Have you immigrated?

This is a room for the discussion of travel plans or experiences and the culture of places you have visited or plan to visit.
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newyorkeric
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Re: Have you immigrated?

Postby newyorkeric » Thu Nov 03, 2022 1:15 am

I've been living in Singapore for most of the past 15 years. I moved here for family reasons (married a Singaporean). While I don't plan on moivng back to my home country (USA) and don't visit often, I always feel torn and inbetween. It gets harder with kids because I worry about what they're missing out on. In any case, they're fluent in English and Mandarin so there's that.
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Re: Have you immigrated?

Postby jimmy » Sun Feb 26, 2023 6:03 pm

Hi again,

Dear @Xenops,

could you let us know please , what did you decide?

also remind us please, where were you and where are you now?

if you immigrated, could you further inform , how was your journey and how are you?

(personal questions: I read the last comments and these questions came to my mind , you said you were looking for adventure, in this case: why did not you selected rather foreign country (e.g. India, saudi arabia etc :) )

so , generalization should be like this: are there rules that immigrants should strictly pay attention and adhere to when they are about to immigrate?

Thanks for sharing your experiences.
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Xenops
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Re: Have you immigrated?

Postby Xenops » Sun Feb 26, 2023 11:42 pm

jimmy wrote:Hi again,

Dear @Xenops,

could you let us know please , what did you decide?

also remind us please, where were you and where are you now?

if you immigrated, could you further inform , how was your journey and how are you?

(personal questions: I read the last comments and these questions came to my mind , you said you were looking for adventure, in this case: why did not you selected rather foreign country (e.g. India, saudi arabia etc :) )


so , generalization should be like this: are there rules that immigrants should strictly pay attention and adhere to when they are about to immigrate?

Thanks for sharing your experiences.


The short answer is: I have not yet decided. :D

Realistically, as excited as I am to move overseas, I'm looking at at least two years before I can do so. In the short term, I started a new job and getting a sign-on bonus, so I have to stay a year. Long term, I would like to have my loans and credit card debt paid off before hand, maybe even have some money saved.

(personal questions: I read the last comments and these questions came to my mind , you said you were looking for adventure, in this case: why did not you selected rather foreign country (e.g. India, saudi arabia etc :) )


I have thought of going to Asia to teach ESL (specifically in Japan or South Korea) for a year or several, but I'm not sure if I would want to immigrate there. As a visiting ESL teacher, you get to enjoy the benefits of the host country while being free from the social constraints that the natives have. In Japan especially, they are so insular that they treat Japanese who lived abroad differently than "purely native" Japanese, never mind a Caucasian girl. Unless I happen to fall in love with a handsome Japanese or South Korean, I think it would be difficult to form ties as a foreigner in those places.

Europe is more likely for me because of the shared values. Unlike Japan, South Korea, India or Saudi Arabia, women can be independent and be treated equally to men in some European countries. In the four countries mentioned above, a woman's value and role is still very tied to a husband and to having a family. As a single woman who does not want kids, Europe seems a better fit. There's also an appreciation of work-life balance, less materialism, and more approachable healthcare systems, all of which I value. Lastly, there are lots of fellow Caucasians in Europe, so my ability to merge into the society is greater than in Japan.

So yes, if I was truly going for adventure, probably it would be short term and in Japan or South Korea. With moving to Europe, the adventure element is less, but I would be looking for a place that I want to live long-term.
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Re: Have you immigrated?

Postby jimmy » Mon Feb 27, 2023 1:13 pm

Now, once again i understand that crucial decisions require more time.

thank you very much for the reply.
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Re: Have you immigrated?

Postby Gaoling97 » Tue Mar 14, 2023 7:21 am

Not officially immigrated, yet. Not to be too inflamatory or political, but I hate the USA and wish to give up my citizenship one day.

