Italy is widely known for being one of the fashion pioneers of the world. Ironically, Eleonora, who finished a degree in fashion design in Italy, has faced multiple circumstances in getting a job in her own country.
Her first trip to the US in 2017 left her homesick and wanting to go back. Though departing with a negative impression with her first time abroad, Eleonora regained confidence and continued working through her job as a fashion designer.
When she set up an Instagram page for her designs, a start-up company in LA noticed her and decided to sponsor her visa to the US. Leaving all the sad memories behind, Eleonora had an opposite reaction now towards leaving her country.
She feels excited and hopeful about starting an independent life abroad. She also shares how the US’s work ethic has made her more comfortable and enthusiastic with her job and how it goes far different from working in Italy.
As an emigrant, Eleonora has her own fears of leaving her home, but her positive spirit is way stronger to stop her from leaving.
I was never imagining myself coming back to United States because I felt like that experience was like, maybe this is not the best place for me. But then I realized what happened, which was like I was just like homesick. And I was just like missing my boyfriend and family, which is normal. And but like that's the place where I actually felt like myself, because I could do and I could be whoever I wanted to be.
Hi, everyone, and welcome to episode number 34 of the Emigrant's Life podcast, where we share stories of people who left their country to chase a better life. And through their stories, you can find ideas, resources, a motivation to do the same. I'm Daniel De Biasi. And in this episode, I interview my cousin Eleonora from Italy. She's getting ready to leave Italy and move to Los Angeles. She found a job in the US and her company is sponsoring her to get a visa. Eleonora has just graduated as a fashion designer specializing in 3d modeling, which is a job in demand because not many people are trained in this kind of technology. She found this job through social media. The company reached out to where after seeing her work posted on Instagram. In this episode, we will discuss why she decided to leave Italy, what working for an American company is like compared to her previous experience in Italy. And because she's in the process of moving right now, I asked her about what she has to do to get ready to leave. And if she has any fear or worries. Before moving to my conversation with Eleonora. Make sure to subscribe wherever you listen to your podcast. And it would be great if you leave us a review on Apple podcasts or pod chaser. And one more thing if English is your second language, you can follow along by reading our conversation. You can find the transcript in the show notes at emigrantslife.com/episode34. Now, without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with my cousin Eleonora.
Thanks for being on the show.
Thank you for contacting me.
Honestly, I'm pretty, pretty excited to have you on the show. Because that means that you're finally leaving Italy. Probably many listening are thinking right now. Like why the hell are you leaving Italy? It is such a beautiful country is the food is amazing. But because we were born in Italy, we lived most of our lives in Italy, we know we have to deal with the Italian situation. And that's probably why for us was a relief, being able to leave Italy.
But without giving too much away. Why did you decide to leave Italy?
Oh, it's a very good question. So I already been to the States in 2017. And I just took a year and I just was an au pair, like being an Au Pair means like being in a family's household, and you just like take care of the kids. And you just help the family with everything. And you get paid to do so. And like you get a visa from the United States of America that can last up to two years. So you can renew it just one time. And so like you can do maximum two a year. So I did one year and then I came back to my university. And I decided to do it in Italy, because it's like way cheaper than doing it in the United States. I had the possibility to do it there as well. But like it's really, really expensive. And I didn't know if I was going to leave there for like I didn't know for how many years so like have that kind of depth to the American government. It was like a lot. It's like, we're talking like hundreds of 1000s of dollars. So like I was not really ready to take that step. So I came back and also because I studied fashion. So fashion is more popular and more important in Italy to study. So I came back and I studied fashion. And at the end of my studies, which was in December, I graduated in December like very late because of the Coronavirus situation. And then I was just like on the internet and this American company from LA called me because they were looking for someone like me, which is not a position that is like very requested in Italy. Still, because companies are not very up to date with 3d and like digital were in general. So they conducted me so now I've been working from this American company, which is LA based. So they're in Los Angeles, California. And I've been working from them since July. And so after like a few months, they proposed to me to just leave so they are sponsoring my visa. And I'm about to leave like we're gonna see in how many weeks because of the situation. But yeah, I'm about to leave and I'm so happy because I cannot do my job over here. Even if Italy is like the country of fashion, there's no place for young people to actually work and like if I would have stayed here I would have had to do like so many internships before even actually getting paid, which like I'm about to turn 23 in a week. So like It's okay but like I still need to, like earn some money for the job that I've studied for, that I've worked for, because I already done two internships before this job. So yeah, that's pretty much the reason why it's because like, I wanted to pursue my career and like my dreams, and I cannot do it in Italy.
