Although, immigrants have some knowledge of English, the pronunciation of most words is different. So they can’t understand and communicate very easily. Furthermore, the accent of native speakers, Mexicans, Black Americans, and Chinese is different. This complicates the communication and creates stress for immigrants. For example, I came to the USA recently. I have some knowledge of English, but when I took my kids to the hospitals, go to shopping, and even when I was applying to this college, I found people who use different pronunciation and accent.
Sometimes, I heard 50% to 90% of what people said and likewise they were not able to understand me, even though I was talking in English. As a result, “I’m sorry”, “say again”, “pardon” were my day to day words I used and heard for a couple of months. Therefore, language is the first big challenge that all immigrants face. The second challenging obstacle for immigrants is getting a job. Since language is a problem for immigrants, most of them failed in job interviews. Even though they are educated and professionals in their home country, it costs and takes time for their education to be accepted here.
Thus, getting a job is tough. Especially now, following the economic crisis of the world, there are many layoffs and getting a job is like a miracle to most immigrants. In addition, the jobs available for immigrants are manual labor jobs that are tiresome. These jobs may also have fewer hours and surely have minimum pay. Therefore, immigrants will be forced to find another tiresome job to cover their living expenses. But getting another job is another worry for immigrants. Here I am going to give my husband’s experiences.
As soon as we reached America and got our social security numbers, my husband tried to search and apply for jobs. After several months and trial, he got a part time job with minimum wage. His salary is not enough to cover our expenses, and now he is searching another job, but none has been found. Thus, following the language barrier, getting a job is a big challenging to immigrants. Culture is the third challenge that immigrants face here. Immigrants have their own cultures and living styles in their home country.
The culture of dressing, talking, eating, social life etc… is different here from immigrants’ home country. For example, here man and woman can kiss on the lips anywhere, but this is taboo in my country, Ethiopia. Another example is the way girls’ dress, here girls can wear whatever they like such as shorts and mini dresses. However, in my country, this is not accepted and girls should wear clothes that don’t expose their body. Thus, they should wear shorts and dresses which are below to their knees. The other thing here people eat their food anywhere; they can even eat walking on the street.
However, in my country people, especially girls, cannot walk on the street while eating or drinking. There are several customs here that are counted as taboo in my culture. Therefore, the cultural differences make immigrants to be confused and shocked until they accustomed to it. As time passes, immigrants will manage and defeat the obstacles through several exposures and practice. Then, after passing through the obstacles, immigrants will enjoy a better life and even be in higher positions like senators, vice-presidents and also president of America.