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Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Old Jan 30th 2011, 10:19 pm
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Default Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Hi everyone.

Phew... where to begin!

Okay so basically I am a british citizen who would love to move to the states for a couple of years. I am thinking New York or Seattle.

I am 19 years old (20 in a few months.) After making some bad decisions about subjects to take while I was in 6th form college I decided I didnt want to waste a load of cash going to university to study a degree I wasnt interested in. So I stayed at home working while everyone I grew up with went of and began an independent life at university.

This year I attempted to begin a foundation year in science at some of the better univeristies, which is what I was particularly passionate about - but didnt get in.

So now i'm in a situation where I am stuck living at home in my dead-end home town that has nothing i'm passionate about. A few months back I quit my job (believing i'd be going to university) and have been living off my savings. The time has now come to get a full time job some place else and I'm terrified that once I get it i'm going to end up stuck there - stuck here - my whole life.

I want to leave and lead my own independant life elsewhere for a few years, so that I can grow and, you know, make something of myself like all my old friends are doing. I dont necessarily need a great job or a career while i'm away* - Just so long as I can come back after a few years and be ambitious and have the confidence to make something of my life. Theres nothing left for me here.

Okay. So heres the problem:
How the hell do I do this? I havent got the foggiest clue. Its a big step, and I have the drive - but I dont know where to put my foot!

I've looked around a few Visa sites and it looks -to me- like you can only come to the states to work if you are marrying a US citizen, attending a US university (massively expensive), have a really good education or already have a job lined up.

So is that it? Surely i'm missing something here. How do most people pick up, start over, and begin a new life? Its just by luck I even found this place.. I dont know any other the websites or who to contact or anything.

So thanks to anyone who read this far, I hope I didnt bore you half to sleep! And thanks to anyone who can help - I feel like i've hit a dead end before i've even begun.

*Though i'd be more than willing to stay if I got one.
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 10:28 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

.........just holding my place.
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 10:38 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Why the US?
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 10:38 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

"I've looked around a few Visa sites and it looks -to me- like you can only come to the states to work if you are marrying a US citizen, attending a US university (massively expensive), have a really good education or already have a job lined up."

Yep, that pretty much sums it up. You may have better luck in Canada or Australia.
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Why the US?
Well I have three main reasons:
1. There are no language barriers! I know that it'll be much easier for me to move elsewhere in Europe but I'm really not good with other languages - i'd like to keep my options open when it comes to somewhere to live and places to work.

2. Stuff from the US saturates the media all the time, and i'm already pretty familiar with the culture and know what to expect. Its not much different to what i'm used to now.

Getting away isnt so much about me traveling and getting a taste for the world and different cultures but rather growing up and being independent.

3. This might sound a little wierd, but its physically quite some distance from my home. I somehow feel that the further removed from where I am now, the better. If i'm going to do this I dont want to move just a few hundred miles away, where the second things might get difficult I can just go running back. I want to make a real change for myself.

Originally Posted by Married2abrit View Post
"I've looked around a few Visa sites and it looks -to me- like you can only come to the states to work if you are marrying a US citizen, attending a US university (massively expensive), have a really good education or already have a job lined up."

Yep, that pretty much sums it up. You may have better luck in Canada or Australia.
Gah. Exactly what I was afraid to hear. I suppose choosing Canada or Australia wouldnt be so bad - but I rather have my heart set on the states. If theres any chance i'd rather take it than change my mind so easily.
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Originally Posted by Lahhdra View Post

I've looked around a few Visa sites and it looks -to me- like you can only come to the states to work if you are marrying a US citizen, attending a US university (massively expensive), have a really good education or already have a job lined up.
You've summed up the situation (admirably clearly) here -- except having a good education alone won't necessarily get you a visa.

It might be possible for you to come over for summer/seasonal work -- check out organizations like BUNAC. Do you plan to apply again for uni for next year? If you're genuinely interested in science (which area?) then stick at it. I didn't get into my first-choice uni initially, but was successful after taking a gap year; time gave me perspective on how I could improve my application, even though it was depressing seeing all my friends start their first year while I was wearing a tabard in the local Spar...

