Immigration: Your personal experience

murmel

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What is your very personal experience (or in your family) with moving in another country or culture? Please keep this completely personal.

I have three siblings (half siblings to be precise) and we are all sort of migrants.

My dad moved to the U.S. when I was a little kid because he got a call from Wernher von Braun to join NASA, a once in a lifetime opportunity for a scientist. My Mom stayed in Germany with me. My two sisters were born and raised in the U.S. my brother and I in Munich, Germany. My sisters were born in Huntsville Alabama, and later moved into the Boston area, first Lexington,MA then Concord,MA. Both are American citizens.

Today no one of us four lives in the place where we were born and raised.

My brother is in Zurich, Switzerland. He is married to a Spanish women.
He works in a world leading insurance brokerage. His colleagues are pretty international, and so are his friends. As far as I know he doesn't have any native Swiss friends. He is not speaking Swiss language, he says the Swiss wouldn't like it when Germans speak (or try to) speak Swiss. Also I bet he couldn't speak or behave as slowly as the Swiss. He is more than 12 years in Switzerland now, but still feels like a foreigner. He would return to Germany, but his wife doesn't want to.
He earns a lot of money, but also the expenses are huge. He lives in an apartment with a small garden. He has the second lowest standard of living of us four.

My younger sister moved to Southern California. She is married to an American of Irish decent. She works as a professor. Their friends are mostly American, some international. She lives in a very nice house with an outdoor pool and a nice garden. They changed the graden to some sort of desert style garden because of the water problems in California. She has zero immigration issues. She doesn't have a German accent at all (Actually she doesn't speak German very good), she speaks the typical New England English. Her New England accent seems to be no problem in California. I would say she has the highest standard of living of us four, but they don`t have kids and two incomes.

My older sister moved to London. She is married to an investment banker from Scotland. Their income is by far the highest, but so are their expenses. They live in a ridiculously small house with a tiny garden. Like most building the house has ****ty build quality but it costs more than 4 million pounds. I find that pretty bizarre. She would like to move to Berlin, but still being is London is important for his job. She said that might change after the BREXIT and they might actually move to Berlin. Their friends are British and international. Their standard of living is by far the worst of us 4. Everything is super expensive, all places are crowded and most ordinary things are bad quality. You can get and everything of course, but it`s very expensive and even if you pay for it it may still be crowded. Despite none of them is from London they have no integration issues as most of the people they interact with aren't native Londoners either.

I moved from Munich (Upper Bavaria) to Bamberg (Upper Franconia) 12 years ago, because my wife is from there and it`s a lot less expensive to live there with the kids. We have a big house with a 32m2 indoor pool and a nice garden. We payed only a tenth of what my sister in London had to pay. I am actually not very well integrated. I don`t speak the language, and I am not willing to learn. They are using even Prussian words like Kloß instead of the Bavarian word Knödel, disgusting. I don´t have many friends here. I think the Franconians are harsh, stubborn and narrow minded.
I try to teach my kids some Bavarian, as I don`t want them to behave like Prussians when we are in Munich. I don't like most of the Franconian beer, but it`s easy to buy Augustiner here, so no big deal. I still work in Munich three days a week, they say I have developed a Franconian accent. Our standard of living is pretty good, e.g. we can go out and eat with the whole family for same price they charge in London or Zürich for a single person.
 

defcrew

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I was born in Macon, GA, moved to South Carolina and ultimately Alabama where I now reside. There is no discernable difference in the 3 other than the football teams they pull for which--frankly--is everything and could result in WWIII.
 

MikeC

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ummm... there is no "Swiss" language, as far as I know. Anyways...

I was a migrant - studied, lived and worked in New Zealand for quite some time.

There were as many sweet memories as the bitter ones. I developed very few but meaningful kiwi mates, and my colleagues at work were top class blokes.