It's so weird because as you said, Italy is always been famous for this fashion industry and everything. At the same time, people like you did study for fashion and wants to have a career in fashion. They don't have the opportunity in Italy to pursue their career, and which is, it's crazy. In my opinion, that's why America and the United States are the greatest country in the world for for the economy, because there's way more opportunity there and the creates opportunity for people like you, and for the best people in the world to actually have a career and create something meaningful. And that's why America is such a great country.
Exactly. Yeah, like, in that case, they reached out to me, and they knew that I was here, and they knew that they have to, like, get in the situation where they had to, like, sponsor me a visa. And just like in general look after me, you know, because I wasn't already there. So they have to, like, of course, spend money for me to hire lawyers to get the situation done and stuff like that. So like, it could have been easier for them to just like, get someone that was already there. But like, in their case, it was that opposite situation, where like, nobody knows how to use the program that I use over there in the United States. So what they do is like look for other people like in Europe, and like in the other parts of the of the world, and now they found me. And so it's like kind of weird that like they're like searching for people like from across the globe. That is like way more difficult to hire instead of someone that is already there also, because like the American like government always like pushes companies to hire someone that is American, instead of someone that is like foreign. So it's very, like difficult for them to hire someone that is like qualified for that job. That is that is in America, because they don't, they don't like do the kind of training. But in here, they do that kind of training, but you don't get the opportunity to work. So it's like very, very difficult to actually just match the two things. So yeah, that's why.
Talking about the visa, you said in America and I have to had, that's pretty much probably any country as far as I know that before I hire somebody from overseas, somebody's not from the country, they need to prove to the government, they hire you, foreign person, because they couldn't find anybody else in the country to do the same job. Which for you, you were lucky. Because as you said, the things you can do on a computer and the things you can do you learn in Italy, there's no many people that can do that in the United States. And that's why they hire you from Italy. So even then probably found that was easier to prove that they needed you they couldn't find anybody else in the country. Another thing I like to ask you about the company, how did you find the difference between working for an Italian company versus working for an American company in the way they treated you in the way of you see the company grow or the mentality? What's the difference that you've noticed?
So like I'm talking like fashion wise. So like, before being hired by this company, I did two internships in Italy, in different parts of Italy. So like the first one was in Milan, and the second one was in Erie Mini, which is like in the center of Italy. So I experienced like to their friend, like also like two different kinds of companies, because the one that was in Romania was like very, very big. There were like 1000s of employees, like the one that I was in Milan was actually pretty small. So like, there were actually two different kinds of situations. But what I really can say is that, first of all, like American people really care that you go, like, when they hire you, they really want you to be there. So like my letter that they gave me when they wanted to hire me was like, so long that like I've never seen anything like this before. So it was just like a PDF full of like 10 pages and like five of them were just like reasons why I should be working for them, even though they already knew that I was going to. Also like for a mental health, which is really important and like in Italy, anybody cares about it like even if you're very stressed and stuff like that it just like yeah, of course but like that they don't do anything about it. And over there they actually just care and when they see that you're like stressed and you have a lot of stuff they first of all, they underline your effort, which is something that never happened to me over here. For example when we had like a deadline and I was just like working a few extra hours and also because over here I'm working with their timezone which means that I'm working like a for every night. So like they know that and they underline my effort and like all the things that I do, and when everything goes okay and like we are succeeding and what we are doing they always thank each person for their job, which is awesome. One thing that I've never seen over here in Italy, we like for example, we did like a drop a few months ago, it was like the first drop after a lot of months. So we were like testing out, like the numbers and stuff like that how it was going. So it was going pretty well. And my boss did like a long message, thanking everybody first and last name, saying, okay, you thank you for doing this, which means that we are going better, because you are doing your job. Great. You know what I mean? Like, it's not just expect they expect you to do your job. But when you do it good. they thank you for it. And so this is really important, like, did you experiences that I had here in Italy, people don't really care about you. It's like, you just like a part of the company. And just you just work there. And then you go home, like everything is done over here. Like for example, every Friday, we do like bonding meetings. Yeah, for example, last night, I had to teach them how to cook pasta. And so we did like a cooking class where like, I prepare like a recipe. And so I gave them ingredients, they bought the it was everything like online, because like they are working from home as well. And so like, I have to teach them how to make pasta. So we were just like cooking all together. And like the week before, we usually just play among guests. Or, for example, we just like do like we drink together and just like chat for a little while, which is like mandatory, you have to do it once a week, which because they really, yeah, they really care about this stuff, like bonding stuff. So and also like they always ask for your opinion, even if you're not in the conversation. But they always ask you like, what do you think about this, we are going to change like this part of the company. What do you think about this, even if like, it's something that is not related to my actual job, but they care about your opinion, you know, and when I was, for example, if any wish it was a big company, there was a lot of time where like, I would just say whatever I was thinking but not because I wanted to actually make a point. But I was like saying what I was thinking and they were like, Yeah, but you are an intern. So shut up over here, even though I'm the youngest in the company right now. They're always asking me, what do you think about this? Would you rather have this in this color, for example, and the other color, so they actually matter. Everything I do, and everything I say actually matters, which is really, really good.