I have lived in China for four years now. Wish I could get citizenship, but that is for all intents and purposes impossible. At best, I can get "permanent residency" after a while. Was planning to move to Germany in a few years (where it would actually be relatively easy to get citizenship), but I am not so sure anymore. While infinitely better than the US, Germany is still very much a western country with western values. Might just permanently stay in China as a non-citizen.
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Re: Have you immigrated?

Postby MaggieMae » Thu Mar 23, 2023 3:31 am

anitarrc wrote:Prepare to work in "inferior" positions or ignore the rules.

I think this is one of the most overlooked hurdles to moving to a different country. Unless there's extra money involved to smooth over the recognition process, this is going to be your reality until the State deems you worthy enough. Which may be never.

I'm a fully certified elementary teacher in the US, and could fairly easily get a job anywhere in the States if I wanted, and I'd get paid the same as any other teacher in that district. But no. I had to fall in love and move to Switzerland.

Switzerland is in the middle of a teaching crisis. They have hundreds of still-open teaching positions. Except my degree isn't recognized over here (yet). Normally, no degree=no teaching job. Period. However, most Cantons have started allowing people without a Swiss teaching license teach, with certain conditions attached, as defined by each individual Canton. Most of these people are people who are Swiss, just trying a career change, and they can just enroll at the teaching college to circumvent many of the restrictions.

I, however, don't really feel like redoing my entire degree, just in German this time. So I'm only allowed to teach a year at a time (I would have to get a new job every year, or enroll in the college), IF I can convince someone to hire me, and I would only earn 80% of the standard pay.

Now, to get my degree recognized by the State, I have to first have a C2 certificate (or be a native speaker) in one of the official languages (German, French, Italian, or Romansh) before I can even apply to get my credentials examined. After 2 years of pretty much full time, mind breaking, immersive study, I'm nearly there. Nearly. After that, and a ton of other notarized paperwork (that has to be written in one of the aforementioned languages or English, otherwise it needs to be officially translated), I get to pay CHF 1000, wait 6 months, and pray to whatever gods may be out there that my degree is accepted and I don't have to go back to school first. If they say I need to take classes at the teaching college before they'll recognize my degree, the cost of those is SIGNIFICANTLY higher than the cost of someone just starting out.

I also have a colleague that had to start as an intern, work her way up to teacher's assistant, and finally has her own class (again, at 80% the standard pay), after having taught for 15 years in Portugal.

But it's not just teachers that have this problem. I have a friend who's a mechanical engineer. She's currently working an internship because her degree from Iran isn't recognized at all. She wasn't even able to study at one of the local colleges because her (absolutely passing) C1 certificate was 4 points lower than the 80% score they require. She applied for 3 different internships at the company she's working for now before they accepted her, because she 'didn't have the credentials', despite her current degree, and her specialization in the exact field this firm works in (hydraulic and pneumatic systems). She got lucky to even get this internship, and will hopefully get a sponsorship at the end to work for the company and simultaneously complete her master's.

So, yeah. Prepare to be seen as a second class citizen. Maybe not by the people around in your everyday life, but definitely by the government and people who make the decisions about your career.
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Re: Have you immigrated?

Postby anitarrc » Thu Mar 23, 2023 7:52 am

MaggieMae wrote:
anitarrc wrote:Prepare to work in "inferior" positions or ignore the rules.

I think this is one of the most overlooked hurdles to moving to a different country. Unless there's extra money involved to smooth over the recognition process, this is going to be your reality until the State deems you worthy enough. Which may be never.

...

So, yeah. Prepare to be seen as a second class citizen. Maybe not by the people around in your everyday life, but definitely by the government and people who make the decisions about your career.


Reflects 100% my life experience.
Apart from the completely moronic recognition system in Costa Rica (We protect our own and make sure nobody learns anything from these ghastly foreigners.. which is why costa rica is world famous for electronics medicine etc (ok I'll stop being cynic) I have seen it everywhere.

Even in France.

You have to have your thesis, the complete curriculum and all statements by professors translated before we even consider recognizing you.
(Mais non une université étrangère ce n'est pas une grande école)
Mechanic.. no it has to be 2 year full time school, compagnon (4 years apprenticeship, 20 years experience doesn't count)

B...s I said. started a "small repairs and parts sale" business.
People kept asking me to take their son as an apprentice. Or (much better) youngsters asked themselves.

