from my youth I thought about leaving Ukraine somewhere. Of course, I wanted to live in a country with a tropical climate. I was on the verge of adulthood and decided to start it in a new place, ”says Alexey.
His first business - printing T-shirts - didn't go. The guy did not despair and decided to try himself in video shooting, which he was always fond of. I bought the necessary equipment and began to shoot. By 2014, he acquired his own company, and after another 2 years he opened a second company that deals with wedding photography in Florida and California.
Alexey has been living in America for 6 years. He received a green card and believes that it was here that he formed as a person, became independent, created his own successful business and learned to enjoy life by combining work and leisure.
“I really like how money is made here. If you have reached an average income, then you can afford quite a lot compared to Ukraine - a good apartment, take a car on lease or a loan, travel, go to restaurants, buy good food and clothes, ”says a resident of Miami.
The guy admits that he likes life in the United States also by the fact that here he can afford to travel a lot both across the states and outside America. In Ukraine, he could not go further than Crimea - he could not afford it.
“When I first came to America, of course, I imagined that money would be lying under my feet, just go and collect it. Over time, my view has changed. Here you need to work hard and efficiently and burn with what you love. I am very impressed by the hard work and dedication of the Americans. Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Sergey Brin ... Great American businessmen inspire me to explore new heights, ”explains Alexey.
He believes that creative people from the countries of the former CIS should, if possible, move to a more developed state and build life, business and career already there.
“If you are young and not burdened with children, go for it and leave. If you have a family but still dream of leaving, set a goal and embark on a journey to find a new life. If something does not suit you in your home country and you look with envy at the photos of friends who have moved to America, then you need to look for an opportunity and leave. There is no need to be afraid. Then you can regret it very much! " - Alexey is convinced.
Start everything from scratch
Denis Novikov moved to New York from Odessa in November 2014, when a military conflict broke out in Ukraine. He dreamed of visiting New York all his life, but decided to move only when the situation in the country became really dangerous. Denis worked for 12 years in the field of journalism and worked as a TV journalist for the last year before leaving.
In the United States, like many other immigrants, a man had to start from scratch. In less than 2 years, he changed several professions - he started as a loader, worked in a company for the manufacture and installation of advertising signs, for several months he was an assistant to an electrician in a construction company, cleaned furniture for rich and famous people.
“I was always afraid of the question 'What are you doing?' from relatives and friends. In the first year of life, this question is not very pleasant, because you have just arrived, you do not have the right to work, you do not really know the rules of this stone jungle and you feel like an outsider. So it was with me. At the moment I am doing what I am interested in: for several months now I have been working on a children's web series, which is being released on Youtube-channel. I am both an operator and an editor there, and sometimes I write scripts for him. In addition, I am working on creating my own social video project, which also takes up a lot of time, ”says Denis.
The journalist never ceases to admire New York. He describes the city in one episode from his favorite series about vampires: “According to the plot, vampires appear in the city, they begin to bite people, everything burns, explodes. One guy, running into the police station to escape, says to the policeman: "You have some kind of nonsense going on in the streets!" To which the policeman, without batting an eye, replies: "Boy, you are in New York, something is always happening here."
However, certain parts of New York are not entirely to Denis's liking - he does not like Brighton Beach, which is popular with immigrants from the Soviet Union.
“I myself live in Brooklyn, but I try not to be in the southern part of it. I hate Brighton Beach for many reasons. Starting from the behavior of many people and ending with the fact that around you the Soviet Odessa. Why do I need Soviet Odessa in the USA? " - Denis is surprised.
The guy admits that in spite of all the difficulties that he has to face, everything in the USA is created for people, and this is exactly what he lacked in his native country.
“In America you live, you don’t survive. And all you need for this is hard work and a little patience. In Ukraine, these qualities will not go far. Accordingly, when your life is not complicated by all sorts of outside factors, then you become more cheerful. This makes you look better and feel more confident. But when you are full of confidence, then you can and should conquer new heights, ”the New Yorker confesses.
In addition, Denis likes that he feels protected in America, unlike Ukraine, where, as he believes, every day the authorities by their decisions only complicate the life of citizens. In the United States, laws are aimed at protecting human rights - whether you are a Native American or an undocumented immigrant who arrived a few months ago. Moreover, caring for people is manifested at different levels.
“I've decided to quit smoking and learned about the New York State program, which helps people who want to quit cigarettes for free. I called the hotline, held a consultation, interviewed me, and now they send me nicotine patches, chewing gums and so on by mail. Everything is dosed in accordance with your questionnaire. Basically, many of the services you can think of are available in the US at any level. It all depends on your financial capabilities and requests, ”says Denis.
It doesn't matter where you come from, how much money you have and who you were in your home state. In America, you can start a new life and realize any of your dreams. This will take a lot of time, work, patience and effort, but the game is worth the candle. It is not for nothing that the United States is called a country of great opportunities.