After marriage, thanks to the frequent moving of my husband’s working place, I moved to, got used to a new place, and then got a job, made friends…then moved to another place.
The U.S. is my fourth whole-new-world of my five years of married life.
It is my most exciting (but challenging) moving.
We came to the U.S. by plane. It took 4 hours to get to the airport by bus. We stayed one night near the airport to get on the morning flight and then spent 14 hours on the plane. That made approximately 32 hours for our trip. Because the six huge bags we carried made it hard to get to the airport, the 14 hours of flight was relatively easy.
Many people in my country come to the U.S. to provide their children with better education. Therefore, I thought the education system was much better than my country, like reasonable curriculum and more focus on a well-rounded education. And naturally, I thought, only if students get good grades consistently, do they deserve to enter decent college. But I found that students enter highly-ranked universities not by their own ability alone in high school. College needs basically parents’ money, time and effort. Also, not even at a fancy college, the tuition is too expensive. Although I heard about scholarships, it seems not enough, as I saw several cases where students gave up their college education due to money. I didn’t know this power of money in education.
Before coming to the U.S., my husband and I didn’t know much about credit. Many things, especially for starters such as renting a house, internet service, insurances, credit cards and buying a new car, were related to credit. And we didn’t have any credit. The record which we had in my country didn’t match here.
We had to pay more for some things and gave up others. In time, we came to know a bank teller who investigated my husband’s documents and helped us in getting a credit card earlier than expected. The credit limit was low but helpful. She told us she also had moved to the U.S. 20 years ago, so understood our situation very well. She gave us sincere advice. I cannot forget her help and really appreciate it.
Preparing to get permanent residency, my husband and I needed to get a physical check in a designated hospital. We found that hospital made use of immigrants who don’t know much about the medical system and insurance. During the physical check, a nurse said we needed to get four shots to finish our physical check. Because we had already researched about the inoculation shots, we were about to accept the shots without doubt.
But it cost $400 a person!!! The nurse said insurance couldn’t cover those shots. We skipped the shots and finished the physical check. After struggling to get information and advice for some days, we solved the inoculation problem in another hospital. In the second hospital, they tested our blood for the evidence of immunity, then gave us two shots each. All covered by our insurance. No additional payment. Much more reasonable.
It took time and frustration but I learned a lesson. There are people who earn money not illegally, but badly. I have to doubt, and check out many things, not only in my country but also in the U.S.
What I imagined were the overall social systems in the U.S. and citizen consciousness are the same. The women’s marching, recent protests in airports, and volunteers in PRC show a developed sense of citizenship. Whenever I watch or hear this kind of news, I feel relieved, and think about something I can do to make this community, state, or country better. This is what I thought about the U.S.