Welcome to our first feature of the finglobal.com #ReasonsToImmigrateTo blog. In these posts we’d like to take you on a journey across the globe and explore reasons people choose to immigrate to different countries and make new lives for themselves abroad.
Whether big or small, first world or third world, fast-paced or easy-living, commercial or rural – we each have different reasons for considering immigration to a particular country or region. So we’re going to take you over the best features and benefits of living in different countries across the globe.
#ReasonsToImmigrateTo: first stop – the US of A
The land of the free needs no introduction. Unless you live under a rock, you will have at least some idea of what America has to offer you – whether from Hollywood movies, or from following the news, but let’s take a look at the reasons many foreigners choose to make the USA their new home.
Variety is the spice of life
With 9 857 million square kilometres between country borders, there simply is no way you could ever get bored. Much like South Africa – although on a gargantuan scale – America has numerous provinces (50 states) each with its own laws, regional vernaculars, geology, climate, micro-economy and local cultures.
In fact, living in America is a lot like living inside a passport-free mini globe. It’s easy to see how Americans could become slightly disconnected from the rest of the globe as there simply is too much to do and explore within country borders to be bothered with
Choose your weather
As we’ve already mentioned, America is big, like real big. With its size and proximity to various climatic regions, hemispheres and oceans, it’s inevitable that you’d be able to experience virtually any climate when living here. So which do you prefer? Tropical? Then consider Hawaii or Southern Florida. Polar? Then perhaps Alaska is the place for you. Mediterranean? Great, then California and the Great Basin may appeal to you. Want some milder climate, well, then close your eyes and pin the tail on the donkey, because you can literally find your preferred climate dotted throughout the USA.
The land of opportunity
Balaji Viswanathan, a Quora user and US immigrant, racked up more than 70 000 views for his post on immigration to the USA. In this he states that America is basically a meritocracy. What he means by this is that there are simply abounding opportunities for growth – but that these are all based on merit. You will find that hard work really pays off. If you have a good idea you will truly find funding and employment, and unlike many other countries – you really can work your way to the top. It’s a place where there simply are so many opportunities for jobseekers, investors and innovators that it’s practically impossible to fail.
Despite its fair share of ups and downs in the last decade or so, America has always managed to rebound from knocks. In fact, it seems to be it’s the rest of the world (like South Africa) who suffers when the US economy takes a slump. Their economy simply is too well positioned relative to the rest of the world, and they have too many policymakers and powerhouses ready to support and plan for market instability and guard banks, financiers and other financial institutions from complete collapse. Of course, no ship is unsinkable, but the US simply has more contingency plans in place in the event of economic turmoil than we do in South Africa.
Are you not entertained?
Okay, so one of the biggest reasons (and most under-quoted) people give for moving to the US, is the entertainment factor. Say what you want about the country, but there is a pull of fascination which stems from our childhood awe of film and fantasy. Our heroes of the silver screen, from Charlton Heston to Will Smith, Mickey Mouse to Shrek, Shirley Temple to Angelina Jolie – doesn’t matter if you are a Film Noir fan or a Sci-Fi fanatic, we are all drawn to the states for the undeniable glamour of the entertainment industry – whether movies, gambling, cruising, sporting events, music festivals or theme parks, this is the place for you.
Standard of living
If you’re looking for a high standard of living which won’t cost you an arm and a leg, then the US is for you. Of course, relocation will cost a bunch, but once you’re there and settled, you will find it’s easy to maintain the lifestyle you had in South Africa (and improve on it). Due to the abundance of competition, companies offer highly competitive prices, perks and loyalty rewards, not to mention coupons! If you want to save some money, then get ready, because you’ll be able to buy loads of necessities and not-so-essential things with the tonnes of coupons to for discounts and freebies on most anything your heart desires.
The all-you-can-eat buffet
The US has offers a feast for the eyes and the stomach. Indeed, with flavours and dishes which are uniquely american (like chicken and waffles), to dishes which incorporate international flavours from Latin America, the UK, Asia, Europe and Africa – it’s impossible not to find what you are looking. Whether you like your fine dining, fast food or pre-packed meals (something which will delight the parents out there), there’s simply so much more to choose from in the US.
You need only to spend one morning in Joburg or Cape Town traffic to long for the ease and convenience of proper public transport. Yes-yes, we do have taxis, buses, metrorails, gautrains, MyCiti buses and Ubers – but you really can’t compare the public transport system in South Africa to anything as intricate, accommodating and efficient as the American public transport system. Whether trams, subways or taxis – you won’t believe how easy your life becomes once you’ve crossed the great Atlantic to US shores.
Techies sign up!
You may find it hard to believe, but America is one of the best places to live if you are a tech fan. With many processing plants and factories inside US borders America produces most of its own tech, and for those things they can’t produce, they have trading agreements in place with other countries to import goods are extremely competitive rates. But it’s not only cost that will get you excited, it’s the variety which gets our hearts racing. For you can buy almost any type of gadget and gizmo your heart desires. And if you don’t like crowded malls, well, why not just buy it online. You may even get it delivered by drone.
These are just a few reasons why America is one of the favourite new homes for South African emigrants.
Do you have any more suggestions, opinions or tips for South Africans moving abroad? Send yours to us and we may just include them in our next #ReasonsToImmigrateTo feature.