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How to move to the U.S. after 40. Inspiring Stories of Kazakhstanis
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How to move to the U.S. after 40. Inspiring Stories of Kazakhstanis

We talked to people from Kazakhstan who were not afraid to risk moving to the United States despite their age.

Irada Flood, 45, Wisconsin, USA, project manager

Ирада Флад.jpeg

About the moving

I was born and raised in Almaty. I now live in Wisconsin, near the city of Madison. I work as a project manager for a company that provides services in healthcare, including IT Health, Care Management, and Disease Management.

I dreamed of living for a while in a completely different country, with a different culture and way of life. So, I learned English and applied to the Edmund Muskie program to study for my master's degree. I passed all the stages from the first attempt and left for the United States in 2007.

During the two years of study, I liked the transparency and freedom of speech, the clear observance of human rights, the orderliness in dealing with everyday issues, the openness and friendliness of Americans, the values of society, the lack of corruption and much more. After graduation I went back, as I was not one hundred percent sure that I wanted to leave Kazakhstan for good.

I made the final decision to move in 2014 after another business trip to the United States. In Kazakhstan I built a good career in an international company. Financially and socially, everything was stable for me. But I did not feel completely secure.

I started preparing for the move by creating a financial cushion, teaching my son English, and obtaining additional professional certifications and licenses. I had a clear idea that I needed to build a career in a corporate environment, in the United States. I didn't plan on working in the service industry in the long run, but I allowed for this way of earning, in the first few months. In 2017, I moved to the United States.

About Adaptation

I was already living in the U.S. as a student, so it was easy and painless to adapt. But I did not consider that in ten years the country has changed for the better and for the worse. For example, the food has become better and more varied, and tolerance for non-English speakers is higher.

Ирада Флад.jpeg

Because I was educated in the U.S., I understood the rules of hiring and knew exactly what I wanted and what I was worth. So, I had no problem finding a job.

In general, I recommend people who come to the States not to judge and not to condemn, to treat many things lightly, without criticism.

About life in the United States

Life in the Midwest is stable and measured. Family ties are strong here, as they are among the Kazakhs.

Americans are easy to make new acquaintances, but also easy to break up with old friends. I haven't seen friendships like those in Kazakhstan. Many immigrants do not understand how with such friendliness and openness, Americans remain closed for closer acquaintances.

Tips for those who are afraid to move

Everyone should make the decision for themselves. If you are afraid to move or are unsure of your decision, you should not do it. It is better to stay where you like. But if you are certain of your decision and have a good idea of what you will do here, it is best to take advantage of all the options available to you.

Azat, 63, Florida, USA, lawyer, tai chi instructor


About the moving

In Kazakhstan, I worked as a lawyer in the financial sector. All my life I was making money, running somewhere and rushing around.

And moving abroad was a way for me to transition to downsizing. By that time, I had been into tai chi for a long time, my personal philosophy, my view of the world had changed. So, when the occasion and opportunity to go to the U.S. came up, I took it. Now I'm a tai chi chuan instructor. It's a Chinese martial art and wellness practice. This is where I made my longtime hobby my main occupation.

When I was young, I was into American literature, movies, music. I traveled a lot and was in different countries. But it was in the United States that I wanted to live. It's a huge country that's interesting to explore.

About Adapting and Living in the U.S.

For older people, countries with a higher level of social security are the right places to move to. For example, Canada or Australia. There are more benefits for the elderly and better medical care.

The U.S. is a country for the young. Young people can achieve a lot here, work, study, do business, and try their hand at various fields.


But I know many Kazakhs who moved here at a mature or even elderly age. They do not regret the move, even if they had difficulties in adapting. There are very few people who have moved back.

Americans are tolerant of newcomers because this is a country of immigrants. It was created as a special historical project, a multicultural society, albeit on an Anglo-Saxon basis. By the way, that's one of the reasons I chose it. I also wanted to take part in such a project.

Tips for those who are afraid to move

It is important to integrate into American life, learn the language, find a job, and make connections in local communities.

You can always find a friendly environment here.

At the same time, it is possible and even necessary to keep in touch with your fellow countrymen. That's why in my free time I make connections between them: organize joint picnics and other events, communicate in groups, share useful information. Many people from Kazakhstan know me in Florida, and I'm really happy about it.

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