Math for Life & Work Migration Experiences Across Cultures Winner of Black History Month Essay Contest T he migration process is usually difficult, and migrants face a new country, new people, and new customs without knowing the fu- ture.I interviewed two immigrants who have moved from differ- ent countries. Both participants moved from distinct situations. In 2014, Carlos migrated alone from Brazil to Malta when he was 23 years old for a language exchange program. In 2007, Antonio mi- grated from Mexico to USA when he was 26 years with his wife to improve his family’s life. Carlos was excited to discover a new country, find more indepen- dence, and work hard to reach his goals. However, it was often over- whelming to be away from his family, go through the visa pro- cess, and learn a new language. If he stayed in Brazil his life would not have changed. He probably would have continued with his job and tried to grow in his company. When asked about what sugges- tions he would have for anyone moving to a new place, he says: “study a lot about the country you are moving to, and try to connect with immigrants from your home country.” If he had to do it again, he would learn the language ear- lier, and research in detail the country’s culture and population. For Antonio, the well-paying work opportunities and better liv- ing standards were motivations to try to live the American Dream. On the other hand, a new lan- guage, new food, and long hours at work were the cons of moving to a new place. If he stayed in Mexico, his life would not have changed. He suggests to anyone that moves to plan as carefully as they can because things can change all the time. He would not migrate again if given the choice. The main cause that motivated him to migrate was his family. Getting a job and making mon- ey are obligations when sur- viving in a new country. Immi- grants must work long hours to get a decent life, face discrimi- nation, low pay and learning a new language during adult life. Thus, these are their frustrations. Carlos and Antonio had differ- ent incentives to migrate, how- ever. They went through simi- lar challenges such as learning a new language and working a lot. Consequently, they learned more about themselves. They see themselves as more mature, more open minded and stronger peo- ple. Both their lives would not have changed if they had stayed 41 Jenifer Dodds in their home countries. They strongly recommended more planning to make things easier. Carlos would dedicate more time to learning the language before immigrating since it would open more doors. He also reinforces the importance of studying and hav- ing something to contribute to the new country. Antonio highlights planning, but in hindsight, he would not migrate since for him the experience was too difficult. No matter the situation people face during migration, it will al- ways be challenging. People make decisions to leave their comfort zone and start their lives from the beginning in a new coun- try and then realize it was the best decision they could ever make. But in the same group, there are the ones who feel the frustra- tion for leaving their countries and everything behind. It is not possible to know if moving to a new country will be a success. There are no guarantees, but you will never know if you don’t try. During the migration journey you will not just learn about the country to which you are mov- ing but more importantly, you will learn about yourself and reinvent yourself every day.