When he first arrived in America, Afghan student Ali Shahidy knew his English was ready to tackle the tough language of academia. But he never expected to be tripped up by lunch at a fast food restaurant.
Raphael Nzirubusa remembers feeling torn about staying in the US or joining his family in Burundi while war escalated there in the early 1990s. A priest in the US warned against leaving and told Nzirubusa, "We’ll pray for you, but you’re going to have to stay."
After connecting with his art teacher, poet Alejandro Murguía discovered museums, French writers — and how to enroll in college.
Imagine having the chair pulled out from under you the second you walk into a US classroom. Tanzid Sakib can laugh about it now. The teenager from Bangladesh recalls his first days of public school in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Life in India was crowded and full of people. In America, Naazish YarKhan learned to build relationships all over agin.
After anxious days in Guam, Joshua Nguyen remembers restarting life with his family in Idaho and trick-or-treating until midnight.
A brother and sister remember their abrupt start to a new life in America after they fled collapsing South Vietnam. It's one story among the many collected by StoryCorps from Vietnamese refugees whose lives were changed by the fall of Saigon in 1975.
Writer Ethel Rohan “ran away” from Ireland to restart her life in the United States, but she still remembers the fondness in her dad’s voice when she called home.
Nayomi Munaweera was born in Sri Lanka, raised in Nigeria — and then fled that country for the US after a coup. Now, she's published her first novel and recounts the difficulties of learning the ins and outs of teen life in Los Angeles, including her first encounters with hairspray.
It was a rough start for this young Palestinian, who moved to Missouri at age 13. Once on his feet, though, he helped other newcomers get by.
Music was a lifeline for eight-year-old Susan Cruz, when she and her mother fled violence in El Salvador in 1978 and headed for California. In this next in our series on immigrants' first days in the US, Cruz looks back on her tumultuous introduction to America.
Before email and Skype, a Ghanian remembers sending home cassette tapes filled with his thoughts about life in the United States.
Poet and author Marjorie Agosin was born in the US but she and her family moved back to Chile when she was just 3-months-old. Then, when she was a teenager, they decided to move back to the US. They settled in Athens, Georgia. Agosin tells us the story of her first days in the US.