I have a friend, H, who lives in a small country in Europe called Estonia. She always talks about coming to America. Whenever her parents ask her where she wants to go on vacation, her first response is always, “America”. Whenever anyone asks her what she wants to be, or where she wants to live when she is older, she always says, “I do not know what I want to be yet, but I want to move to America.” This has caused me to wonder: What is so special about America? Why come here? I personally have never been to Europe, but whenever my parents ask me where I want to go on vacation, I always have a different reply. Sometimes it is a different state in America, sometimes it is somewhere in Europe, and sometimes it is somewhere else in the world. Whenever anyone asks me where I want to be or where I want to live when I am older, I automatically say “I do not know what I want to be yet. As for where I want to live, I do not know for sure which state yet, but maybe New York or Illinois?” I have never even thought of moving outside my home country. So why is H so set on coming to America? Why do I only consider staying in America?
Ever since America was founded, there have been many documents such as the Bill of Rights and the Constitution to protect us. Americans have freedoms such as: freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of petition, etc (US Const. amend. I, sec. 1-5). The government also protects its citizens on many levels. For example, the state government employs police, who protect us from danger, and the federal government protects us from financial problems such as having no money, with programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). These are all American values that are part of our American creed.
Estonia shares most of these values as well. So why does H still want to move to America when she is older? Her main reason is the culture of America. So many different people from different backgrounds and different parts of the world all come and live side by side in this melting pot. That is one thing that really distinguishes America from any other country. In Estonia, most of the people there are Estonians whose family and ancestors have lived there for many years, and everyone knows each other. H wants to experience living in a city where you can meet new people everyday.
There are also more opportunities in America. America is 217 times bigger than Estonia (United States is about 217 times bigger than Estonia). About three Estonias could fit into Michigan alone. Imagine how many more types of businesses and jobs there are here. Also, in Estonia, schooling is very different. In H’s class, there are only five people, and they have all of their classes together for up to eight years. At Okemos, there are about thirty different people in each of our classes. There are also fewer colleges in Estonia, and jobs are more competitive and limited than in the US.
Our values, cultures, and beliefs that make up our American Creed are really attractive to foreigners who may have different ways of living and want a change. People want to come to America because our American creed is attractive to them. What do you think are some other reasons that people from other countries are so eager to come to America?
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 2000. Internet resource. Accessed 15 October 2019. https://www.cms.gov/.
“Size of United States Compared to Estonia.” MyLifeElsewhere, Accessed 15 October 2019. https://www.mylifeelsewhere.com/country-size-comparison/united-states/estonia.
United States Constitution. Art./Amend. I, Sec. 1-5. Accessed 15 October 2019. https://constitutionus.com/.