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Moving, living and working in the USA (1st year)

Never settle for less than you deserve.

That’s what I told myself when I was in college, an hustle guy who determined to make a significant leap upon moving to the USA. I made sure to prepare meticulously before the move, especially because our family’s financial resources were dwindling, and I had no room for failure.

Now with 1 year living in the USA, I can say that I’m proud of myself: secured a well-paying job, attained financial independence, and established harmonious relationships with the local community.



Fortunately, I’ve been learning English since my childhood. What I needed was to achieve a proven score, enhance my communication skills, and grasp the accent.

To kickstart this journey, I enrolled in an IELTS introductory course (many teachers offer this for free). Following that, I devoted myself to rigorous study for five months, ultimately achieving a score of 6.5. While it may not be an exceptionally high score, it was sufficient to demonstrate my ability to communicate effectively in English.

Subsequently, I embarked on mastering the American accent and familiarizing myself with their colloquialisms. I achieved this by immersing myself in classic movies and TV series such as ‘Friends,’ ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ ‘How I Met Your Mother,’ and more. By mimicking the accent, I not only understood the humor and storyline better but also improved my pronunciation.

Living in Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh City) offers several advantages, one being the opportunity to interact with numerous foreigners. This environment allowed me to practice English with them, delve into their cultures, and forge friendships while gaining a deeper understanding of their backgrounds.”

Software Engineer

My major is Computer Science, so I have a solid foundation in programming. But as any university, they only teach you the general knowledge, and you have to learn how to do the real job by yourself.

In my second year, I delved into web development, and I became thoroughly engrossed in the field. I invested a substantial amount of time into learning and honing my skills. Additionally, I actively participated in the devc-challenge, where I gained proficiency in React Native, expanded my network, and assumed the role of a teaching assistant for the next generation of devc challenge participants.

This experience was truly enriching, eventually leading me to secure a position as a software engineer at a startup company. Over the course of two years, I acquired invaluable insights into teamwork, client communication, and project management, among other skills.

With all of these experience, I know exactly what the company is looking for, and I was confident in my ability to meet those expectations.

Just one month after commencing my job search, I received a job offer from a company in the USA. The starting salary exceeded my initial expectations, bringing me immense joy, and I promptly accepted the offer.”

Family and friends

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have a family that provides unwavering support. Their encouragement has been a constant in my life, empowering me to pursue my dreams and readily extending a helping hand whenever I require it.

However, upon relocating to the USA, I found myself without any friends initially. My circumstances differed significantly from those of my college years, as I was not attending an institution, and my work was remote. Consequently, opportunities to build new friendships were scarce. Nevertheless, as time passed, unexpected encounters at coffee shops and bars led to the formation of meaningful connections. I now have friends with whom I can spend time, engage in meaningful conversations about life, and simply enjoy life’s pleasures together.”

Mental health

Maintaining a positive outlook has always been a fundamental aspect of my personality, and I’ve been fortunate never to experience depression. Nevertheless, my journey in Sai Gon did present its share of challenges, which I’ve learned to navigate and cope with effectively. Additionally, the transition to life in the USA, where financial worries are less of a concern, has allowed me the freedom to prioritize and nurture my mental well-being.


In conclusion, my first year in the USA has been a transformative journey filled with growth, learning, and unexpected adventures. From my early struggles with language and cultural adaptation to the joy of building friendships in unexpected places, I’ve come to cherish every moment of this experience.

Through dedicated efforts and unwavering support from my family, I successfully navigated the challenges of securing a high-paying job, honing my skills, and understanding the nuances of American culture. My background in Computer Science served as a strong foundation, while my dedication to self-improvement propelled me forward.

Notably, my mental well-being remained a top priority throughout this journey. Although I’ve always maintained a positive disposition, I’ve learned to cope with the trials and tribulations of life, both in Sai Gon and in the USA. The newfound financial stability in the USA has allowed me to place greater emphasis on nurturing my emotional health.

As I look back on this remarkable year, I’m filled with gratitude for the support of my family, the friendships I’ve forged, and the opportunities that have come my way. My decision to move to the USA has proven to be a rewarding one, marked by personal growth and professional success.

With the knowledge and experiences gained in this first year, I’m excited to see what the future holds in this land of opportunity. While my journey has been unique, I hope that my story serves as inspiration to others embarking on their own paths of discovery and growth in a new country.

Published Sep 3, 2023

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