The Stories of Immigrants Project began as a way for employees at World Education Services (WES) to become more involved with the company’s mission and learn more about the immigrants and refugees who we work to support every day. Over the course of a year, the project blossomed into something more meaningful than we could have ever imagined, touching the lives of hundreds who participated.
Below, read excerpts from our wonderful interview with Tiziana. Or, you can watch the video now!
WES: Tell us a little bit of your life before moving here. How did you decide to move to the United States?
Tiziana: I moved to the U.S. in the ’90s. When I think about it, it’s such a long time. It feels like a parallel life.
I moved here for family reasons. I was studying in my hometown of Perugia, in Central Italy. At the time, I met a young student who was studying veterinary medicine. I was in business school. That’s sometimes how life happens.
WES: How is your life in the United States? Did you face any challenges? If so, how did you overcome them?
Tiziana: The immediate challenge that I had was language. I had all these words trapped in me. It’s like somebody had wiped off my ability to articulate language. I could think in Italian, I could think of in words, but I couldn’t communicate with the people around me. I had this craving in the back of my head for the English language and doing it in English. It would be much more of a challenge, but it would be my long-term route to establishing myself professionally.
WES: Can you share any examples that highlight your experience of living in the United States?
Tiziana: [When I arrived here,] there was a lot of excitement. It was positive, it was interesting, and I felt welcomed at the time. Soon after, I started to feel very isolated.
Remember: Your Journey Is an Emotional One, Too…
WES: What do you want to say to other immigrants who are considering this journey? Do you have any advice for them?
Tiziana: In life you must have courage, because courage is the one trait that would take you through difficulties, through ups and downs, through changes. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be difficult. Just change. Life is change. Change is the norm. Live it with courage.
Are you currently planning your own immigration journey?