“Prices always rise”

As a teenager, Elijah from Samara moved to the USA to study, where it continues to receive education for several years. In the framework of the cycle about the compatriots living abroad “Tape.ru” publishes the story of a Russian about life in new York.

At 16, I moved to the United States on a student visa F-1, first enrolling in a private school The Masters School, and then at Fordham University school of business in Manhattan, which took only 80 people per year. After the first year of the University even went to get a grant for outstanding academic success.

the F-1 Visa to was very easy, you need only a document proving enrollment in an educational institution. After that, the process always went smoothly. The only thing that did not like and still don’t like is the fact that student visas issued to Russians for exactly a year and every year you need to renew (pay the fee, send to the Embassy your passport, as a rule, to leave the United States). While my friends from Kazakhstan visa given immediately to four years of study. It’s a little sad.

the Decision to study in the USA was shared with my family — parents always looked to the West, has repeatedly been in many countries in Europe and in the United States. When the question about my further life, we chose the States because of the employment in Europe quite difficult. I the idea of education in the United States have adopted with enthusiasm.

Here I must pay tribute to parents: I am very grateful to them, as they supported me on every step of the delivery of exams, preparation of documents, finding housing. They provided me before was to find a job and to start a YouTube channel (Ilya publishes videos about life in the United States on the channel GoHello). I often write the guys from Russia who want to go abroad to study, but this is prevented by parents, but their support is most important.

I had a certain idea about US from previous trips, but to come here as a tourist and live on a permanent basis, to education, to seek work, to make contacts is completely different, disparate things. Many have the impression that, living in new York, every day you walk through times square, meet the stars, enjoy the city, but it’s not. This you can do in those rare moments when there is free time, which in busy metropolis very little.

shared A post by Ilya Levyant (@ilevyant) on Oct 10, 2017 at 1:46pm PDT

students are generally not free time: almost every day in parallel with the training is the job or internship, and often it’s not done for money but for experience in summary. I myself is no exception: in the second year I took the unpaid internship in one of Russian banks, and this year is already practiced in the us and get the money. Yes, by American standards, my income is very small, but for me it’s more precious experience than the opportunity to earn. The money will come later.

the first time was hard, but it’s understandable: you’re breaking up your life, with friends, with home. You have to live in a new language environment, and no matter how well you know English (and I knew him very well for the Russians), you’re still faced with lack of understanding. It took several months before I felt that I understand 99 percent of speech new American friends. But this fact once again confirms that the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in the language environment.

In the first year, I helped the parents: they tried to visit as often as possible, and mom almost all the time lived in the United States. Generally, when moving to a new place, starting a new life, it is important to have people who will listen and support. For me these people were my parents and the girl — despite the distance, we always keep in touch.

Visiting the old ownership // Checking out my Alma Mater #Masters

shared A post by Ilya Levyant (@ilevyant) on Dec 2, 2016 at 12:01pm PST

housing in new York is very difficult – the prices here are always growing. But in recent years, this is particularly acute due to the large influx of Chinese students. First year University I lived in a Dorm, but it was too expensive. Then I went in search of the apartment.

In new York, this option is best for several reasons. First, it is really cheaper. Second, there is no control by the University: do what you want, how they want and when they want. This is especially hated in the hostel: there was a time when I couldn’t invite his girl to the frat house and had to walk her through the secret passages. Well, and thirdly, it is always nicer to have my own room and not sharing it with the African-American neighbor. By the way, Derek (his name) left me a good friend. It was the first American that I had to share the space, and I’m learning a lot about Americans, having lived with him for a year in one room.

YouTube Video channel “Go Hello”

Now rent an apartment with two Americans in the area of long island city in Queens, which Is about 20 minutes from my University. The area is very actively developed — it offers amazing panorama over Manhattan.

as for the service, there is a point that annoys not only me — the size of tips in restaurants and cafes. In the United States is considered an insult if you left less than 10 percent of the order for tea. The fact that the salaries of waiters below the minimum and they live solely on tips, so and so is quite expensive meals in restaurants become really expensive after the added taxes and compliments to the waiter. But not going anywhere, want to live in new York and going to restaurants — pay.

shared A post by Ilya Levyant (@ilevyant) on Jun 12, 2017 at 12:34pm PDT

For me, it was a shock, but for almost all of my American friends I am the first Russian, whom they had to communicate. Of course, there are guys whose parents immigrated to the US at 80-90, they know Russian, but born in the States and consider themselves Americans. I was born and 16 years living in Samara, so for many Americans, I first “real Russian”.

Received me very well here generally have a culture of communication with those who have come from another country. And it is clear, after all, the US — Melting Pot or melting pot of hundreds of Nations and nationalities, so the attitude towards visitors is appropriate. Of course, I asked questions like “do You only drink vodka?” or “you are on the streets bears go?”, but it is more of jokes and gags that I was never offended. I ask simple questions about Russia familiar to Americans, and some of the answers have amazed me! The main Association of Americans with Russia — Putin, vodka, cold. Many said that they had tasted our food. Many have Russian friends.

the Americans are very interested in Russia and Russian. My friends from University are always asking about Russia, about people and especially about the kitchen. Its 20th anniversary I celebrated at the Russian restaurant Mari Vanna to local buddies finally tried my favorite dishes. They are also very interested in culture and art. My neighbor johnny, for example, is constantly asking about the Russian group, we went together to a concert of the group “Mumiy Troll” in new York, and he was delighted.

somewhere behind plays Mumiy Troll, and I’m happy that he introduced the person with a part of our culture😋 johnny said that was your trip – I hope not lying!

shared A post by Ilya Levyant (@ilevyant) on Feb 10, 2018 at 8:37pm PST

the Most important thing for me now — with honors to graduate from the University, to continue to work at Morgan Stanley, to make more friends, and further develop YouTube channel. Having already 185 thousand people, and I feel some responsibility. To continue to develop it I can, just being in new York. That is why I hope that in the next few years my life would be associated with America. This, of course, does not mean that I do not miss Russia. It is very likely that one day I will return, as the education and the experience that I currently get can be useful at home.

More stories about the lives of Russians who moved to other countries — in the story “Russian abroad”. If you want to tell your story of immigration, send a letter via e-mail life@lenta-co.ru.