History of Russians who moved to California, but returned home
Every immigrant has his own story: someone was given a move simply, and someone went through thorns. There are also those who, having lived abroad, come back. As part of a series of articles about Russians who have left for other countries, “Lenta.ru report»Tells the story of Roman, who studied at the University of Minnesota, got a dream job in California, and then ... returned to Russia.
I grew up and studied in Tomsk. At the university, we had a common exchange program - most often we went to Europe. Studentship is a time when there is no family, no obligations, you are free ... At that time, education and career did not really bother me, I wanted to travel.
That was in 2010. I submitted my resume to all educational institutions with a scholarship: otherwise it turned out very expensive. Stumbled upon an American program Fulbright: I sent documents there, although there was not much hope, because there was a big competition. But I received a letter that I passed the first round. Everything began to spin slowly, and in the end I was assigned to Minnesota. It was cold there, like home, this is the very north, almost Canada.
Welcome to Disneyland
The move was easy - mainly because it was allocated money. I was lucky: I had a scholarship, and I was paid for almost everything, including flights. The scholarship is a living wage, but it was enough, and I even traveled a little. The first 3 weeks, while I was looking for permanent housing, lived with a girl from Ukraine: she also came under this program and helped me. And later he moved to the house where he lived with a guy from Russia.
The University of Minnesota is the second largest in the United States: around 60 thousands of students study there every year. At first glance, the campus seemed to me to be some kind of Disneyland: 2 cinema, a railway connecting different parts, own free taxi, gyms, luxurious laboratories to which you can do homework at any time, several libraries and so on. In general, a small town where everything was absolutely. Due to the fact that in America education is mainly paid, the university does not spare money for these matters.
The scholarship helped pay for housing, and in the summer I worked in a laboratory - I was engaged in research, for which the professor also paid me. At that time I had a $ 1600 scholarship. In general, it depends on the subsistence minimum in each state: the children who studied under this program in New York had a scholarship of $ 2500 - there is rent and food more expensive.
I changed my specialty: in Russia, I studied the automation of production, and here my specialty in translation into Russian was called “computing technology”. In America, in general, specialties are much broader: if you have studied under this program, you can, for example, be engaged in both web design and statistics. In general, nobody looked at my Russian diploma in America: they are not interested in pieces of paper, the test results and knowledge of English are more important.
I lived within a kilometer from the uni and usually traveled by bicycle: it was the cheapest option, because parking cost some space money. The first months were difficult: I did not understand anything, and my teachers were either Chinese or Hindus. So many different accents! I had to re-read everything at home.
If we take our training system and turn it upside down, then we get their education system. They have no program: you can take any courses - the main thing is that you have enough points. You can take a course of artificial intelligence and taekwondo - and this is normal. Learn as much as you want: a master's course can be completed in a year, and in 5 years you can - the main thing is, pay the money.
What else struck me was the motivated students and the completely unmotivated teachers. No one will run after you: the professor has come, gave a lecture, you can come to him again this week with a question, that's all. The students themselves try to learn more, ask questions at lectures. This is understandable: when you pay $ 14 thousand per semester, the motivation appears itself.
Before that, I was in the States once, in 18 years - I went through the program Work and Travel. I did not like it, and I did not think I would ever return. I stayed there for 3 of the month, more tusil with the Russians and therefore the country did not understand at all.
When I came to study, I had more comfortable conditions: there are no problems with housing, there is a company for grants, which all the time helped. Looking at American students, I understood how lucky I was: they have to study, work, pay a loan for studies. I also had a scholarship, and I just enjoyed life, while realizing that people are much harder.
I had a completely different attitude to the States: I began to communicate with Americans, speak English better, spoke with Germans, Japanese and French, and began to understand cultural features.
Surprised that all help each other. In Minnesota, I was offered something great, something else. It's normal for them to even give the keys to the car and say "go where you want." At first, I was somehow shy, I didn’t quite understand how you could give your car away like this. But then he himself began to help, it is actually interesting. In Russia, this is a bit of a thing to do, but people still trust less to each other.
