New to the U.S.? Use These Tips to Adjust to Your New Community and Still Stay Connected to Home

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Thank you to Julia Merrill. julia@befriendyourdoc.org. for this important article! Gail H Fleming, EdD

Though each immigrant’s journey is different, a common thread ties all newcomers to the United States to one another. Feeling out of place and unsure is a recurring sentiment. Gail Fleming invites you to consider these ways to find your way in your new Illinois community while keeping close ties to home.

Find your dream job in your new home with help from Career Coach Gail Fleming. Gail can assist you with resume and cover letter writing, taking standardized tests, and researching alternative job opportunities. Get started working with her today by calling (618) 267-8098.

 Find Your Way Here

Adjusting to a new place with a new culture is difficult. You’ve already made one big step by arriving in the United States. Your next challenge is to find your way with new friends, new opportunities, and growth right here in Illinois.

Remember That Your Work Matters

It’s hard to see the impact of your hard work and effort. Whether it’s faith-related or in the workplace, sometimes it can feel like your work isn’t impacting the people that it should, including you. Thinking about the ways that your work matters can help you reframe your experiences, even if other people don’t see your efforts the same way.

Join Kindred Spirits

Part of feeling at home in a new place means building connections with others. Experts explain that faith can help you overcome the trauma of immigration and separation. No matter where you move from or to, you can find people who share your beliefs and traditions. Joining a new church in your community is one way to plug into the local culture and social scene. Many churches and other organizations host events, provide local resources, and offer a chance for you to reconnect with your beliefs, too.

Set Goals for Growth

Sometimes it can feel like just getting by is all you can handle. Everyone has difficult days, but the important thing is to have goals in mind even during tough times, notes Positive Psychology. Think about what you want to accomplish and plan a way to make it happen. From earning a promotion to starting your own business or learning a new language, any goal is achievable if you take it one step at a time.

Become an Entrepreneur

Many immigrants come to the U.S. with an eye toward small business ownership, and this is an excellent way to make a living. However, there are quite a few hoops to jump through if you’re not a citizen. For example, acquiring a visa to open a business isn’t an option, and many immigrant business owners will sell a stake in a growing business and become a high-level employee in order to apply for the H-1B visa, but this is merely one of several options. In addition to visa considerations, it’s important to understand all that’s required for starting a business in Illinois.

Connect to Home

No matter where you’re from, preserving your culture, values, and family ties is crucial. Think about these ways to stay in touch and connect with your family and friends back home.

Use Your Means to Support Loved Ones

As new immigrants work to create financial stability here, offering that same stability to family back home is often the principal goal. Once you receive your first paycheck, and after you’ve paid your bills here, your priority will be to send funds home. To do this safely and securely, avoid using international mail. Consider also forgoing a bank transfer. The quickest way to send money home is through a remittance service. To safely send money and get a great exchange rate, look to a highly rated service like World Remit or PaySend.

Try Video Calls for Connection

While calling long-distance is more affordable than ever, using video calls is often a free way to see your loved ones more personally. Try video calls on services like Zoom, Google Meets, or other platforms so that you can see your friends and family, suggests The Verge. Voice chats are one thing, but being able to see one another can help you feel more connected.

Bring Some Home Here

Though it’s good to adapt to your new surroundings, bringing some of your old home with you can help you feel more connected. Celebrating your culture in your new place honors your loved ones and your new community as you share and grow with your neighbors and friends.

The immigration experience can be stressful, and arriving in the United States is only the next step in a challenging journey. However, with these ideas, you can feel restored in your faith and family connections, no matter where you are in the world.

Though each immigrant’s journey is different, a common thread ties all newcomers to the United States to one another. Feeling out of place and unsure is a recurring sentiment. Gail Fleming invites you to consider these ways to find your way in your new Illinois community while keeping close ties to home.

Gail H Fleming, EdD.  ~ website: gailhfleming.com.    gailhfleming48@gmail.com

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