Actually I want to go back when you said people after you do the job if you do a good job they thank you for for doing your job. Pretty much. I remember when I was in New Zealand when I started working, I used to work for this coworker was a great person. I remember every day it was thank Daniel for the great job today. Like I was thinking, why are you thanking me? I just I just did my job. Why would you thank me? But it's such a good thing. It just makes you feel better for what you've done. And no, it's such a such a completely different culture. As it's the last thing you said that people are asking you for your opinion. The thing I notice here in North America or atleast things from like a new company like a new startup company, which is your company is startups. Yes. Is that people are these CEOs surround themselves with people either smarter than them or people that know more about stuff. They don't know enough about it. In my mind, it makes sense that I'm hiring you so I'm paying you for your expertise for your knowledge, and will be wasteful not asking you for your opinion. But that's the difference between what I think from the Italian culture and what I can see overseas and especially here in North America. In Italy, as you said, they don't really care about you. Probably because there's way more demand than they actually number of jobs. So seems like somebody offered you a job they're doing you a favor.
Yes, that's what I heard so many times, like, okay, you just hear it just like be grateful that you're higher than like, just be grateful that you have a job, you know>
Exactly and the boss usually is the boss doesn't ask for people below them do opinion because seems like they're managing them they'd like it seems like I don't know what I'm doing. So I don't know it's such a such a completely different culture is more like an old school old mentality in Italy compared to North American. And awfully because Italians usually look up to Americans in any aspect. And hopefully, one day they will be they will get this kind of mentality too hopefully.
But another thing I like to add is the fact that your company was able to hire you from Italy and move to the United States just because you guys speak the same language. That's what I love about English speaking country and people that speak English because in Italy, there's not many people speak English and it's not normal that in a company people speak another language or speak English. So the people that hire you, they're kind of usually limited to Italian speaker. Compared to other countries, they can hire the best of the best from all over the world just because there's a one universal language that we can communicate with each other. So I love that about being abroad and been living abroad and these kind of opportunities.
Yes, I wanted to add that there is like this very, like very cute thing. Like, when I started working for them, they made me fill a document, which is called like working situation. So for example, I had to fill my working style. So like, for example, if I prefer, like talking instead of writing, I should just right there, okay, I prefer you to like call me instead of just writing me what I have to do, because I can understand better what you're asking me. Or like, if I prefer things visually, instead of like written, that is like very few that like, also like, when is the best time for me to have calls, it's like in the morning or at nighttime, or like, yeah, just in general, like how I am as a person as like an employee. So like, it's very, very cute. Also this stuff because like, they care about what you think, and also how you work because like, I can work in a way that it's not suitable for you. And if I know how you work, and you know how I work, we can just be like in the middle, like, we can just like reach each other in the middle and just like figure it out the way that we can actually communicate better so that your work is better. And my work is better to for example, like right now we are in 10 people, there was like 10 columns of people just like reading themselves and like, okay, I prefer you to call me because I feel like it's better for me, I prefer you to like to send me a picture instead of like writing me something one of my colleagues, and he's like, she prefers like, doing what she has to do, and then have meetings, because otherwise she has anxiety, because she still feels like she has things to do. So she prefers like doing what she has to do. And then meetings. So right now we know this. So we just scheduled the meetings later. So she's either have anxiety, so like the working situation is better, which I think is pretty cute. Like when I first heard of it.
it's all about makes our employees feel comfortable, and be feel like in a good team in a good place, which is completely different from the Italian way of finding a job. And yeah, it's so different. So I'm so happy that you're leaving.
And you said earlier that you went to the US before you did an au pair. So you already left Italy, you already went to the US. But this time because the situation is different, you're moving there more permanently and the career is different, the situation is different. Do you feel the same way now you're you're leaving, or it's completely different?
