photo credit: IOM/Thomas Marchal
"I come from Italy, and I left my country when I was 16 years old to go to the United States so I have always considered myself a migrant. For any who chooses to migrate, learning a new language can be the hardest part of the journey. I was lucky because the language aspect was not too much of a challenge, and after I learned the rules in my new home, things were easy for me.
I currently live in Belgium, so I am still away from my native Italy. There are differences in the way people interact with each other compared to the way things are done in Italy. I do of course miss the food, the culture and my friends – Italy will always be special to me. But Brussels is home now and I am happy to be abroad, learning about other cultures, while taking on new experiences and challenges.
My advice to those who choose to migrate is to learn the language of your destination country first, and then be patient while you adjust to your new space. There are challenges along the way, and for some people this means facing racism, which is one of the worst. Racism comes through the generations and often boils down to a lack of education. By helping others to integrate, we can work to fight against it."