I moved to California by myself for a teaching job at an International Middle School. I came from Germany and had no idea how crazy expensive California would be.

My salary was low compared to the cost of living in the Bay Area. One of the biggest struggles, when I moved here, was money.

At first, I was blind-sighted by the excitement of living here. I just wanted an adventure and desperately needed a change in my life.

I soon got to realize that as a teacher in California I would not able to sustain the lifestyle I was used to back in Germany.

But I adapted to it and enjoyed all the amazing outdoor opportunities California has to offer. I am now married to an American and we have a 1- year old son.

It is wonderful living in the US and yet it is still not home. I really miss my mom and close friends as well as the social security system and the more family-oriented / work-life balance. “

When I moved to the US from Germany one of my biggest struggles were money and my family living so far away.

But some of the positive things I experienced in America is the open-mindedness, the friendliness, the diversity & the nature and level of innovation especially here in the Bay Area/California.

Also, I think connecting with other immigrants is SO important. Facing the same challenges with others and sharing your experiences is priceless and makes you feel less alone!

The tips that I can give other immigrants is to really prepare yourself as best as you can and inform yourself intensely.

I can only speak for the US but the Visa process can be long and hard and expensive and can be a traumatic experience if things do not always go smoothly.

But I do have my own little family now, we are very happy and enjoy our life here.

It is a gift to raise a child with two cultural backgrounds and have him growing up bilingual.