Oh, this time, I feel so much different. Because before like when I left, I knew that I was coming back. And I knew when I was coming back. Also, like at a time I had a boyfriend that I don't have any more. So like at the time it was like that it was like an important thing. So like I was leaving. But like part of me still was here. Like, of course for my family and friends. But also because I had a significant other over here. So I always felt like I was there. And I was doing my experience. But then like my life was still here. So that it's like a completely different way of living in. And also like when he came visiting me, I was very homesick like I've never been homesick before. But like, after he went away, I was like very, very homesick because I felt like my life was not there. And I had to come back. So but then like, what happened is that when I came back, I felt so unhappy because I was in Italy again. So that was like very, very weird for me. I couldn't understand why. And then I realized that it was just like, because I felt a little bit homesick. And that's the reason why but I actually didn't want to stay in Italy. And that's when I realized that I didn't want to stay like permanently. I didn't want to live my life in Italy. I knew that I was going to study there. So like I needed like three years to do my university. But like I knew that I wanted to go away. And I didn't know, still that I wanted to go to the United States, like I just knew that I wanted to go away. So like at the beginning, I was thinking about Germany, because I've been to Berlin many times this year, and I actually really, really love Berlin. And then this job opportunity came up but like I was never imagining myself coming back to United States because I felt like that experience was like maybe this is not the best place for me. But then I realized what happened which was like I was just like homesick and I was just like missing my boyfriend and family which is normal. And but like that's the place where I actually felt like myself because I could do and I could be whoever you want it to be and like for example when he arrived I was in Buffalo when he arrived again, he saw me like after six months I guess he was like oh, I don't recognize you anymore like after just six months and it was like how because like oh you have glasses you're just like dressed up in this way and like I just see you differently and it was like oh really and then sorry thinking like that that's true. Even if I've been to like the United Kingdom so many times when I was younger I never felt like England was my place just like for its vibe like I never felt like was like my place like I went to London many times but like I just like the city but I would never see myself leaving there. actually see myself more leaving in the United States. I don't know it's probably because it's like more far away. So I, I just feel like I'm more far away from people. And I could just actually be who I want to be and like, do whatever I want without being judged without being seen. Which is actually, I don't know, it's like my fear a little bit. Because I grew up in a small town. It's a small city, actually. But like, it's very small. So like, growing up, everybody knew my name knew my parents name. So everything I was doing, everybody knew about it. So like, I just want to do whatever and what without people knowing my name, and like knowing where I come from, and who was my parents are. So like, that's like the feeling that I want to get. And so yeah, and also like, because this job is in Los Angeles. So I will be doing that experience like in the other coast. Last time, I was like a New York. So like, that is like a completely different experience. And so like, I'm very, very excited to actually go there. Because I feel like right now is like the time where I did everything I studied, I did my job experience over here, I'm growing up. So I'm 23 next week. And so like, I can just, I can finally go without regrets. You know, we don't feel like I'm doing something wrong, I can just go and like, and I know that the people they're here for me are going to be here for me, even though it's there.
Yeah, because another thing, it would be hard to leave a part of your family, which is always hard to leave your friend, because your friends, the people you grew up with, it's hard to leave them and start a new life in another place. And I don't know if it's the same for you. But in my mind, I don't want to lose them. And thinking that I'm living another life in another part of the world. I'm worried that at some point, I will lose them. So I have to put more effort to keep this relationship alive this year in Italy because I care about them. I really love these people. And I wanted to see them every time I go back to italy so you have to put more effort. So what I'm trying to say is, how's your situation with your friends? Are you sad that you're leaving them? What's the situation with your friends?
When I first left, I was really scared of the same thing because I just finished high school. So it's also like the moment where you're probably going to lose your high school friends, because each one of them is going to do another experience like different university, maybe probably few of them are going to move away. So like that is like a very tough time for friends because you don't know what's going to happen. And so I just left right after my high school diploma, I went on vacation with my high school friends that summer, and then I left in August. So I was really scared that I was gonna lose a lot of my friends. But at the time, it was a really good experience for me, because I actually knew who my friends were because I knew who were the people that actually kept in touch with me. And I knew who I kept in touch with. So that time it was really, really important for me to actually just figure it out who were actually my friends and like real friends in real life. And not just like school friends, you know, just like people that you know, because you have to be with that time I was really scared. But then when I came back home was like, yeah, that's probably how you know who your real friends are. Because it doesn't matter where you are and what you're doing. But like it matters at the end of the day, or like at the end of the week, because people have stuff to do. So we don't have time to be on the phone all the time. Even if we live like right across the street. And like it doesn't mean anything. But then like my one of my high school best friends moved to London after we finished high school, and she still lives there. So like we see each other like three times a year, like and she's still one of my best friends. Like she's one of my closest friends. Even though she moved to London and we see each other like three, four times a year, we always keep in touch, we're always facetiming. And she's actually closer than a lot of people that I have physically closer to me, you know, so I am not afraid of that anymore. Like what I feel it's like if it's meant to be, it's gonna be otherwise, it's not like a real friendship, you know what I mean? Like, it doesn't matter where I am, where I will be or where there will be because probably like a lot of them are gonna move away or are doing like different stuff, like different jobs and different relationships and stuff like that. But like at the end of the day, like if you're really like a friend to someone, like of course, you have to put in more effort, like an extra call an extra video call, like an extra test, of course, because it's not like you can see them. So you have to put more effort in like typing or just calling but like, at the end of the day, it's like it's there's a bond, the bond has no distance for me. So like we have never been closer than before. And probably this situation made us even closer than we were before. So if people are going to be around, they're still going to be around, you know,
