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October 6, 2005

Fresh Glance at Immigrants

Filed under: — Admin @ 10:04 pm

Fresh Glance at Immigrants in the United States by Foreign Psychologist

by Madina Bakhitova-Niazoff, MS Psychology

Coming to the United States 3 months ago I had an opportunity to observe day-to-day life and make a brief psychological analyze of immigrants, trying to answer questions I was asked. Many American people are wondering why do foreign people come to United States? Who they are and where is their patriotism? Aren’t they homesick? What is the main reason they come to a foreign country and make all the efforts to study foreign language?

Many people come to the United States in hope to find freedom, which they did not have before in their motherland. However, the word “freedom” can be understood in different ways – for some people it’s freedom to buy a lot of food, household items or clothes. Having a lack of opportunity to buy goods in their homeland due to high prices, unemployment and low salaries, these people become “happy” very soon, since they are able now to buy almost everything they think they want.

But for others freedom means possibility to grow personally and professionally, to make contribution to the society, being able to study, gain scholarships or assistantships, make scientific research in spite of difficulties with foreign language, expensive education, and absolutely unfamiliar environment. This type of immigrants becomes good professionals in various fields such as medicine, mathematics, physics, construction, psychiatry and so on. They realize themselves personally, making contribution to the society where they live and increase their level of psychological self-actualization. This is not an easy way for immigrants, but the American society also has a lot of benefits for them and their children. Even the possibility to work, be valued and fairly paid is part of freedom, sought by people around the world.

Most of immigrants are homesick, have difficulties in understanding foreign language and it is not easy for them to realize all the rules and laws of the new country. That is the reason why immigrants often get very confused during their first several years in the United States, causing depressions, frustrations and even break-ups of families. Very often recently immigrated parents misunderstand their children who get used to the new life-style very quickly.

However, in spite of all obstacles many immigrants do achieve success. I have tried to understand what is they key to success, talking with people from Russia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Puerto-Rico, Ethiopia, and Uzbekistan. Together we understand, that the most important way to succeed for immigrants is to realize their goals from first days in United States. Immigrants should ask themselves: Why did I move to this country? What am I expected to do here? And how can I contribute to the society? It is important to have life orientations and values directed to contribution to the society. It is also important to learn more about history and laws of the country, have friendly attitude and some day the American society will reward and treat you with respect you deserve.

About the author:

Madina Bakhitova-Niazoff, MS Psychology,
is the chief editor for http://www.psychologyspace.com – an online psychology portal providing news and information on various psychology subjects, discussion forum, psychology RSS feeds and web links.

Madina volunteers at Wilmington Hospital’s First State School – a very special program for children with chronic illnesses.

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