Noemie

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6,223 kmfrom home
#iamamigrant
"The positive part of migration is that you become more cultured and enriched, and hopefully you can pay that forward wherever you go."
Noemie
Current Country: 
Switzerland
Country of Origin: 
United States

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"I was born in Paris, France — my dad is French and American, my mom is Swiss, American, French and she's of Haitian descent. So I had a bit of a link to Switzerland but I had never lived here before moving to Geneva. When I was born my family was based in Croatia, and we later moved to Serbia and New York before coming to Switzerland. I was young but I have a few memories of my time in Serbia; there was a huge garden that I used to love running around in, and I also remember the time when the Serbian Princess came to my school. 

After leaving Serbia we went to New York for four years; I was in school, I used to go to the theatre after school sometimes and I could go into the city to hang out with my friends. We would go to museums and do all kinds of different activities — sightseeing, biking around Central Park and ice skating were some of my favorite hobbies.

I’ve only been in Switzerland for a year, since 2016, so I’m still discovering the city. Migration means moving, adapting to new places, and becoming more cultured, because of all the different experiences you go through. I would apply the term migrant to myself because I’ve moved around a lot, and I feel like I’ve become quite flexible and open-minded because of it, but I’ve realized that I can’t really set my roots down in one place. If I make a really good friend, we can be friends for four years or maybe a bit more, but after that I know that I’m going to move on so it’s a bit hard to have a grounded friendship. I go to an international school here in Geneva, and I know that many of the people around me will end up leaving too so I have to make many different friends. But I’m an extrovert and I’m quite social so it’s not too hard, but I always try to make the most of the friendships that I do have. All the different technologies available also make it easier for me to keep in touch with people after they leave or after I do.

Home is a place you can go to feel safe, and you have friends and family there. Even though I’ve moved, I still think New York is home — I miss the liveliness and the diversity there. You could see everything in one day, all kinds of different things and people, and I miss the skyscrapers too. I need to experience Geneva more and get to know my classmates better to feel more settled here because I’m still quite new. There’s a positive side and a negative side to migration: the negative side is that it’s hard to make friendships that will last forever because you know you’re going to move. The positive part is that you become more cultured and enriched by the experience, and hopefully you can pay that forward wherever you go next."

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s):

 

https://together.un.org            http://usaim.org/            https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org