You're hundred percent correct. And also you're about to leave. And you're already on the right path of the way of thinking because one of the things I realize being away from Italy for seven years is that I'm closer to some people in Italy more than the people that live in the same town are still talking to some of my friends more than my friends are talking to each other in Italy. And even with my mom I have a better relationship with my mom than I used to have even when we're living under the same roof, I see some family member like you more than my brother does. You're totally right the distance actually make this relationship stronger. And every time you go back if you put that extra effort or I think even people realized that because you put that more effort, I don't know, maybe the relationship is more meaningful. So the the bond gets stronger, I don't know exactly,
Yeah, but it probably also because of this lockdown. Like, for example, my friend in London is in lockdown, like my friends over here are locked down. I have like friends in Italy, but they're not close to me. Like there's like two hours driving from where I live. And so we always kept in touch by just like calling each other and always being there for each other. Like when we were doing something like for example, I was like publishing on Instagram, like my work. And they were always like always reaching out and say, Oh, you did a great job. You know what I mean? Like, it's like the small little things. But like, just making sure that you are there for the person for every single step of their life path is really, really important for me, like instead of just like being there, and just like clubbing and drinking. So for that, which doesn't mean anything, like you can just do that stuff with whoever you want to do, by the end of the day, like the next day where you're going to call like your real friends. And no, they are going to be there for you. And probably even when I will be in the United States and I will be making having new friends. That doesn't mean I'm not going to call like my friend over here in Italy, or like my friend in London, because they're still the people that I really care care about a lot, as you said, like it makes you even closer and like the bond gets bigger and like more profound, in general.
Oh, totally, totally. And I want to dive a little bit deeper about the job career more like the technicality about leaving the country because yes, I usually interview people, that already left the country. And I'm lucky enough to having you just in the stage where you're about to leave, which is the goal of my podcast, I tried to help people in your situation on people that are wanting to leave their country with tips, resources, even like a motivation for the people that already did it. So in your case, I want to squeeze this occasion to get some information from you. First of all, we were talking about the way you find the job. And I found it like really interesting and I think could be a good tip to share. Because actually, you will tell how did you find the job?
Yeah, so last March, we were in lockdown in Italy. So and I was still studying, but I finished all my courses because I just needed to do like my last internship to graduate, I was just home doing like barely nothing. So I would just like starting a lot on my own for 3d. So I decided to open up like an Instagram page of my work. Like I already have my personal profile, but I wanted to open like a new one where I could just like publish all my work. Because nowadays, like portfolios, they're like, slowly fading away, because like they're like so much to do. And like sometimes you don't ever get and like, people are just like getting bored entire, like looking to like endless PDFs. So what they do, like in general, like, that's probably because like people are still obsessed, like are now obsessed for with TV series, because they're shorter than films and movies. So like before getting bored or like looking to like something that is like, that takes away a lot of your time. So like, Instagram is amazing. Like you just see a post, you just see a story. That's it. So that's really easy. So what I decided is like, yeah, let's open like an Instagram page. So like over there. And I just started like publishing all of my work like schoolwork and also like work that I did on my own. And I got one just like doing it. Like for practicing. But I was also publishing. So like, I didn't have a goal. I just wanted to like publish over there. So I didn't have to do a portfolio in which was like very good for me because I didn't like do it. Like my portfolio is like, I always felt like it was like a such a waste of paper. So like I was like, yeah, let me just publish an Instagram, it's actually way easier. Like you just send the link and they open it. So like after like a month or so. I got an email. I don't know where because I also had LinkedIn, but like they didn't text me over there. So I was like, Where is this coming from? So it was like this company la base looking for me and looking for someone for a 3d fashion designer. And I was like, Oh my gosh, what is this happening? How did they find me? And so we did this interview. And so in this interview, they were actually reviewing all of my Instagram posts. So it was like, Guys, do you need my portfolio or something like that, like additional images? And they were like, No, no, we're fine with your Instagram profile. Like this was prior to the interview. I was like, Okay, good. And they during the interview, they were just like okay, let's see, like your last post. Okay, we liked this one. We liked this one. So we were actually just like going through all of my profile. So I was like, Wow, so that's how they found me and actually like because I just opened my profile and I just use it for business. I think I had like 200 followers so it was like I was not popular. Not at all. So it was actually pretty weird that like, they found me in that way. So yeah, that's how they found me, which is pretty funny. And that's why I keep telling people, like, especially people that like working design in general, just like open your profile on Instagram, because like, look what happened to me, it can happen to you as well. So like, of course, use the other resources and use other things like LinkedIn, I did have it too. And I always keep it updated. But like, you'll never know, just use Instagram, because that's the most used social media right now. So please just use that because it's gonna be helpful even for job opportunities nowadays, and for example, that's also how we select photographers and stuff like that and graphic designers. That's the situation that we do. So do it.
