Specialists in EB-5 Investments

Making a new life in America

american lifeImmigrating to a new country is an exciting prospect, but it can also have its challenges. Many South Africans have mixed feelings about leaving their homeland, but have no regrets in the long run. We asked five South Africans what it’s like to make a new life in America:
My wife and I moved our family to America almost two years ago and we haven’t regretted it. Opportunities abound wherever I look. Even as an immigrant with very little tertiary education, I was easily able to land work in digital marketing that has significantly improved our living standards compared to what we had in South Africa. We’re in the process of buying our first house in less than two years of arriving here with nothing! We live in a quiet country town where we don’t even lock our doors at night. Crime is non-existent here – I want to laugh sometimes when I hear my American colleagues talk about “high crime” areas. – LP Louw, 31, Massachusetts

I’ve been living in Massachusetts for almost two years. I love the American culture. The people are extremely friendly, warm hearted and kind – always inviting us to do things with them.  Nothing beats the feeling of safety, compared to what we had in South Africa. Back home, my children live in ‘Fort Knox’.  Our home had 10 foot walls, electric fencing, two Rottweilers, burglar bars and gates in front of all windows and doors. It breaks my heart knowing that we are unable to get them to come live with us. We started a business and provide jobs for a few people. Our motto is, what you put in, that’s what you will get out. The only thing I miss from South Africa, are my children and a good braai. – Rio Brand, 50, Quincy, Massachusetts

Having moved to the USA in 1985 was one of the hardest things I have had to do. Starting a new life in a new country, getting familiar with different foods, and cleaning products might sound trivial but as a housewife it was stressful.  My husband went to work every day. I had to reinvent myself, look for a new job, and familiarise myself with my new surroundings. I always say the first two years are the hardest and by the third year you are starting to get in the groove. Would I immigrate again? You bet! America has been very good to us. We’ve had to work very hard but with hard work you can achieve anything. – Susan Parker-Smit, 57, Wallingford, Connecticut

When I arrived in the USA I had no contacts on my phone, no social network, and no emotional support system. In South Africa we had the luxury of a full-time housekeeper, which was such a blessing, and very few people can afford that in the USA. I love the beach, sun, cold beers and flip flop way of life, and Sarasota is a cultural city with arts and entertainment. The relaxed style and little crime provides my family and me with the quality of life we were looking for. – Deon Barnard, 52, Sarasota, Florida

My wife was offered a work transfer with her employer in 2001. Unfortunately the timing was not great for me since we moved shortly after 9/11. I had worked in finance prior to moving here and it took me about eight months to find a similar role. I have three children that have been through the school system in Westport and we’ve been very impressed with the quality of the education system. Although it took us a while to settle in, we both embraced our adopted country and all it had to offer. We became citizens in 2012 and looking back I’m very grateful we made the move. – Carel van der Merwe, 52, Westport, Connecticut

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