5 Challenges Immigrants Face When They’re New to the Country
Starting a life in a new place can be overwhelming, but there are many willing to help.
When moving to the U.S. to start a new life, it can be hard to know where to begin. From schools to health insurance and where to live, it can all feel very daunting. Besides the cultural changes that come with starting a life in a new country, there are a series of challenges that will impact your everyday life.
According to data put together by the United Nations, the U.S. has the largest immigrant population in the world, with 47 million as of 2015. For those just arriving, the novelty and changes can be overwhelming. But help is available—you just need to find it. Individuals and groups across Tampa Bay are ready to lend you a hand in this new stage in your life. That’s the case of Nuevo en US, a directory that connects you with the help you may need.
Navigating life in a new language
Uprooting your life and moving to a new country is challenging by itself. Add to that the need to speak a different language—one you might not be comfortable with. The language barrier is one of the main’s challenges immigrants face. When you don’t speak the language of the place in which you live, things like finding a job, buying food, and even meeting new people become incredibly difficult. And while finding the time to take classes to learn English can be yet another challenge, resources are available across Tampa Bay that may suit your needs.
Building your credit
Making the American Dream a reality often starts with building a credit score. It’s a challenging process—one not known for its friendliness toward new immigrants. But navigating the American financial system ultimately determines whether you can take out a mortgage or get a new credit card and even be checked by hiring managers or potential landlords.
Access to health care
Regardless of where one comes from, everyone deserves to have access to health care services. Unfortunately, immigrants have a lower rate of access to medical services. While medical services without insurance usually come with a hefty price, some hospitals and entities offer services at a low or even no cost. Also, these places typically have translators ready to help you out. Next time you’re putting off going to a dentist, having something checked out, or even heading to the emergency room, be sure to check the health resources put together by Nuevo en US.
Landing that first job in a new country can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a network of family or friends ready to help you out. On top of that, recent immigrants have the disadvantage of not being familiar with the local job market and, in many cases, their academic credentials aren’t taken into account. Plus, many may struggle with communicating professionally in a new language. But don’t fear; there are doors you can knock on and people willing to help you out. From professional associations to local labor support chambers, there are many organizations ready to lend a hand.
The power of education
The backbone of the U.S. education system is its public school system. Free and funded through taxpayer dollars and money from local, state, and federal governments, public education is open to everyone. Enrolling a child in school is mandatory unless you choose to “homeschool” them—meaning educate them at home. To do so, you must present proof of residencies—such as a lease agreement or utility bill— immunizations records, proof of the child’s age, and their records from previous schools.
But the importance of education isn’t just for the youngest members of the family.
A series of schools and organizations are ready to help recent immigrants get a step ahead and develop their language and professional skills.
Car Credit continues to find ways to support the immigrant community across Tampa and will continue to do so. Click here to learn more.