Moving to a new country is like moving to a new job.
You’re super stoked your hard work paid off but on the inside you’re secretly petrified.
Good thing career girl and freelance writer Larissa Lima has got the low down for us!
Larissa is a Brazilian native who kick started her career in fashion journalism in Sao Paulo before living the freelance dream in New York City.
Get ready to take note team, because in this interview Larissa dishes the tea on all things Visa’s, making new mates and how best to prepare yourself for moving to a new country.
Larissa in 2016 you and your partner made the move from Sao Paulo, Brazil to the United States. Do you remember how you felt when you first made the move?
It was a big change! I had always dreamed about having an international experience and I felt like moving was a unique opportunity that I couldn’t miss out on. Especially not due to fear or any other feeling like that.
I’ve always had an interest in learning and speaking English and I wanted life experience outside of Brazil so moving was a no-brainer.
There will plenty of people who can relate to that! What made you pick the United States?
I love to share this part of my story because it was an unexpected sequence of events. I didn’t actually plan to move to America, I would say it was “destiny.”
When I met my boyfriend (now my current husband) he was already waiting for a response from a student exchange in Australia and for some reason, he didn’t get his Visa approved.
In the meantime I got fired from my job and, as a result, I received a reasonable sum of compensation. My boyfriend convinced me to invest the cash in an exchange program in Boston, Massachusetts. He has family there and if we moved there, we’d be able to stay with them for a time and save some money.
As soon as I decided to take the plunge, I figured everything out and two months later we were there! We rushed to get our Visa’s and packing sorted quickly because we wanted to arrive early enough to enjoy the summer season.
So what advice do you have for other young women who are thinking about moving to a new country?
Although I didn’t have much time to plan properly, planning is a crucial part of the process!
I would say save as much money as you can and do detailed research about the bureaucracies who look after processing your Visa and other required documents.
Also! Find out if you have any relatives or friends living in the city that you’re moving to. It’s super helpful because you can ask for suggestions or maybe even have a place to stay while you sort yourself out.
And lastly, get to know your future neighbourhood! Research online and chat to people who’ve been there before you go. And once you arrive, join groups, hang out in coffee shops, bars, and make new friends — they will help you to build your network!
Speaking of networks, starting over in a new city is no mean feat. How have you built new professional connections in New York City?
I’ve tried to attend as many workshops, events, conferences, and exhibitions as I can. Because of that, I often connect with people who have a lot to share. I’m also a member of the Novella, a monthly writing club & storytelling salon for all women based in NYC.
As a writer, moving to a new country meant switching from Portuguese to English. Has it been difficult writing in a second language?
Oh, yeah! I’m still struggling with it because I push myself a lot to be “perfect” at writing in both languages.
Last question! What’s your favourite thing about NYC?
The assortment of things to do! There’s always some event, exhibition or a new cool place to get to know; no matter what your interests are. You never get bored in NYC!
Inspired by Larissa’s journey? Read her full Career Chat here where we learn how she landed her first big job in fashion and how she made the transition from in-house journalist to freelance writer.
Still keen for more? Check out Larissa’s advice on how to get into fashion journalism in Advice from a fashion journalist.
Have you moved overseas and happy to share your tips for success with our audience? Comment below or flick us an email, we’d love to hear from you 🙂
Until next time,