Guest Writer: Amy Collett
Many non-immigrants don’t understand what it means to be an immigrant. It’s a process that includes a lot of learning and adjustments to get used to the new life. To prepare yourself, you should learn about the immigrant life and understand the things you can do.
Below are the 10 things to keep in mind if you’re in the process of immigrating into the U.S.
Isolation From the Main Culture
Every country has its own culture, so when you immigrate, you may feel isolated from the culture. This can leave you stressed as many things seem foreign to you when you first immigrate into the country. To embrace the new culture, it’s advisable to study, research, and learn about the country before visiting.
Learning a New Language Can Be Hard
Among the challenges you must overcome is learning a new language. Many immigrants have a basic understanding of the language in the country they’re immigrating into. While basic knowledge of the language is good to get you started, you can benefit from being fluent. Find online resources to start learning the language early on to ensure transitioning will be easy.
Buying a Home Can Be Challenging
To buy property, you need connections and referrals. As an immigrant, there’s a chance you don’t know many people in the adopted country. Because getting a job or acquiring property depends on support, you will need to be patient to get some of these accomplishments. Build friendships with people who can assist you to settle. You can get assistance through professionals like Realtor Jason Gelios, who offer extensive experience in the real estate industry.
Immigrant Children Can Be Targets of Bullying
Because they’re different and don’t blend in with the culture, your children can find it challenging in the first days. This could be more difficult if they have different skin from the majority of the kids at the school. It’s important to advise them to report any cases of bullying to ensure the behavior is stopped immediately.
Dealing With Anti-Immigrant Sentiment
Another obstacle to keep in mind is the anti-immigrant sentiment that might exist in some parts of the country. Research the organizations you can reach out to whenever you need emotional support to deal with the rejection and abuse. Also, you should always report any cases of bullying and discrimination as these behaviors are against the law.
Develop Transferable Skills
To ensure your process of getting your first job is easier, you should focus on developing transferable skills. These are skills you can take from one job to another, or from one country to another. Some degrees from your country may not be recognized in the country you’re moving to, so look for what you can do right away without spending years in school.
Every Immigrant Experience is Different
Don’t use one person’s experience to decide what would happen when you immigrate. Every person goes through a different experience, so don’t come with fixed expectations based on what someone told you about immigrating into the country.
You Need to Protect Your Mental Health
As a newcomer, you can experience a period of stress, loneliness, and depression. To protect your mental health, express your feelings and keep active. This is the way you can overcome challenges in your new environment.
Know if You Need Credential Evaluation
Some employers and institutions require candidates to provide proof of their past education or training. This can be done through an equivalency report, so check if you need a credential evaluation for your new job.
Prepare for the Expenses
It can be expensive being an immigrant. Research all the charges you need to cover and the cost of living to know how much you need for the first months. You need enough to get you through until you start earning an income.
Additionally, many immigrants come to America in search of greener pastures. It's presumed that family and friends expect financial support from you. So, consider using a money transfer service when sending funds back home. For example, if you want to send money to your family back home in Nigeria, use a service like Remitly that allows you to send directly to a bank account or for cash pick-up.
It’s an exciting experience to move to a new country, but you must be prepared for the move to avoid disappointment. Learn the new language and embrace the local culture to blend in and make it easier to get jobs.
Jason Gelios is a Husband and Father. After that, a Top Producing REALTOR®, Author of the book Think like a REALTOR®, Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show and Expert Media Contributor to media outlets across the country.