I realized that, in principle, all people are the same and want the same thing. There are many stereotypes about Americans, but in the end they tend to be untrue. I had an American friend, he grew up in New York in the Russian region and knew Russian writers better than me. And he drove across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway. When they say that Americans do not know geography, it is not quite so. It seems to me that our generation no longer perceives these stereotypes. Americans can say about Russians: “here you are Russian - vodka, hockey”. But only as a joke.
The most terrible interview in life
I studied in the Minnesota 2 of the year. The university is interested in your knowledge and after finding a job. Different companies come twice a year and take people directly from the university. It is difficult to find a job, because there is strong competition: there are many offers from employers at universities, but there are even more students.
I sent resumes to different companies literally every week. When I finished my studies and received my diploma, I received an offer from a very interesting company from California. And there they gave me the most terrible interview in my life.
First there was a telephone conversation with the manager, then a second interview Skype with direct supervisor. It was terrible: I did not understand what he was asking, but he did not understand what I was answering. By the middle of the conversation, I realized that the matter was not moving at all, and relaxed. Continuing the conversation, at the same time I was googling questions - I don't know if he noticed or not. In general, the conversation ended, and I forgot about it. But later they offered a third interview, which went great, and I was invited to talk to their office. For that company, this is a normal process: they rarely take people and carefully select them.
The company is located near Los Angeles in the quiet town of Camarillo. I was paid for the flight, settled in a hotel and rented a car. Hours 10 continued the interview: it seems I talked to each employee. You sit in the room, and all sorts of managers, developers come to you, they offer to solve problems. There was a break for lunch and a tour of the office.
In the end, we liked each other. My boss was a very pleasant person: he is still my immediate supervisor. After an interview through 2 weeks, they sent me a contract - first they took an internship. The move was again very easy. Camarillo is considered the most comfortable climate in California. All year around 26 degrees: perfect weather and few rainy days. I realized that I am a southern man.
Armenians and surfers
In California, very expensive housing - both for purchase and for rent. If in the north of the country you can buy a house for $ 200-300 thousand, here prices range from $ 500 thousand to infinity. I rented an apartment, then moved to a small house where there was a common area with another house. The garden, the pool, and the cool Mexican neighbors are very funny, 40 years old.
In Los Angeles, as in Moscow, something happens all the time - you open the Internet, and you can find events for every taste: concerts, restaurants, cafes.
When it was a long weekend, we got into the car and drove to San Francisco - there are a lot of national parks there.
The beaches of Camarillo are famous for their waves, everything is saturated with surfer culture. At my work, many colleagues were fond of this: 2 hours before work surf, and then to the office. I tried 1 once and realized that it is not mine.
Most of all Armenians in Los Angeles are whole communities. There are Russian areas, but it was not possible to go there, and in Camarillo, in general, I met Russian only once.
In California, without a car is impossible. I lived in a place where, to buy bread, you need to walk an hour. In some places there is not even a sidewalk - you walk along the side of the road. And no buses. Therefore, one of the first purchases was a car.
I still work in the same company. Since I arrived on the exchange program, then, according to the rules, I had to spend some time in America, and then at least 2 of the year in Russia. This was announced from the very beginning in the program. There were cases when exchange students in America got married or married, they had children, and families had to be separated.
My company tried to help me get a work visa, but because of the conditions of my scholarship it was not an option - we even hired a lawyer, filed documents, but we were refused. Therefore, they suggested that I work remotely, and I returned to Russia: I was doing the same work, but only from home. There is nothing terrible for me that I had to return - I like it in Moscow too.
But I fell in love with California: it seems to me that my place is there. I miss the sun, smiling people.
I do not think yet whether to return to America or not. A year later, the company is ready to make me a visa, I am ready to go, but I don’t know how it really will turn out. In any case, I'm not bad in Russia either. I do what I love, everything makes me happy. America influenced me: even though I did not become an American, I learned something from them.
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