A degree, especially in science, will only help you in the long run; plus, I think many seasonal work-in-America programs are open only to uni students or those who've recently graduated. Long-term, a career in science is a good bet for developing the kind of specialist skills that *may* eventually lead to a job offer/visa or company transfer here, especially if you go on to become an academic. But think of this as just a potential added benefit to studying something you're really keen on.

If you'd rather not commit yourself to uni just yet, then Australia and New Zealand are much more realistic options for backpacking and working. My sister and three cousins had great times on Working Holiday Visas there.
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Originally Posted by Lahhdra View Post
Hi everyone.

Phew... where to begin!

Okay so basically I am a british citizen who would love to move to the states for a couple of years. I am thinking New York or Seattle.

I am 19 years old (20 in a few months.) After making some bad decisions about subjects to take while I was in 6th form college I decided I didnt want to waste a load of cash going to university to study a degree I wasnt interested in. So I stayed at home working while everyone I grew up with went of and began an independent life at university.

This year I attempted to begin a foundation year in science at some of the better univeristies, which is what I was particularly passionate about - but didnt get in.

So now i'm in a situation where I am stuck living at home in my dead-end home town that has nothing i'm passionate about. A few months back I quit my job (believing i'd be going to university) and have been living off my savings. The time has now come to get a full time job some place else and I'm terrified that once I get it i'm going to end up stuck there - stuck here - my whole life.

I want to leave and lead my own independant life elsewhere for a few years, so that I can grow and, you know, make something of myself like all my old friends are doing. I dont necessarily need a great job or a career while i'm away* - Just so long as I can come back after a few years and be ambitious and have the confidence to make something of my life. Theres nothing left for me here.

Okay. So heres the problem:
How the hell do I do this? I havent got the foggiest clue. Its a big step, and I have the drive - but I dont know where to put my foot!

I've looked around a few Visa sites and it looks -to me- like you can only come to the states to work if you are marrying a US citizen, attending a US university (massively expensive), have a really good education or already have a job lined up.

So is that it? Surely i'm missing something here. How do most people pick up, start over, and begin a new life? Its just by luck I even found this place.. I dont know any other the websites or who to contact or anything.

So thanks to anyone who read this far, I hope I didnt bore you half to sleep! And thanks to anyone who can help - I feel like i've hit a dead end before i've even begun.

*Though i'd be more than willing to stay if I got one.
OK - my two cents. (in chronological order)

1) Go to Australia now on a working holiday visa

2) Get your degree

3) Do the Mountbatten Programme (http://www.mountbatten.org/mipweb.ns...y_a_year_in_ny) in New York
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Originally Posted by MoshiMoshi View Post
You've summed up the situation (admirably clearly) here -- except having a good education alone won't necessarily get you a visa.

It might be possible for you to come over for summer/seasonal work -- check out organizations like BUNAC. Do you plan to apply again for uni for next year? If you're genuinely interested in science (which area?) then stick at it. I didn't get into my first-choice uni initially, but was successful after taking a gap year; time gave me perspective on how I could improve my application, even though it was depressing seeing all my friends start their first year while I was wearing a tabard in the local Spar...

A degree, especially in science, will only help you in the long run; plus, I think many seasonal work-in-America programs are open only to uni students or those who've recently graduated. Long-term, a career in science is a good bet for developing the kind of specialist skills that *may* eventually lead to a job offer/visa or company transfer here, especially if you go on to become an academic. But think of this as just a potential added benefit to studying something you're really keen on.

If you'd rather not commit yourself to uni just yet, then Australia and New Zealand are much more realistic options for backpacking and working. My sister and three cousins had great times on Working Holiday Visas there.
The science area i'm really interested in is Biology. After being turned down this year i've pretty much decided that i'll wait a while and go to Univeristy as a mature student a few years down the line. The laws are changing for next year, the cap of £3,000 a year is being completely removed (if I had gotten in this year the rates would have been frozen) - which means i'll need considerably more money before going, which i'd like to get behind me first. Accumalating massive debt to go to a sub-par university certainly isnt something I want to happen.

