The Challenges of Living in a Foreign Country


Yegor Ganshyn, Writer


As he was walking down a corridor at home in Ukraine he never expected that his life would change at all, until he heard a scream from the living room. When Max came into the room he saw his mom talking to his dad about winning the green card, and from that moment on all of his plans for his life and future have changed. 


Max Ganshyn was living his normal daily life when he found out that his family was selected in a random lottery to be able to live in America, a place where he never thought he would live . When it was the time for Max to move to America he was 18 years old studying and living in Poland, which made his traveling experience different from his family.


It takes around 16 to 18 hours to travel from Ukraine to Minnesota which is the state where his family has settled to live in, “Moving to a different country and living there is like starting a new life from scratch,” he said. In his mind he was imagining his life being just like in the movies with things like parties, friends and living somewhere on a beach. As he arrived in Minnesota he had a lot of expectations with some plans on what to do next but he never thought that a basic thing like living a normal life would be this hard. 


Living in a new country seems fun but a lot of people underestimate what it is actually like. When you are a kid and move to a different country it will be easy for you to adapt but for adults it is harder. Max soon realised that all the things he thought were going to happen were not actually happening, and that is because of all the cultural differences between Ukraine and America. There were a lot of things that people did differently and at that point it seemed like he would never adapt to the people in the U.S. 


Language is usually one of the most important things to know when moving because that is the only thing that lets you be independent in a country. When Max moved to the U.S he already knew English but knowing English still doesn’t cover the accent that he never realised he had. Things like accent and different perspectives on things made Max stand out and there were some ups and downs to that, but almost after a couple months of living that accent started to fade away.


There were a lot of differences that Max has noticed throughout the first year of living in the U.S but the one that stood out the most was the work ethic. “When I first went to work it seemed that people were actually working hard and were not waiting for some miracle to happen that will change their life.” In Ukraine there are a lot of people that take jobs that they hate which makes them work not as effectively. One of the reasons for that is how there are not many opportunities as in America. 


When Max moved he decided to start learning and got into a college then found a job at UPS. Almost in just a month considering all the differences Max managed to get the basic things to proceed in his life, “It was hard but at the same time it was a good experience, I think that people learn a lot more when they are in a different environment,” says Max. 


When I asked Max about what are some of the better things in America he mainly answered that there are opportunities. A lot of people can get what they want if they try hard enough or if they do certain steps to achieve their goal. The last thing I asked Max was did his life change for the better to which he said, “I think it did but at the same time I don’t know what I would be doing right now back in Ukraine, moving definitely gave me a lot fun experiences and just opportunities in general on things like what I want to do in the future.”