Xiaoyong Olsen

“More than 40 years ago, one morning in a small village in Northwest China, as usual a little girl went to her neighbor’s house to chat with her 60 years old friend. She told her friend that one day when she grew up she would take her to America, Great Britain… This scene had been recalled several times after the little girl grew up.”


Abebe Workneh 

 “On July 2014, when I came to America, the living style was different from Ethiopia. When I came to America, I could not speak English very well, I have had good, bad life in America, and in the Ethiopia. My problem in America was communication. I had a trouble communicate with native speakers.”


Yesenia M.
Age: 21

“I was born in Denver, Colorado. My story began hard when I born and my father was in prison. My mother had to take care of me and live with my father’s family. My dad was in prison for 2 years”


Nasima Zahedi 

From Kabul, Afghanistan. “ I never actually imagined myself coming to America, of course, though I did believe that if I did I would not be so naïve as to experience culture shock of any sort. After all, wasn’t English my primary language, and wasn’t I well-versed in the literature, classic films, and history of the West? So when I did eventually decide to travel to the States for my undergraduate education, culture shock was the very last thing on my mind.


Mayra Lopez

27 years old, from Amatitlan, Guatemala. “After moving to Colorado my mom was able to get a job and my brother and I were placed in school. School was very difficult because of the language barrier. I remember not being able to ask to go to the bathroom because I didn’t know how to speak English and crying when I couldn’t tell the lunch lady my lunch number to eat. However, I loved going to school. In Guatemala school is not free so I was always so happy to go to school.


Amina Ahmed

Age not mentioned, from Somalia. “To get to where I am at in life today, I endured many struggles in my early years living in Somalia during the civil war, and thus I am able to lead a better life and plan for a better future. I was born in Somalia during the Civil War. Somalia at the time was in the middle of a long civil war that affected many people’s lives.

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