Americans value hard work and initiative. You should try to get a job as quickly as possible. Many refugees’ families like many American families find that both husband and wife must work. Lack of English language skill will not prevent you from getting a job, but it may limit the kind of job you can get when you first arrive. Changing jobs is common as English language and job skills improve. Many new arrivals study part-time to improve their English language and job skills while they work. Resettlement agencies can help identify appropriate programs.

Successful resettlement depends on a refugee’s ability and willingness to adapt to the new environment. Cooperation with the resettlement agency can be key to a successful transition. Be realistic, but be optimistic. More than two million refugees have resettled in the U.S. in the past two decades. The vast majority have made the transition to life in the U.S. and have become valued members of American society. Others have benefited from the refuge offered by the U.S. until conditions in their homelands changed and they were able to return to their homes.

Because the United States is so diverse, generalizing about what to expect is difficult. You may have heard stories from friends or relatives who have recently resettled in the United States. Remember that every resettled refugee has a different experience. Seek information from a variety of sources.

Resettlement is not a decision to be made lightly. It may mean that you cannot return to your home country for many years. It may result in permanent separation from friends and relatives. But, it may also be the beginning of a new life and new opportunities.

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What will be expected of me as a new arrival?