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Attention Immigrants: 10 Essentials to Help You Settle In

Immigrants have an incredible learning curve upon reaching the United States. Regardless of your circumstances, knowing more about this new culture without losing touch with your old one can be helpful, as well as learning what resources are on hand that can help the transition. Here’s what you need to know. 

Resources for Kids’ Education

Children who have recently emigrated to the U.S. can access resources to help in their adjustment and maybe even allow them to have fun in the process.

  1. Ivy League Kids is a Chicago-based educational program for school-aged children, offering a diverse range of programs, from Montessori-style classes to enriching playtime activities. 
  2. Learning English can help kids communicate with peers and fit in well at school and in the community. 
  3. Starfall is a free resource that helps children from pre-K to third grade learn how to read, along with language arts and math instruction.

Health and Housing Info

Housing and healthcare are two basic needs that should be addressed right away. The healthcare system and housing costs will differ from what you may be accustomed to.

  1. There is a range of options for immigrants to find housing. A good place to start is by visiting Affordable Housing Online to learn more about housing eligibility.
  2. Real estate costs vary tremendously from region to region in the U.S. In some states, an average 3-bedroom home costs around $91,000, while in others, a similar home would cost around $646,000. 
  3. Healthcare resources are vital for immigrants moving to the U.S. Check out HealthCare.gov to learn all about your eligibility, coverage options, and more.
  4. Healthcare is a major expense in the U.S. In 2018, $3.7 trillion was spent by residents on healthcare. The country’s healthcare system has been an ongoing debate among American lawmakers for some time.

Ways to Help People at Home

Immigrants often wish to help loved ones back home. There are many ways to offer support, even from afar.

  1. Money transfers are often the ideal way to offer financial support. Choose a flexible service that offers the option to receive funds in U.S. dollars or the local currency. Bear in mind that for transfers to the Philippines, you face lower fees if the recipient opts to receive in pesos — not to mention the convenience of not having to physically exchange currency locally.
  2. Immigrants can ship goods and care packages called balikbayan boxes directly to the Philippines. You enjoy competitive rates as these are sent via sea freight. It will take some patience, however.
  3. Stay in touch with your loved ones — that is the greatest gift of all. Plan weekly Zoom or Skype ‘visits.’ 

The U.S. is a land of opportunity and freedom. As you settle into your new country, a great mix of resources can help your family acclimate. Ivy League Kids, for instance, has before and after school programs for the little ones, so see how they can help. You’ve got this!

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