I had to decline. La chambre des métiers ne reconnaît pas ma qualification.

Till the day a lady, when picking up her car asked for her cousin.
Same answer.

And why don't they recognize it.
...
show me you paperwork..
But... your trade certificate is from 1982.
Yes.
And you are an electronics engineer.. well it shows you fixed that pesky problem..

If I can solve this, do you take him, Ok you'll see for yourself, he has a handicap but I'm sure he will be over the moon. And..you get half of his pay because of the handicap.

In a week the problem was gone. André did not pass the final exam in theory.. that was due to a head injury he had earlier. But yes, he had a job and a later employer took him happily without the maths exam.
since then I am a recognized apprentice tutor . For France, that is.
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Re: Have you immigrated?

Postby Suzie » Thu Mar 23, 2023 10:38 am

What an interesting thread; I have tremendously enjoyed reading about all your experiences and thoughts. Since Xenops hasn't made up her mind yet, I am throwing my own experiences into the mix, trying to address the following questions: Have you immigrated? Are you a "successful case" as an immigrant? I find those two questions surprisingly difficult to answer...

The full description of my immigration experience turned out to be too long, and instead of keeping myself concise, I just moved it to my log (https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 79#p225079). In short, I spent five years in Belgium, but did not cut the ties to Germany enough to fully embrace life abroad, and I certainly did not benefit as much from language immersion as one should.

Did I immigrate? Yes, by the official definition (I was even eligible for Belgian citizenship in the end!). But one might consider it a "stealth immigration", as there were friends back home who did not even fully realize that I had officially left Germany! :lol:

Did I immigrate "successfully"? It depends. It does not feel like a failure overall - I still love the country and the people, and would have seen myself settling there, had things turned out otherwise. Returning home was not "giving up" but a positive choice towards an even better future. I certainly do not regret anything. Not having become fully "operational" in French, and not having dived into the Belgian experience as much as I would have liked - yes, I am at times a bit sad that I missed those opportunities.

Some general considerations:

For EU citizens, the bureaucratic hurdles to move to another EU member state are extremely low. However, don't think that would apply to your car as well! The process in Belgium was...complex, and I was left without any papers for three months. I remember a holiday trip to Czech Republic where my only official car papers were just several pages of a long email exchange in French with Belgian authorities about lost documents and delays. When moving back home, I was without a proper health insurance for several months for similar reasons.

Lack of proper language skills (A2-B1) made my life unnecessarily complicated. The typical GP in the Wallonian countryside would not speak anything but French, and I struggled so much. Finally, I ended up in situations where I avoided to seek for medical support when I should have done so. So my advice would be for anyone to do the opposite of what I did: Learn your target language to B2 or higher before you immigrate and/or make language acquisition your top priority during your stay.
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Re: Have you immigrated?

Postby lingohot » Tue Jun 20, 2023 4:46 am

lingohot wrote:I never migrated, I have spent all my life in Germany, I did have some study stays abroad in the past, 1 month, 2 months... And there were some attempts, culminating in the signature of an employment contract from which I withdrawed on the same day.


I finally did take the step four months ago and migrated because I have landed my dream job. Couldn't be happier with my choice.
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Re: Have you immigrated?

Postby PeterMollenburg » Tue Jun 20, 2023 11:01 am

lingohot wrote:
lingohot wrote:I never migrated, I have spent all my life in Germany, I did have some study stays abroad in the past, 1 month, 2 months... And there were some attempts, culminating in the signature of an employment contract from which I withdrawed on the same day.


I finally did take the step four months ago and migrated because I have landed my dream job. Couldn't be happier with my choice.


Would you mind sharing a bit more lingohot? I see your native language is German and you are from Germany, but where did you go to land your dream job? Btw, congratulations, it sounds like you're very happy with the move.
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