Wind on Your Back

Immigrants are in general risk takers and are motivated by achievement. Consequently, they have been rewarded as they built profitable businesses, achieved leadership in social and political space, and became doctors, engineers, and scientists.

Immigrants, having experienced discomfort of cultural immersion, are in general liberal in their orientation. They are more likely to be successful in Universities and their median income surpasses that of those who did not take risk of moving away from home. That is why advisers say to the students heading to study abroad – that “Wind is on your back” – meaning statistics of succeeding is in their favor. And Don’t Wreck the boat by distractions. Be focused on studies, getting a H-1B, getting green card and becoming a citizen.

Changing attitude towards immigrants in the host country can change the above narrative. Future immigrants cannot call the host country as their home unless they share the burden of creating wealth. Competing for jobs and being good at it will create tension. Enterprising, innovating, creating jobs will be looked up by their hosts.

You should look at the whole idea of immigration differently. You should treat new home as a resource to unleash your creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship capabilities. Several Universities have Living learning communities for startups or incubating labs. Universities curriculum are being modified to award credits for ideation, creating proof of concept, pitching for Venture capitalists and so on. Universities in turn have incentives as those successful alumni will give back. Your new home will be grateful to you for creating jobs and driving business. You will be satisfied as your idea of immigration is after all not self-serving.

Today’s international students who are potential immigrants should look beyond classroom success and gaining University degree. In a way, you have to behave as though you were like those early immigrants who discovered new land.