How to mix yourself with American melting pot

international_students

Making friends in a foreign country can be a real challenge for most international students. Whether it is cultural differences or language barrier, international students will at least once feel like they do not belong and isolated. As an international exchange student in the US, I would like to share my personal experience of making friends with American high school students and humbly give you some of my advice that can help you break the barrier to build international friendships with Americans.

With the advice of my host family, I decided to join the marching band of Mt.Vernon high school and became a member in the percussion. It was one of the best decisions I made in my entire exchange year because by joining of the band, I had made myself a part of the community. Music is the mutual language of all cultures and that was what connected me with all the band members. Our passion for music brought us together and gave me the opportunity to socialize with other students. My musical skill was not good so I asked for other students’ help and they were always willing to teach me anything. Showing your vulnerability and weakness is actually beneficial in your relationship with others. So my FIRST ADVICE here is to join a club, make yourself a part of some sorts of community and ask for help anytime you need. You will be surprised at the result.

In that same exchange year, I also participated in other volunteer activities of the local community and even created a CPR project that drew the attention of the local newspaper. Americans mostly are interested in learning about different cultures because that is how this country is formed and showing your willingness to contribute to their community is going to make you stand out. Americans value contribution and if you use your ability to make impact on their community, they will embrace you. It’s natural. So my SECOND ADVICE is make yourself an active international student in the local or school community and utilize your talents to influence others.

Be aware that some Americans may not be very friendly in their interaction with foreigners but don’t be bothered by that fact. As long as you are honest and stay true to yourself, you will create your own charisma. Friendships will develop throughout all of your activities and may even become an unexpectedly fulfilling part of your life. Be open-minded and embrace your experience in the US.

Happy American dream !

Jen Tran – Social Media Assistant

Learn more about Greenhandshake.

Internships in America

internship

Getting a full-time job in America is one of the most common ways to make immigrants eligible for green cards and internships can lead to such employment. Whether you are an international student or a foreigner seeking to sharpen your skills through internships or jobs in America, there are tons of helpful websites for you. Here are three most recommended and reliable internship searching sites:

1. internships.com

This is one of the largest internship marketplace that match students with paid/college credit internships and entry-level jobs in all over 50 states. You will also find the Internship Predictor tool that can suggest the best kind of internships/jobs and environment for you based on your personality and personal preferences.

2. internmatch.com

There are tons of great resources on Internmatch that will get you ready for a job search such as resume template, cover letter template as well as advice from expert recruiters about what to say in your interview. Complete profiles of employers are created for you to learn more about them before applying. Every week, Internmatch also showcases 10 trending students’ profiles that get the most views from employers and that will attract more recruiters!

3. Idealist.org

A review cited from a student using idealist.org on internships.about.com : “…You can search within 100 miles of a specific location by designating country, state, city, and mileage specifications and you can broaden or narrow your search by adding or deleting specific criteria. By clicking on Organizations and then country, you can get a full list of organizations participating and listing numerous opportunities…”. Idealist.org is one of the best internship search tools recommended in 2015.

Good luck with your American dream!

Jen Tran – Social Media Assistant

Learn more about Greenhandshake.

 

How Greenhandshake Works

An innovative online marketplace is helping newcomers to the U.S. to find the help they need from members of their own community who are already settled in the country.

Greenhandshake is a trusted community marketplace which enables people who have recently arrived in the U.S. to connect with one another and to find local help from people from their own country who are already established in the U.S. and are familiar with the way of life here. This online bidding platform enables its users to post tasks with which they need help and which other users can then bid on. Tasks can range from simple requests for a lift from the airport to help with complex immigration issues.

10 myths about immigration

usa-welcome

1. Immigrants don’t pay taxes

WRONG. Immigrants DO pay taxes, even undocumented immigrants. In fact, several studies show that immigrants pay between $90 and $140 billion taxes a year in the form of their income, property and sales.

2. Immigrants come here to take welfare

Err…No. Immigrants work their asses off and even make up a larger share of U.S labor force (12.4%) than do the U.S population (11.5%). In one estimate, immigrants use $5 billion in public benefits and their tax payments surpass the amount of government services they use.

3. Immigrants send all their money back to their home countries.

True but as immigrants and their businesses contribute $162 billion in tax revenue to U.S governments, remitting billions dollars a year to their home countries is considered “one of the most targeted and effective forms of direct foreign investment”.

4. Immigrants take jobs and opportunities away from Americans

It is the opposite. Successful and creative immigrants in fact create jobs for U.S and foreign workers, and foreign-born students help many U.S graduate programs keep their doors open.

5. Immigrants are a drain on U.S economy

Immigrants fill jobs in key sectors, start their own businesses, and contribute to a thriving economy. The net benefit of immigration to the U.S. is nearly $10 billion annually. 70% of immigrants arrive in prime working age. That means not a penny was spent on their education, yet immigrants are transplanted into the U.S workforce and contribute $500 billion toward American social security system over the next 20 years.

6. Immigrants don’t want to learn English or become Americans

This obviously has changed drastically. 75% of Immigrants coming to the U.S nowadays have wonderful English skills and 33% of them are naturalized citizens. The numbers will undoubtedly continue to grow.

7. Today’s immigrants are different from those of 100 years ago

Similar to accusations about today’s immigrants, those of 100 years ago initially often settled in mono-ethnic neighborhoods, spoke their native languages, and built up newspapers and businesses that catered to their fellow emigrants. They also experienced the same types of discrimination that today’s immigrants face, and integrated within American culture at a similar rate.

8. Most immigrants cross the border illegally

Around 75% of today’s immigrants have legal permanent (immigrant) visas; of the 25% that are undocumented, 40% overstayed temporary (non-immigrant) visas.

9. Weak U.S. border enforcement has led to high undocumented immigration.

From 1986 to 1998, the Border Patrol’s budget increased six-fold and the number of agents stationed on the southwest border of America doubled to 8,500. Insufficient legal avenues for immigrants to enter the U.S, compared with the number of jobs in need of workers, has significantly contributed to this current conundrum.

10. The war on terrorism can be won through immigration restrictions.

Fact: Most of the 9/11 hijackers were here on legal visas. Since 9/11, the myriad of measures targeting immigrants in the name of national security have netted no terrorism prosecutions. In fact, several of these measures could have the opposite effect and actually make America less safe, as targeted communities of immigrants are afraid to come forward with information.

This is why America continues to welcome different people from around the world. Immigrants make up the United States, contributing to its growing economy and population.

Source:  http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/…/top-10-myths-about-immig…

Jen Tran – Social Media Assistant

 Learn more about Greenhandshake.