Yeah, that's so interesting and funny, and definitely something different than I never thought about it. Because people apply for job like you said LinkedIn, Indeed, or those kinds of websites. And yes, Funny enough, you find the job, a great job and opportunity in different country just through Instagram. That's pretty that's pretty funny.
Yes, it's very, very funny.
Another thing I'd like to ask you, because your English is amazing. And I don't think you'll learn to speak such good English just being away for a year. Because I mean, among the sharpest tool in the shed. But when I went to New Zealand, I wasn't that good in English like you are after a year. So when did you start like learning English or what helped you to speak such good English even living in Italy?
Okay, so like I always had this kind of obsession with English growing up. I think that everything started because like, for example, when I grew up, I did not listen to Italian music because my mom was really into like, English music and like American music in general, like, my favorite band is Pink Floyd, which I was really scared of, I don't know, I was really scared of Pink Floyd music growing up and like, that's like the music that I grew up to. So probably that's like the language that I had in my mind. And then like, I started actually, I took like, my first lessons of English when I was in kindergarten, which I didn't know. Yeah, I was so into, like, my first English lesson was when I was three years old. And they were like teaching us numbers and letters. Like, of course, I'm three years old, I'm not gonna learn grammar, but like, and then I started it, of course, in elementary school. And then when I went to middle school, I started Of course, learning it way more and like learn grammar and stuff like that. But like, in my free time, even before all of this TV serious situation and like event is going on right now, in the last few years, I was usually spending all of my afternoons listening to music and looking for lyrics on the internet. And I was just actually translating them looking for new words that I didn't know. And that was really helpful for the pronunciation. Of course, like America is different. Like, for example, in songs, sometimes the grammar is not okay, like, they just use it for like a song wise, but like, I was always looking for new words, and always have this sound in my ear. So that helps a lot also, like studying grammar, because like I knew how sentences were made. So that really helped me studying grammar, like knowing why I was structuring a sentence in that way. Even if I knew that that was correct, because I heard it before. But like now, I could understand why you should like put the subject over here or like the object over there. So like, I couldn't understand why but like, and so that's when everything began. And at the time, because I was in middle school, I was like telling my parents like, I want to go to the United Kingdom, like I want to speak English. So first of all, they brought me to London, so that I was like the tour guide. So I was like speaking to everybody over there. But then like, I did like two summer programs where I went to the United Kingdom for two weeks by myself with this agency. The first year I was in a college because I was too young, I was 13. So I could not be in a house like with a family. So the first year was like in this college and I took like English lessons all day for like two weeks. And then like a year later, I went in a household so I was me and a friend of mine. So I went to this like very traditional English house with like very, very traditional English family. So I was there for two more weeks, then I needed to pick a high school because in Italy, we can actually pick which kind of high school you want to attend. So like you can actually specialize in languages or a science or arts, or maybe probably like computer science, like if you want to be an aesthetician or a hairdresser, like you can actually make your high school exactly,
Which is kind of the equivalent of college in North America or something like that.
Exactly. But like here we actually just decide before college what we want to do, which is like something it's sometimes it's tricky, because you're too young to know, but like in my case because I was really good in English and I was already taking like extra license in middle school. So I decide okay, I want to do it. Language is, so I studied languages and I studied English, French and Spanish. And so by the time I was finishing, I was like, I really wanted to learning English because I knew that I knew it. But like, I wanted to actually use it every day, because I felt like I wanted to actually practice it in real life, not just like for tests in high school or stuff like that, or just like for two weeks, and then I go back home, and it's fine, you know. So that's when I decided that I wanted to be an au pair for a year. And actually, I wanted to go to the United States when I left where my English was very, very good. But like, that's the moment where I actually started, like, acting and thinking, and, you know, everything was in English. So, um, yeah, it's always that always been in my mind that I kept growing. And I kept stunning. So that's why right now, I can say that I'm very good. But like, sometimes I just feel that I'm not. But like,
And right now you're waiting to go to the US. And the only thing that's stopping you right now is the visa process. The way you're waiting for the visa-
And Donald Trump.
Yeah, it's not gonna be around for long, hopefully.
And you said the company paid you to get a visa. And first of all, what kind of visa are they applying? And what kind of visa you are you going to get?