As Utopian as New Zealand gets, I do feel like a third class citizen over there. It took me a while to get proper work post 9-11 (I have a Muslim name) despite my skills and qualifications. Fortunately, I got headhunted when I went back to grad school, and my life changed ever since. I stayed loyal to the company to the very end.

I have since repatriated myself back to my motherland after the big earthquakes. Feelings are mixed, but you gotta make the most with what you got.

I miss New Zealand.
 

murmel

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ummm... there is no "Swiss" language, as far as I know. Anyways...

"The dialects of Swiss German must not be confused with Swiss Standard German, the variety of Standard German used in Switzerland. Most people in Germany do not understand Swiss German. Therefore, when an interview with a Swiss German speaker is shown on German television, subtitles are required.[3] Although Swiss German is the native language, from age 6 people additionally learn Swiss Standard German at school and are thus fully able to understand, write and to speak Standard German with varying abilities mainly based on the level of education."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_German
 

MikeC

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:cool:

To be honest, it all sounds like German to outsiders.

Zurich is an expensive place to be and has lots of beautiful people, but Germans I find to be far friendlier in general.
 

redcoats1976

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it was before my time,my ancestors got here on the mayflower.
 

JTM45

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I moved from the North to the South and you'd think I shot George Wallace.
 

Mule Train

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Moss, stones, oh well, I moved back home. I don't know why nobody like me.

 

Freddy G

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My parents escaped from the former Yugoslavia. My mom and her best friend traveled by foot at night crossing the border into Austria...they were shot at by Yugo border patrol.
When they got to Austria mom was interned in a work camp for refugees for a short time before catching a ship to Canada.

Dad was in the Yugoslavian army, they wanted to promote him to a higher officer status, but only if he pledged allegiance to the communists. Which he would not do. So he escaped the country as well and headed to Canada.

My parents met up in Winnipeg with nothing but the coats on their backs. My dad was (is) a skilled tradesman, worked very hard all his life and prospered very nicely. The American dream...so to speak, except in Canada.

They have traveled back to their native country (now Slovenia) many times to visit family etc....but home is Canada.

For myself, I have enjoyed the fruits of their labour not only in my childhood but still to this day, that's not lost on me.
 

Bill Hicklin

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ummm... there is no "Swiss" language, as far as I know.

Besides the very distinctive features of Schweizerdeutch, there is also Romansch, a unique language spoken only in one canton in southeastern Switzerland.
 

rockstar232007

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Paternal great-grandparents immigrated to Canada (Montreal) from Sicily, then my grandmother moved to the US. Maternal ancestors are from England, France, Germany, and the Netherlands (Dutch), and there's some Cherokee Indian.
 

dave b

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I have no personal experience to speak from, as my both sides of my family came from England to Newfoundland in the late 1700's and early 1800's. I will say however, that every immigrant I have ever met, I would be proud to call a countryman. For the most part they are upstanding, hardworking, and glad to be here.
 

Harmony

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Born and raised mostly in London, England.

My older brother has lived in various countries, due to being in the British Army. He was mostly based out of Germany. When he and my sister in law were stationed elsewhere, Bosnia, Belize, Falklands and of course a variety of places in Germany, they just didn't interact with fellow Military personnel. They did try and speak the local language and interact with locales. For the most part, they have always been treated well. They have made lifelong friends from these countries.

After over 37 years in the British Army, he retired as Lt Colonel of the Royal Engineers, he and his wife moved back to Germany, as their hearts were there. My brother not being able to keep away from Military life, now works for the MOD in Germany. His lifestyle is a good one, doing quite well. They were not able to have kids, so they enjoy life together but are quite laid back people, living more of the quiet life.

One of my younger brothers, lives just outside Paris, France. He is married to a French woman and has 2 children. All of which speak no English. :rolleyes:
After my brother and I spent some years going to school in France, my brother returned when Euro Disney Paris were opening. He got himself a good job in IT there and has been there ever since, now head of IT Dept.

