Being one of the immigrants from struggling countries, I felt very fortunate to move to America, a place where the standard of living is raised for all. While the circumstances surely differ when it comes to each individual, I think we can all come to an agreement that having seen what life in struggling countries is like, we have learned to appreciate the simple things that some people unfortunately take for granted. Here are some things immigrants from struggling countries have really learned to appreciate.
1. Heat and a/Cs in Every Public Place
In most well developed countries, the temperature of public places is regulated for maximum comfort. For example, malls, buses, trains, libraries and stores all have air conditioning and heating systems that everyone can take advantage of. However, where I come from those things are not provided for the people, so as one of the immigrants from struggling countries it’s really nice to indulge in this simple luxury during scorching heat or freezing cold.
2. Free Educational Supplies
One thing I love about the American system is that up until college, children are provided with class sets of textbooks for each class that they need for the year. Parents don’t have to go out of their way to purchase expensive textbooks; instead children can borrow books free of charge! In contrast, the country that I came from required that each student purchase the books themselves as a mandatory requirement.
3. Aid with Public Transportation
Another puzzling occurrence that shocked me when I first came to America is that schools provided transportation in the form of school buses or free metro cards. Parents don’t have the inconvenience of having to make sure that their children get to school safely because the school system meets them halfway in that regard.
4. Fair Educational System
In addition to the school system being very understanding of the needs of less fortunate, it is also very fair. Children who work hard are rewarded while those who choose to procrastinate and wing things on the spot get punished with low grades. In comparison students in other countries are not blessed with such an honest educational system. In some countries those with money can pay their way through to success while those with only rich minds are held back.
5. Smooth Roads
When you are driving every day to work or just running errands, your journey to your destination is essentially smooth. However, in developing countries the roads are a hazard. There are bumps, cracks and holes on every turn, so driving is not such an easy task. The government usually doesn’t have enough money to invest in road reconstruction so there is never an easy fix.
6. No Stray Animals
While I am not completely aware of the stray animal situation in other countries, I can confidently say that it is rare to find packs of strays roaming the streets in the States. Some may beg to differ, but from what I have witnessed in the past, the number of stray animals on the streets is insignificant compared to that in struggling countries. Animals are usually taken care of, and certain organizations stand up for their rights.
7. More Luxuries for All
While the standards of living may have been improved in my home country in the years that I have been absent, I can judge by previous knowledge that America has more opportunities for everyone to have luxuries. Even lower class citizens can afford something extravagant without breaking their bank on special occasions. This essentially gives hope to lower and middle class citizens to strive to improve their standard of living.
Families and single individuals emigrate from their home countries to places like United States for the ‘American Dream’ and ameliorate their quality of life. If you are an immigrant yourself, what are some things that surprised you when you first came to your new country?