Okay, I said Donald Trump, because like Donald Trump on December 31, decided to ban the emission of visas until March. So that's why because like he wants to protect the American people that lost their jobs. So he doesn't want anybody coming in. But I don't know, we'll see. Because by the end, it's gotta go. So we'll see what's gonna happen. And so I'm applying to the J-1 visa, and I'm going to be a trainee, which means that my visa is going to last for a year, and after a year, each year, they're going to renew in it, they think it's going to be renewed. But yeah, I'm going to be a trainee, which means that I'm going there, because I just graduated, and we decided to pick this visa, because it was actually the easiest one to get. Because like, the expiration date is very limited, like it's just one year. So it's very, very much easier to get that kind of visa, instead of like a visa that has no expiration date, or that has like four years or five years, it's very much more complicated. And so we decided to get that one. So like in the future, we could get like another one, you know, but you already there. So it's actually pretty much easier if you are already there to get a new one. And if you are already working for this company, so it's like just, it was just like a decision that we made just because it was like easier to get because it's it's not actually easy to get a visa and to get it approved. Even if you have a company supporting you, because like I did not do anything in this process, like they did everything. So I didn't know like they took care of everything. So like, even if there is a company that is sponsoring you, as you said before, it doesn't mean that it's not going to be easy, because like the American government, once American companies to hire American people, of course, like if you're going to be an au pair, no big deal. Like you're going to be there for a year you go back home, like it's not a problem. But like if you're going there to actually just work for a company, it's so much more difficult. So that's what we decided, then we'll see what I think. And what I hope is that I can actually just stay there longer than like, a few years, but that we have to see also what's going to happen like because right now it's very easy to actually just like plan anything because of the, you know, global situation. So like we have to see, of course,
So you're seeing yourself like living long term in the US?
Yeah, I do see myself leaving over there. And we were speaking about it before, but like also like about the language part. Like when I'm speaking English, I feel like I can, you know, say whatever I want, I can be whoever I want. Like, for example, because of my style suffer that even when I was just like working in Milan, which is a fashion city. And I was going there in the morning, I did not dress very really or like very outstanding, but like it's just a little bit different than usual, you know, but I people were still looking at me weirdly, and stuff like that, which is a thing that never happened to me in the United States when I was in New York and stuff like that. It never happened to me, even like when I had colored hair and like right now when I'm just walking in the center of my town, sometimes I forget that I have blue hair. And so people are looking at me weirdly. And then I was like, Oh my gosh, what do I have on my face? You know what is going on? And then I'm just like, Oh, yeah, I forgot I have blue hair. And so, you know, it's like also like the open mindedness of this big series that it's the thing that I don't experience over here. Even if I'm in Milan, which is a big city like Italy. It's just not there yet.
Yeah, I can definitely imagine the face of the old lady.
Yeah, it happened to me two days ago. So it's pretty recent. Yeah. That's how it is.
And because you're so close to moving abroad, and you're so from what he told me, you're like a so ready to leave. But is there anything that scares you? And is there anything that kind of worries you?
No, at the moment, the only thing that scares me is the global situation about COVID. But that's the only thing and also because like, Los Angeles is the one of the major hotspot in the United States for COVID. So that's the only thing I'm worried about, like I, I'm free, and I'm safe over here. And that's the only thing that scares me the most. And also like shipping my computer. Because like, I really care about my computer. That's the only two things that I'm really scared about. But like, I'm not worried about like, Oh, my gosh, what I gotta do and stuff like that. I already have a house. I already have a job. I already know my roommates, because we've facedtimed before. Like, I think this is really important. Probably, like, if I didn't have a house, I would have probably been more scared and more worried the like, what I'm actually scared about right now. It's just like logistic stuff. So not just like me going there. Like, I really cannot wait, I hope it's gonna be like in a few weeks. And yeah, I'm totally ready to go.
I can tell.
Yeah. Really, really ready.
And speaking of logistics, what was the process? Because you said the company took care of the visa situation, what was left for you to do to get ready to leave, you said that you have to find a place to say you already found the house was anything else, you have to get ready to leave?
Oh, yeah, the only thing is that I'm waiting on the approval of my visa. And when that's done, I have to book the appointment and the embassy. The other things of course, like packing everything and just like sending everything and then just like booking for a flight, but then we'll see about that. Like, we'll see how much it will be? Of course, it depends from how much prior I can book it, because we'll see what's gonna happen. But like, yeah, that's like booking my flight, packing my stuff, and then just like, shipping my computer.
Which is the hardest of this part of the whole thing.
Yeah, because like, even if they ship it, I'm always gonna be scared that they're gonna break it because like, that's like, a thing that I really worked hard, worked very hard for. I saved a lot of money to get it. So it's like, and also it's like the thing where I work with. So like, it's really, really important. If it gets broken, like, it's gonna be a lot of issues because I work with my computer. So we'll see. But like, that's the only that's like my baby. That's the thing that I'm really, really scared of. But like, yeah, that's all the things that I have to do. Like it's done a lot. But like, yeah, it can take a lot a few days.
You said you had to go to the embassy after you got the visa. Why do you have to go to the embassy?
