Moving to America: 6 things to Know

With a reputation for plentiful opportunities and being the “land of the free,” there’s more than one good reason as to why so many people have immigrated to the United States. However, moving to America can be a lot to adjust to, as it would be moving to any new country. Thus, it is important to begin research on what to expect when moving to the U.S.A. early on in your migration journey, and these are just a few important steps to follow.

Prepare for American Currency

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An American $1 bill. Image from

This step will vary depending on where you are moving from, but more likely than not you will have to transfer your money in for United States currency, known as USD ($). You should check the equivalency of your current currency to USD which can be found through free, online resources and look into converting it so you can be prepared to start buying what you need once you arrive. Also keep in mind that you can be charged fees for currency exchanges made, so try to find a conversion option that will keep them as minimal as possible before finalizing your transaction.

Look Into Housing Options and Possible Vouchers

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A set of houses similar to what you would find in an American neighborhood. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Narrowing down a home to live in is a necessary step no matter which country you move to. The housing market in America is especially competitive and rent for apartments can run quite high, particularly in big cities. Fortunately, housing programs are available through the federal government for those with low incomes, including public housing and rental assistance.

This only covers certain non-citizens depending on how long it has been since their arrival, but it is still worth vying for once you get the chance. Public housing assistance in particular would require at least 5 years of American residency for them unless they have a relative who has lived in the U.S. that long already. Qualifying does not necessarily guarantee that you will receive a voucher, but it is still worth trying in case you do end up getting one.

Find a Good School District

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A classroom lesson in an American children’s school. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A quality education is crucial to finding good work in the United States, and it can vary depending on where you live. Separate public school districts exist across cities in all states, some of which tend to be better than others. If part of the reason you are moving to America is to find a quality education for yourself or someone with you, be sure to find an area with a good school district.

Research Your Medicare Qualifications

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A doctor meeting with a patient. Image from Midwest Orthopedics.

Unlike many other developed western countries, the United States has no free universal healthcare. This means you will either have to pay hospitals out-of-pocket or look to health insurance companies for medical coverage, both of which can be costly. However, citizens who are at least 65-years-old or have a certain disability can enroll in Medicare, a federal healthcare program which isn’t free but can still help pay for medication, hospitalizations and more. It is also possible for non-U.S. citizens to be covered by Medicare under certain circumstances, so be sure to find out if you qualify to best prepare a financial plan that takes healthcare into account.

Take Note of How Each State Differs

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A map showing the 50 U.S. states and their flags. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

This is what makes America the most unique from most other countries: it is made up of 50 states which can vary quite differently from one another. Some have different laws in regards to healthcare access and housing; others are populated with large, urban areas while a neighboring state might be predominantly rural; and, of course, different states tend to have different cultures in terms of what is celebrated. Long story short, you will still be in America regardless of which state you go to but you will still want to look into each of their unique traits to best determine which one would be the match for you.

In Closing…

These are just a few ideas to consider as you prepare to move to the United States. When planning the move over, it is important to talk with experts about the immigration procedure and settling into America. Also, if you know anyone who lives there, you should talk to them as well. This is a life-changing experience either way, so be sure to prepare as much as you can while planning your road forward!

Aidan Pittman
Aidan Pittman

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