He does quite well but the pay in Disney is totally crap. With his knowledge and experience he could easily get another job for at least 5 x than what he earns now. He has been offered good jobs back in England and elsewhere, but unfortunately, my brother is someone who doesn't like change. Plus he now has health issues.

He loves where he lives now, he has a little house with some land. It is more country. Longer commute to work but it is worth it to him, for the kids if anything. The locales treat him like if he was French. He does have a strong French accent when speaking French, so it isn't that obvious.

I have two other younger brothers. One who lives in Amsterdam and the other currently in New York.
One in Amsterdam has adapted well. He has no problems whatsoever. He also has learned the language out there out of respect and to do what he needs to for work.
No issues for the other one in New York. A company ended up sponsoring him after he graduated Uni here. He is doing pretty well.

My sister, not quite immigration but did move from London to Wales. She and her family moved to a village middle of no where, just sheep :laugh2:
First language there was/is Welsh. English second. At first locales acted strange to her as they do not like the English invading their villages, but she adapted well and they welcomed her. She learned how to speak Welsh and her kids learned in school there.
They adapted to the Welsh countryside way of life and loved it.

Some years ago they had to move to a big city because of their jobs. Both sister and brother in law are in the medical field at hospitals. She is a matron. Money isn't all that great, but they love the life they live and are happy.


Oops, I forgot about me..will write in another post, so not so long :laugh2:
 

Tone deaf

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When I moved to Italy, I got a visa. It was a simple procedure. I forget how long it was valid. I had to go to some office (after I moved in) and check in. I was required notify the authorities of any address changes and to GTFO of the country no later than the day before it expired. I probably could have renewed it, but I didn't. I think I spoke with immigration officials on three occasions. I was 17 and I was certainly going to respect all of their laws.

When I was spending lots of time in Argentina, I did it all on tourist visas. Every time you enter the country, you get an automatic 90-day tourist visa (ink stamp in your passport). So, if you're coming up on the 90-day limit, you just jump the ferry to Montevideo (Uruguay) or head to the Brazilian side of Igazu Falls. When you come back through (30 minutes later) you get a fresh 90-day stamp. That is the way almost all of my expat buddies do it (in most countries).
 

Harmony

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I was born and lived in London as I mentioned above.

As a kid I spent most of the summers living in North Africa (Tunisia). It was a way of life I was not used to but I adapted well. I respected their culture and I learned how to speak Arabic, not fluently but to get by. Most Tunisians you do meet, actually do speak several languages, especially in touristic areas. But they respect you more for trying to speak theirs.
My mum and step dad had property there and in out of touristic areas, so I really did see the true culture and way of life. It was a learning experience and one that interested me. I am open minded and enjoy seeing different cultures.
As an adult visiting there, I still had the same respect and always got along with the locales.

My mum decided to move to Paris just as I was approaching teen age. A few years later...let's just say she lied to us and made us live there without our say or permission from my dad or courts.
So as you can imagine, I hated living there at first. Was put into a French school, right in the deep end. Went to summer camp for 2 months with other French kids, returned speaking fluently :laugh2:
It was tough living there, had some bullying but that stopped as soon as I took up French kick boxing :D
I missed home so much, so I couldn't quite love being there. I returned back to England when I had the opportunity some years later.
It did mess with my studies in school as when I returned back at an English school, I didn't quite understand it :laugh2:
It took me some years too, to change my accent (apparently I sounded French) and to adapt back to the English way of life, let alone speaking and even writing (not adding extra e's) :lol:

I had the opportunity to return to France for various bi-lingual work, like EuroDisney, but declined.


Move on some years later..I met and married an American in England. At first he wanted to immigrate there permanently as he loved life there and Europe in general. He went to Uni in Paris, so it wouldn't be much of a culture shock for him.
But alas, he was a mummy's boy and she convinced him not to move. So he convinced me to move to the US so he could help his fathers business and help his mum out. The understanding was to be for a few years then return to England. During the wait for the visa, we had trouble with his father, so we started opening our own business, which he had to manage until my move permanently over. I wanted my own career, but I had to stand by him and helped make the business successful.