I still don't know why. I already got in, like last time. But like last time, I don't know what's gonna happen this time. But last time, I just went there with my all of my documents. And I think that they just check that you're a real person. Because the questions that they made me answer, were just like random questions like, What's your name? Where are you going to go? What's the name of your host mom? What's the name of your host kids? So it was just like generic questions. So it was not really like, they were not specific questions, they were just like, yeah, Hey, why are you gonna do and you know, where are you gonna go? I think that what they have to do is like this, like last time, I'm what I just went there, I answered a lot, like a few questions. And like, it took me like, three minutes totally. And then I just went back home and they just shipped me my visa.
Oh just an interview?
Yeah, just so normal interview, just like asking you like, what's your name and stuff like that, which is actually the same thing that happened to me. When I got to the US at the airport of New York, they asked me the same questions. And then I was like, Okay, bye, good to go. You know, I think it's gonna be the same, they're probably gonna ask me like, what's the name of my company? And like, what's my job and stuff like that?
Okay, do you have any advice or tips you want to give to the listener in your situation, or even people that are thinking of leaving their country?
I know that like, right now, it's very difficult to even, like, think about something like that. But just because like, it's very difficult to actually just, you know, get on a plane, because it's, you have to prove that you're going somewhere, why you're going and stuff like that. But like, if you think that you don't feel good, where you live in the country that you're living in, even if all your friends and families are there, that doesn't mean that you have to be there. Because, like right now we are in a situation where we can actually choose where we can go. So I think it's really important that people don't think that they are like, stuck where they are, but they can actually go wherever they want to go. And if you think that you want to go to the US or like Canada or for example, New Zealand or Australia, like if you think that those are the places that you really want to go. First of all, go there, travel over there and just like check the places First of all, just go there have a little experience, maybe like a few weeks and stuff like that. And then if you feel that you felt so much better in that place in that country, and you felt like you were more yourself, just do whatever you can and do whatever you you have to do to go there. But it's not that impossible right now. Just do it, you know, don't worry, don't think about it.
It's definitely out of it. And right now, if it's too hard to leave, you can always start planning ahead of the next move, either later this year, or maybe even next year. This is like a life changing decision doesn't have to happen overnight and can even happen. There's people that are waiting for years and years and years before they are allowed or able to leave their country. So if you're in the situation, even then you said try another country. And then when you move to a new country, I heard these two other people are the listeners, it takes about a year before you get used to a new environment. And you see the picture, if you're coming from a different culture and coming from different language. It is going to take time to adjust to a new situation. So give yourself your time to get used to it and figure out if that's the place you want to be.
Sometimes you realize, no, I actually love my country, I want to go back and just because you move abroad, it makes you realize that actually, that's the place you belongs. Sometimes that's the path you have to take. There's like a boyfriend or girlfriend sometimes you need the drunk person to understand which which one is right for you.
You need. Yeah, exactly. That's the same thing. Yeah, for example, there's like this friends of my friend moved from here, she went to London. And after four years, she decided to come back because she felt like she was better over here. Like she just went away for four years. And then she came back. And she's doing the same job as she was doing before. But like, she had an experience. And now she knows that she finds herself better over here doesn't mean that if you go you can now come back. You know, you can come back.
Exactly. Awesome. Thank you. Thank you very much Ele for taking the time today.
Thank you, Danny. Thank you.
If anybody wants to get in touch with you. Maybe you want to see the work you do. How people can find you?
Oh yeah. So on Instagram, like my personal profile is called xelisechelon on which is spelled xelisechelon. And the other profile that I have is my work profile, which is casce.less which is spelled casce.less which is dot and then l e s s.
Two weird names.
Yeah, two weird names. Like I just people keep asking me like, what's the reason why? And I was like, Yeah, I don't know. I like the letters. But if there's no meaning I just like how the letters look.
You close your eyes and start typing on the keyboard.
Just like yeah, this how I made my first nickname on Instagram.
I will definitely add all the links and everything in the show notes for people to find you.
Yeah it'll be easier to find the link in the show notes. Awesome Ele thank you so much. And I wish you all the best. I hope you can leave Italy as soon as possible.
Just keep you updated and see if how everything goes into sunny LA.
Of course. Of course of course.
Okay, thank you so much Ele.
Thank you. Bye bye.
Thank you so much for tuning in this week. You can find the show notes at emigrantslife.com/episode34. If you found this episode useful, you can share with your friends or you can leave us a review on Apple podcast and pod chaser. Also, if you want to leave your country and you need help, don't hesitate to contact me. I'd be happy to do whatever I can to help you. So feel free to contact me via email at email@example.com or send me a text through social media. You can find me on live on any social media platform. And if you want to be on the show and share your story, you can visit eemigrantslife.com/yourstory. Thanks again for listening. Talk to you in the next one. Ciao.
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