OWL Magazine Korea

“Decided to Live in the United States” by Park So-na

Recently, there has been a sudden surge in interest in immigrating to the United States. Perhaps influenced by reading books on “SpaceX” and “Elon Musk,” as well as encountering Dr. Kim Jae-woo’s book “Time in Silicon Valley,” the idea of working alongside top talents in the United States naturally crossed my mind.

As a result, my curiosity about life in the United States transitioned into books about “U.S. immigration.” I borrowed several relatively recent books on the subject, and the first one I read was “Decided to Live in the United States” by author Park So-na.

In her book, Park So-na shares her experiences of moving to the United States abruptly and living with her family. The narrative primarily revolves around her insights into “American life.” Starting with her move to New York, she describes the process of obtaining a green card and adapting to American society.

The book, written from the perspective of parents raising a child struggling with English, covers various episodes related to this theme. Initially unable to speak English, Park So-na worked for a travel agency operated by a Korean, only to discover later that the agency owner was a fraud. The book details her challenges, success in the subsequent job, and eventual decision to quit work due to the birth of her second child.

After moving from New York to California, specifically Orange County in Irvine, Park So-na reestablishes herself, sending her children to school. The book concludes with her story of applying to and working as a teacher’s assistant in a school in that area.

“A book covering adaptation after U.S. immigration”

“Decided to Live in the United States”. focuses not on the immigration process or preparations before moving but rather on the experiences of a Korean family that has already completed the entire immigration process and settled in the U.S.

From Korean parents who initially couldn’t speak English, the book unfolds a growth story of gradually becoming proficient in English, establishing a place in American society, and building a career. Being a book written by a mother raising an elementary school student, it provides ample insight into a mother’s perspective.

Especially for mothers contemplating raising a child in the United States, the book serves as a valuable reference. At the end of each chapter, useful information is summarized to aid readers.

“The detailed procedure for obtaining a green card is not extensively covered.”

However, there is a sense of regret. For many contemplating immigration, obtaining a green card can be a challenging process. Since the book skips over most of the green card application process, and given that the U.S. operates on a credit-based society, having no green card significantly reduces the chances of finding a job in the U.S.

This difficulty in obtaining a green card and the challenges of starting a career in the U.S. lead many international students who come to the U.S. for education to struggle and eventually return to their home countries.

Personally, this aspect intrigued me the most, prompting me to borrow and read the book. Unfortunately, the author’s husband handled the entire green card process, and most of that journey was omitted, leaving me somewhat disappointed. Despite this, as mentioned earlier, the book holds significance in offering glimpses into how a Korean adapts to American society after obtaining a green card. Especially for parents considering educating their children in the U.S., it proves to be a helpful guide.

“Decided to Live in the United States”