It took a long while to get my visa because of 9/11 happened and put everything on a back burner ..causing major delays. The Anthrax thing was happening so they were not opening mail for a while. They actually asked us to re summit because they didn't know where it was.

Finally immigrated. I was here for a year before USCIS realized I was actually here :laugh2:
Somehow my paperwork got temporary lost from port of entry ..so waiting for my Green card took even longer. Frustrated because I was not legally allowed to work for money and my visa was running out, so was difficult to leave and re-enter.
It was a culture shock living here. Though I came here regular for a few years beforehand, actually living here was another thing.
Had big issues with people understanding me...true! :laugh2:
For the most part, people love me here, mainly because it isn't often they come across a foreigner, even if we do speak the same language (well sort of :laugh2:)
I did have to change the way I was, mainly because of my humor was not understood the same way, my outlook on life was different to most here, my open minded ways and a various of other things.

Now having lived here for nearly 14 years, most locales have adapted to me :laugh2:
Some say I am becoming an Okie as apparently I occasionally have the Okie twang and my English is sounding more like theirs :laugh2:

After my divorce I decided to stay because my son has lived here most of his life. This is a home away from home for me. I guess America has grown on me since living here.
I came here for my ex husband, but this country has taken a piece of my heart now.

I am still very British (according to everyone), but have adapted well and still learning. I am finally applying for American Citizenship this year. I will be a dual Citizen.


One of the toughest things I did come across living here, was work. When I had to leave my business due to divorce, I found it ever so hard to find work. No one cared what experience or qualifications I had back in England. It was what here counted. They couldn't ask my ex for reference so basically I had to start from scratch all over again. You need degrees even for office work. My English and French qualifications meant nothing here.
Every job application was through online, so trying to get through to an interview was tough, without work history here. It was really tough, I hit rock bottom. But I finally got a foot in the door somewhere and worked hard to climb the ladder again. Not my ideal career but got to start somewhere...again.
 

cybermgk

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Both my grandparents immigrated to the us when teens. Grand father died in his thirties leaving my grand mother and 6 children wards of the catholic church (grand father worked as church maintenance man). Other than putting my father and his siblings into blue collar jobs and careers, and their children the first (some of us) to move into white collar and proffesional careers (albeit clawing and fighting for it for some like me) no real effect.
 

Have FUN

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Everybody here know the problems of immigration,
 

Donal

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I was born in Ireland and live there until after University.

After that I moved to Germany (Frankfurt) and spent 23 years there. All my friends were German, a few of them had Irish roots. I learned to speak German within a few months and after about 2 years I was fluent. After another few years nobody even guessed that I was not native.

I moved to Switzerland (Zurich) in 2011 and am still learning Swiss German (although I understand everything) - and there are many dialects to learn as well - but get through with my German/German and English (for the French, Italian or Retroromanisch parts of Switzerland). Most of my friends are native Swiss or at least 2nd/3rd generation Swiss.

Everywhere I have lived I have respected their cultures and traditions and always attempted to speak their language as fast as possible. You are only treated as an immegrant or foreigner in a place where you act like one. If you integrate nobody cares where you come from.

:wave:

PS: Regarding the comments that Switzerland is expensive, well yes it is but the wages compensate for it (which only helps if you live and work here). I had good jobs in Ireland, Germany and Switzerland and the best standard of living is definatly in Switzerland.
 

Louie

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Everybody here know the problems of immigration,

Everybody? Who?

Here? Where?

Knows? How?

Problems? Which ones?


Care to detail, or are you just trolling as usual?

Because to be honest, everybody in the Epiphone sub-forum knows the problems with Have Fun ;)
 

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