This is the story of my first day.*
INTERVIEWED BY a George Washington Carver High School Student

"I was young and I wanted to explore the world and wanted to see what America could offer for me."

Algiers, Algeria

New York City, New York



The interviewee has requested that their story not be shared on social media.



Alright, which city did you come from and which city did you arrive in?

I came from Algiers, through Madrid and Madrid to New York.

Alright, now let’s start the first question. How did you get the Visa to get here to America?

I got my Visa through the lottery system. It’s a program, known as a diversity program. Basically, there’s a time period in the year where the program opens between October and November. And so you can send an application with a picture, skill, which is basically a resume. Things like your degree, profession, get sent to the United States and after it is received, they do a lottery. If your name is picked up they will send you an application to fill out. Additionally you would have to provide your health record, your criminal record, your level of education, and your skill. And once those are done you schedule an appointment with the counselor, they verify the information, if everything is good, they give you a Visa for permanent residence.

How did you find your first home?

Um, [pauses] once I arrived in America I met my old friend. He helped me find an apartment. I rented it, my first apartment here.

Why did you decide to come to America?

That’s a good question. I don’t know. I was young and I wanted to explore the world and wanted to see what America could offer for me. And I came here, and I liked it. There was some rough patches here and there, but overall I liked it.

What was one of the biggest differences you experienced in your home and here?

Well, back home you have friends, the town you grew up in, you have parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, and you have a family and places you know to go to. So when you’re coming here for the first time, and you only know one or two people, it’s hard. And to make a living here you have to work long hours, and you don’t get to see the few people you do know. Also, culturally is very different.

Alright, thank you for your time.

You’re welcome.

* The contributor of this story has asked that their name be withheld.