Here you can find students’ stories or interviews on the following topics:
- Write a story about a migrant titled: „My first day in a New Land”.
- Write an interview with an imaginary migrant who has experienced a „Culture Shock” on arrival in a New Land.
“My First Day in a New Land”
I still remember my father’s voice. We were in our house in Nigeria, which was nothing more than a little room, full of unidentified objects and a chicken. That chicken was our only source of nourishment. Somehow we had a stove and a pan and were used to cooking its eggs – seven per week. We were still alive, because we could count on water, but nothing lasts forever and, as a proof of this incontrovertible law, my father started getting sick. Before her death, he had promised my mother that he would have tried to save me. One day he came into my room and told me that a boat would carry me safe to a new land. “It’s the best for you” he said. “Now you have to protect yourself, because I cannot protect you anymore” and so I jumped on that boat the following day, leaving my father and my house. I left my place, the only one I had ever known, the only one I had believed to belong, even though it was unsafe.
I arrived in Italy that was supposed to become my new home, but I didn’t feel like that for a while. Italian laws were strange for immigrants. We were all criminals that needed to be defeated at the eyes of society. We were no one.
Few people cared about us. They gave us shelter, food and medical care. But, by time, I realized that they were the only ones we could trust.
My first day in this new land wasn’t easy. I had to deal with violence and racism. “Maybe I should come back”, I told myself. I really wanted to go home. Then I stopped thinking and, in that moment, I found out that I was exactly where I had to be. Where my father’s efforts put me. Nothing was okay, but everything would work out for the best.
There were cultural mediators, social agents or just volunteers who decided to take care of me as a person. Thanks to them, I could learn Italian and the more I knew, the more I wanted to know. The more I knew, the more I was able to build up my future. Now I am grateful. Now I know that home is where our heart is, but we can experience fulfilment and joy everywhere.
(Brigida Mariarosaria Catone)
“My First Day in a New Land”.
My life is changed, I arrived in Lampedusa to find a place where I could sleep, a job and a better life. Rescuers received me and checked me to be safer, I passed the checks and they ensured me I could stay here. They adviced me to stay in a refugees centre, here in Lampedusa, where they would take care of me and I would be safe for the first time because I came from Syria, a place of endless war, I’m afraid of. I was here and they helped me a lot. Indeed a family in touch with the refugees centre chose to host me. Since my arrival in this new house I’ve had new parents and two brothers, one of them was 19 years old, just like me. They even offered me a new job. During my free time I can study, in fact I have learnt the Italian language and I haven’t had any difficulties to communicate. My new mum is a pastry chef and she teaches me her profession, I like it a lot. Before arriving in Sicily, I was scared and afraid of being refused, despised and excluded, but I was absolutely wrong because I couldn’t find a better life.
I’m Kalliope, I am 20, I come from Athens in Greece. During my life I have suffered the economical condition of my family, and after the high school I decided to move to New York, I have always seen in this city a possibility for my future. I saw New York as a place full of fun, job, life and entertainment.
I moved without the approval of my family, and this made me sad, I just wanted to find my way.
When I arrived, I had some problems with the change of money, because I don’t know American English very well, but anyway I went to my rented flat. When I was there, the place was apparently nice and quiet, but some hours later I started to hear some noise from the upper floor, I thought that it should finish, but it didn’t.
The next day I went to work, because I have done a job interview through internet and they have given me a job in a newspaper office. Once there I talked with the director and I went to my position. Only an extravagant girl was kind with me, Sasha, who gave me her mobile number and said that I could call her for everything. But I have never called her because I’m shy.
Another girl Sally started to make my days impossible, she was evil, and nobody talked to me. I felt anxiety because it was like everyone was there to judge everything I did.
The job wasn’t well paid, I was alone and one day director’s coffee fell from my hands and everybody laughed of me.
I didn’t think that people there could be so evil, I have always thought that there people could be more friendly and kind. I didn’t want to come home, because I felt it as a failure. But on the other side I didn’t want to come to the office anymore. I didn’t like so much my flat and the place where it was. I felt disoriented and sad.
All my expectations were burned, but I was there so what to do?
So I decided to search a new job, something that allowed me to have contacts with different kinds of people, and I did it. I found a new job, so I could find a new flat nearer to the centre of the city. I met a lot of people, and I found also a boyfriend. Now New York is the city I have always dreamt about.
-So, what did you think on your arrival in our country? I mean, what were your first impressions?
– I came here searching for a job; in my country there is not much space for working, really few opportunities and when I first arrived here I really felt like a new man in a new place.
-What shocked you the most in our country?
-Surely the people: really nice and enjoyable people to chat with, my relationship with food and general services is also pretty good, there’s really a great improvement everywhere in any field in comparison with the actual situation in my homeland.
-Something that had dissatisfied you?
-I searched new job opportunities and… yes, there are some good opportunities, but I was expecting more, there is not much freedom to move in this area, unfortunately.
-And now, how are things, do you feel fine being here?
-Well, yes, I’m starting new things here, I think there is a possibility that I can also start a family here, on the other hand, I must confess I’m not so satisfied by my new job, even though it gives me the chance to make some money, and surely that is far better than my homeland!