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How can I adjust to life in the United States?

While immigrants new to Kentucky may be excited for what lies ahead, it can also be difficult adjusting to your new life. Many recent immigrants experience culture shock upon arriving in this country, and it’s important to work through these feelings in a constructive manner to ensure your time here is joyful and fulfilling. In this case, the Refugee Center offers the following tips.

It’s common to fall in love with a new country soon after you arrive. However, you soon may experience opposite feelings, such as anger and sadness. These feelings can grow until you feel as though you hate your new country and would do anything to leave. This is a very common response to a new culture and knowing how to cope with it will help you adjust. For instance, during those times when you feel low, seek out others from your own country to assuage feelings of homesickness.

If you have kids, chances are they will adjust much quicker than you. This is also common, and it should motivate you to begin the adjustment process on your own. If you’re still struggling with English, consider taking lessons to improve your understanding. Being able to communicate with others will help you feel less lonely and more involved. It’s also important to get into a routine, which will make the environment around you feel a little more like home.

The last step is to integrate yourself with American culture. This doesn’t mean giving up the traditions of your home country, which will still be important to you. Instead, try to blend these separate experiences together so you can truly feel at home in your new country. Remember that America is a country made up of immigrants, all of whom bring something unique to the table. 

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