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Saadia Ashraf Mir, Dallas

Who are you?

I, Saadia Ashraf, am a 28 years old, Pakistani born American resident female. I hold Bachelors of Business Administration (Hons.) in Marketing. By profession, I make marketing strategies as a freelancer and also, write articles for newspapers. I acquired all my education in Pakistan.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I moved to United States of America in the month of March, 2013 as a legal resident which I acquired by marrying a USA citizen man, year ago. I am currently residing in Dallas, Texas.What challenges did you face during the move?

Waiting period was the main challenge for me during my immigration process. It was hard to wait for your papers to get verified and processed by the embassy and you may never know when they would reject your papers or decline your case for no good reason. So basically for me, waiting period or the case processing time was a difficult one.

How did you find somewhere to live?

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Unlike other expats who come on their student or work visa I didn’t have to worry about those things. When I came to USA, I started living with my husband who was already residing in Dallas.

Are there many other expats in your area?

Yes, there are many other expats in my area from different countries. Majority of the expats living in my area are from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh along with people emigrating from Mexico. However, in some areas of Dallas, it is hard to find people from Asian background.

What is your relationship like with the locals?

The community where I live are least bothering; no one knows who is living next door. This is kind of strange environment for me but at least, good in one aspect; no one bothers anyone. However, there is an exchange of waving and smiling with few senior citizens living nearby.

What do you like about life where you are?

The country where I was born is going through a political and social turmoil where security was pretty worrisome even with having your family around. Here, even when there is less social interaction, I feel way secured in comparison. It’s a quiet and peaceful area where crime statistics are below average when compared to most populated cities around the world. I feel happy and delighted being here.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

The only thing I dislike about my expat life is less social interaction with the people around. No one knows or bothers about the person living next door. Life is always busy here. People don’t get much time to sit around and spend quality time with their families.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

To any expat coming to USA, I would advise the person to learn proper English as people speaking different languages may face problem in communication with the native ones. Make sure you do all your home-work before coming here such as your accommodation, job, language or what skills you have to utilize in order to make money. Prior work experience and education along with fluency in English matters here. So, make sure you are good with everything.

What are your plans for the future?

I am planning to pursue further studies in UT Dallas. I haven’t decided what subjects I would opt but to make any final decisions, I will analyze the American career market and would see that which degrees can yield you more money. At this stage, I am focused on making my career to maintain my lifestyle and to earn better. My further plans revolve around settling down with my family, giving time to my husband and to look after my home along with my focus on studies and career.