From Jersey St. to Apache Blvd.
Jasmine Brown has been my neighbor since I moved in October of 2008. We have hung out since then but all I really knew about her was that she was was from Manchester, UK. When our teacher told us abou the assignment I knew that she would be fun to interview. We ended up doing the interview at her apartment over dinner and had a blast doing it. It was nice to learn a bit more about her. After reading this interview and my analysis you will know for sure that all immigrants endure completely different experiences with migration for completely different reasons. I really enjoyed doing this project.
Before you Read , Soak up These Facts!
National Debt- 47.2% of GDP($2.787 trillion)
Unemployment Rate- 5.5%
Per Capita GDP- $36,500
2.16 percent migration rate
Number and percent of UK Migrants in US- 14,348 people that make up 1.3% of the United States immigrant population
Interview in 1st Person Account
My name is Jasmine Brown and I am from Jersey Street in Manchester UK. I was born December 15, 1982 and always knew that I would leave my parents for an adventure. I came to the United States in 2001 on a Student Visa to attend Arizona State University to get a degree in Tourism Management. The student visa application was not that difficult but it was awfully lengthy but the hardest part was my parents supporting me but hoping I would fail all at the same time. The flight was long and exhausting with just one connection in New York to come all the way to Phoenix. Lucky for me, we just about speak the same exact language so that was a traveling barrier I never had to cross. I landed with my dorm assignment in hand and took a cab to the Tempe campus. Everyone was really nice. I still speak to my first roommate even today. She was really key in getting used to such a humongous city with the most extreme heat I had ever experienced.
It is funny that even today I still get compliments or questions about my accent. I have never understood what the big deal is. But I suppose since there are so few of us here in the United States it isn’t an accent that Americans hear very often. So usually I have fun with it. I am very fortuanate to have not completely lost my accent like what happens with most immigrants. It is true that is isn't as thick but it is always nice to know that I have a small piece of home.
I had never intended for this to be a permanent thing it is just that the United Kingdom is such a small island I felt that I would never be able to get away from my parents to be on my own. Independence was always a really big factor for me. I really wanted to defy my family. My older sister is 33 and still has not left home. I guess you could assume that my reasons for leaving were selfish but I just never figured I could do much so close to my family. My family is old fashioned and until you are married you live at home. Even if you are going to school or have a full time job. That is just the way things are and that was never for me.
I met my husband my junior year at Arizona State University and fell absolutely in love. It was then that I knew that my love for the desert and also my love for my new fiancée were both enough to keep me here. I had never intended on staying forever. Before our wedding I began to look into the naturalization process. It took a while and a lot of questioning but eventually I began the process to become a naturalized US citizen. After I had graduated and was married I was able to nail down citizenship and start my new life. I absolutely love it here. While I miss home and miss not being able to be close to family it is just such an adventure here. It is so diverse and you never know who you are going to meet. That is one of my favorite things about the United States. It is just so unexpected.
I didn’t know what to expect when I first came here. I had heard stories about how huge it is and how rude the people are but never knew what to make of it. But most of the negative feedback was coming from my parents so I did not think anything of it. Anything I could have thought was certainly defied when I landed here in Phoenix. I knew it was the desert but I guess the heat still caught me by surprise. It really made me appreciate the mildly cool climate of Manchester. The weather there rarely gets into the 80's and never into the 90's and 100's. It was certainly a shock that I am still dealing with.
Even though I do go home often I have become extremely accustomed to life in the United States. I eat food in much bigger portions then my family would ever approve of. Sometimes when I go home I am still hungry after meals, which seems ridiculous. My family always makes fun of me for it. I didn’t really bring any habits with me. I wanted to start an entirely new life. I really just wanted to be absorbed into everything American. It was just the glamourous image that the United States put off. It really encouraged me to become more and more American, and here I am today. When I first moved here since I was so young I immediately delved into the world of junk food. Eating out and munching on junk food just became a commonplace thing for me. We have fast food and McDonald's and such but nothing close to the amount that there is here. I had to try it all. It was also all too easy for me to fall in line with college drinking habits. Being from Manchester I was accustomed to parties and loud music. Futbol is a big deal there and often there are riots in the street.The parties that come with watching futbol were always live, so I was prepared for ASU. Being a huge soccer fan was definitely something that I carried in to the United States with me. I am still a huge futbol fan though it is not quite as popular here. Go
Go Manchester United!I do not hang out with anybody else from the United Kingdom but then again there aren’t many people in the United States from the UK.
I don’t go home as often as I would like but the flight is just so expensive and it is hard to get so much time off to go. I Skype with my mom just about everyday though. Skype is a webcam chat that I have grown accustomed to. miss my family. Like most kids you never know how much you need and love your parents until they are gone. I miss them alot but not quite enough to get me back to the UK for good. I don’t really send money home to my family but I send plenty of gifts. If they needed money I would be all to willing though. They are very well off and I have done very well for myself and am extremely grateful to my parents for letting me come to the US at all. I am always seeing something that reminds me of home and send it home to my mother. Knick knacks and such. She collects so much random small stuff that when I see something I simply have to send it to her.
Being an immigrant has not affected me in a negative way. While I do miss my family and the cool climate of Manchester I love it here. I have a wonderful job here that I do not want to disclose but lets just say I work for a very prominent advertising firm at a very well paid position. My accent actually really helps selling ideas to clients. For some reason people seem enthralled by you when you have an accent. It seems actually quote silly.
I of course have always had to deal with the fact that I am black and from the United Kingdom. It was always uncomfortable to have people question whether or not I was actually from the UK. That is something that I have always had to deal with though, even when back home. It is extremely nerve racking considering that even my grandparents were born and raised in Manchester. Sometimes I use it to my advantage. For the longest time all through college I told people that I was Melanie Brown’s cousin from the Spice Girls. People actually believed me just because we are both blacks and both British. It was fun though.
All in all I just love it here. It is very different and the people are a little less trusting than other places in the world I have been but that is to be expected. I however, did not exactly enjoy the naturalization citizenship process. Though my marriage made it a little bit easier it was still lengthy and I felt as if I was a suspect in a crime or something with the type of questions I had to answer. I certainly do believe that Americans take a lot for granted and I feel that it is something that I am beginning to do. I love it here and think it is a wonderful place; but then again I may be biased since I initially just wanted to escape from my parents. Even though I do love the desert I do believe that had I not met the love of my life here I probably would have eventually returned home but here I am. I am loving it!