Coming to America

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Coming to America: The Challenges Foreigners Encounter

Aaron Fernando
CWP 102, M W F
Professor Cockrell
April 3, 2013
Coming to America: The Challenges Foreigners Encounter

Living in America is a dream of almost all people in the world. Many would like to come and live here because they want to experience the American way of living. They heard about the good life that America has to offer to everyone who comes and this impression overwhelmed their hearts' desire to migrate for greener pasture. There are many types of immigrants that come from around the world. People from Europe or predominantly white countries do not have as much of an issue as immigrants from the middle eastern countries. As citizens of the United States of America we do not fully understand their struggle because we are born into what most people dream of. In American we have far more liberty and opportunity than anywhere else in the world. In some other countries the people are suffering without the freedoms that we are used to on a daily basis. People of the United States should welcome immigrants who are looking for a better life and are willing to work hard to achieve it. However, life can be extremely challenging for immigrants in America because they are adjusting to a different western culture and are subjected to discrimination. There are a wide variety of adjustments foreigners need to make to live in the United States. Each of these can make the immigrant feel uncomfortable and unwanted. Most immigrants say they experienced culture shocked in their first few months in United Sates. Even my father, an immigrant from Sri Lanka, at first had a hard time adjusting to cultural differences. If an immigrant used to spend time with friends and neighbors when he was in his country, it will be a different thing for him in America. Most people in the United States are very private and too busy. They have no time to spend talking to neighbors. My father explains that when living in a small country it seemed that everyone knew each other and was connected through daily routines. Social life obviously does occur in America but it comes easy for someone who has lived here their whole life. For example if you have always shopped at the same supermarket, the atmosphere and people become familiar. If someone is new to the place, they would feel like a total stranger because neighbors won't say anything except hi or hello. No one will come and make friends with them or spend time to make them feel comfortable in their new environment. If the immigrant is used to having a close relationship with the neighborhood in their home country, it would take time for them to adjust to their new environment where they could rarely see his neighbors. To make new friends is hard when nobody is around. It requires the immigrant to leave their comfort zone and meet new people which we all know can be a stressful task alone. Battling with cultural differences is a struggle to most immigrants. It takes time to be adjusted to this new life setting. I was born In Buffalo New York and I am United States citizen. I have been raised with two different cultures, American and Sri Lankan. It is no secret that Buffalo has punishing winters, but I have gotten used to all the obstacles that come with it. Adjusting to the cold weather is not an easy thing especially to people who come from tropical countries. There are only two seasons in the tropical zones, the rainy and the sunny days. Of course most Immigrants from tropical areas are so excited to watch the snowflakes and to play with snow which they never had experienced but there are some who are not comfortable with the cold weather and they don't like winter time. When my father first came from Sri Lanka, a tropical island, he did not even own a heavy jacket. It didn’t take him too long to figure out that a whole winter wardrobe would be needed to live...
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