Also, waiting 19 months to go university doesnt sound to appealing to me. Those certainly arent 19 months I just want to be waiting around and working here. Its just stalling even longer. I left 6th form two years ago, one more year and most people I know will already have a degree! And i've just been here stagnating.

So yeah, i'm passionate about the subject and can see myself persuing a research career at some point in the distant future, but it will be a long while before thats a reality.
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 11:24 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Originally Posted by Lahhdra View Post
I left 6th form two years ago, one more year and most people I know will already have a degree! And i've just been here stagnating.
Don't worry about that. There's no rule book or absolute time line. You're just going your own way, and although your dreams of getting to the US *now* are unrealistic, you've plenty of time for everything. The maturity in your posts speaks volumes.
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Originally Posted by Lahhdra View Post
Well I have three main reasons:
1. There are no language barriers! I know that it'll be much easier for me to move elsewhere in Europe but I'm really not good with other languages - i'd like to keep my options open when it comes to somewhere to live and places to work.

2. Stuff from the US saturates the media all the time, and i'm already pretty familiar with the culture and know what to expect. Its not much different to what i'm used to now.

Getting away isnt so much about me traveling and getting a taste for the world and different cultures but rather growing up and being independent.

3. This might sound a little wierd, but its physically quite some distance from my home. I somehow feel that the further removed from where I am now, the better. If i'm going to do this I dont want to move just a few hundred miles away, where the second things might get difficult I can just go running back. I want to make a real change for myself.



Gah. Exactly what I was afraid to hear. I suppose choosing Canada or Australia wouldnt be so bad - but I rather have my heart set on the states. If theres any chance i'd rather take it than change my mind so easily.
Forget the US, its not going to happen. Read the wiki link

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Pulask...ork_in_the_USA

You are not familiar with the US culture, it is not like you see on TV, anyway the culture is vastly different defending on which area of America you are in.

If you want to get away for a while, apply to be a holiday rep or to work on a cruise ship.
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 11:27 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Originally Posted by Lahhdra View Post
2. Stuff from the US saturates the media all the time, and i'm already pretty familiar with the culture and know what to expect.
My 2 cents - start watching Neighbours and Home and Away instead.
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Originally Posted by Lahhdra View Post
Well I have three main reasons:

2. Stuff from the US saturates the media all the time, and i'm already pretty familiar with the culture and know what to expect. Its not much different to what i'm used to now.
... incidentally, that America IS so different has been one of my biggest shocks. Same language... so many old favourite film and TV shows... and yet it's actually a foreign country once you get here. It can be more disconcerting than living somewhere like Japan where you're primed to expect the unexpected.
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 11:30 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
My 2 cents - start watching Neighbours and Home and Away instead.
Ya flamin' gallah!
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Originally Posted by Lahhdra View Post

2. Stuff from the US saturates the media all the time, and i'm already pretty familiar with the culture and know what to expect. Its not much different to what i'm used to now.
yeah no....and unfortunately, should have gone to uni. It's the harsh reality of it, because without a degree it is so much harder and you'd need so much more experience to get a chance.

Bunac might be a short stint, but not a couple of years worth....or come to the US and study.

Or look at any other country that allows you to take part in the workers holiday visa, Oz, NZ and I think Canada?
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: Moving to America but only for 1 or 2 years

Originally Posted by GlastoElliot View Post
Don't worry about that. There's no rule book or absolute time line. You're just going your own way, and although your dreams of getting to the US *now* are unrealistic, you've plenty of time for everything. The maturity in your posts speaks volumes.
Thanks for the kind words! People keep telling me that I have time but I feel as though the longer I wait to do something, the less likely I am ever to do it.

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
Forget the US, its not going to happen. Read the wiki link

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Pulask...ork_in_the_USA

You are not familiar with the US culture, it is not like you see on TV, anyway the culture is vastly different defending on which area of America you are in.

If you want to get away for a while, apply to be a holiday rep or to work on a cruise ship.
Thanks, i'm reading it now. As for the culture thing (this goes to MoshiMoshi too) - I understand that there will be a lot of differences and that there is no way I could fully understand the culture already. I just mean, when compared to other countries which may speak completely different languages its going to be markedly easier for me to intergrate into the society.
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