Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Immigrants' spouses in the USA: a quick guide how to get by!

Dear women, mothers, workers and now foreigners in the USA and also dear men (yes, some guys also follow their wives!),
if you are trying to adjust to your new lives abroad, I will share some tips that might be helpful to make a better and smoother transition for you. What most women find frustrating is the way they are considered, actually, not considered. Don't isolate yourself more than your status is already doing to you, fight back, break the wall of isolation.

Based on what I had to get through, these are some steps that I found very useful:

1) Don't expect any help from anybody! 
Sounds harsh but that is the sad reality. Because you feel home alone, nobody will show up at your doorsteps with a basket of goodies. You are alone and you have to be self-reliant. Depending also on the nationality you are from, things can be very different. For instance, Koreans can rely on a solid support system of expats. Europeans not so much, but once they get to know each other they tend to stick together.
2) Dedicate some effort and time furnishing and decorating your new place.
By now you are even more depressed because the place you have just moved into is crappier than the one you had back home, and on top of everything else that comes already as a big shock, but nonetheless try to make it as homy as you can.  Re-creating a safe and cozy place will give you a sense of accomplishment and will definitely improve your mood. It is important to be surrounded by a friendly and warm environment that can give you the positivity you need. Add some lights, candles and even pictures of your loved ones.
3) Reach out
Become familiar with places and people that can help you connect to other people. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to other people. A good place to start off is the international student office that should provide you with all the info you need about and for international students and their families. Attend international events offered by the University because they give you the opportunity to meet people in the same situation as yours and you will see you are not alone.
4) Join activities to socialize.
If your English is not so strong, take a class in language and culture. Such activities are usually offered by the University but you can also find similar events at public libraries.
Be involved in activities that you also used to do at home, like joining a sport club. You need activities to keep you busy, to get out of the house and to build a network. You might also consider volunteering, you can start looking for non profit organizations around the area where you live.
5) Invite people over!
I love cooking and having people over for dinner. So for me it was natural to do the same thing while I was abroad. These informal events give you a chance to get to know people better, away from formal situations.

These are the very first steps to undertake when your new life abroad sets in.
I was able to meet a lot of women in the same situation I was, and eventually became close friends with a few of them. Even though we are scattered throughout the world now, I am still in touch with them (and I know they are reading my posts ;)). I am very thankful I met them because besides being wonderful people, their presence made everything more bearable. We shared a lot of tough moments but we also had great times together. 

So what are you waiting for?! Leave the computer now and get out to meet real people!!

Good luck to you all!


  1. I like how the first point stated "don't expect any help from anybody" - so true!

  2. Hi, thanks for commenting on my blog. If you feel like sharing your experience, I'd like to know more about it.