Immigrating to Illinois: Sharing experiences


People from all over the world share their experiences.

Packing up all of your belongings and moving to a new state or country is no easy task, yet there are students at DGS that have undertaken this life-changing endeavor. Each of them have stories to share about their experiences of where they came from.

Chicago is the most populous city in the Midwest, so there is no question as to why families would like to immigrate to the state of Illinois. Junior Milia Saei explained what it was like moving from Syria to Illinois.

“I moved to Illinois when I was eight years old. The transition was very hard because I didn’t know how to speak English well so I had to learn a new language, make new friends and get used to a whole new part of the world,” Saei said.

Everyday life in other countries can be very different compared to everyday life in the United States. When living in smaller towns with fewer people, it’s more likely for everyone in that town to know each other and get along well.

“I didn’t come from a big city. It was very small and I had family around me at all times. Everyone in our city knew each other, and it was just very simple and way less modern,” Saei said.

Not everyone enjoys the transition of moving to a new area. Coming from a smaller town, people have a larger opportunity to experience suburban life. However, those that move from a city or large town might not feel they have enough to do.

Junior foreign exchange student Milo Joubert-Paget shared his experiences so far in Illinois.

“It’s colder but sunnier out here, I like how we’re close to [Chicago] because in France I lived in the countryside but if I could go back I would, all my friends are back home and plus I don’t like the snow,” Joubert-Paget said.

Another challenge teens can face when moving to a new area is trying to fit in. After leaving everything and everyone they had known it seems to be hard to try and restart.

Getting used to a new area and having to create new bonds can be a difficult challenge for some. Junior Sara Scolan shared how she felt when first moving to Illinois.

“I moved from Omaha to here in sixth grade and at first, I really wanted to go back because I missed my old life. It was rough transitioning to school because everyone had their friend groups and had memories with each other, luckily I was able to make friends fast but that was definitely one thing that I considered hard,” Scolan said.

Moving to a new state isn’t always bad. There are good experiences that people can remember for the rest of their life. Illinois is one of the most diverse states in the United States, making it a welcoming place for people of all ethnicities to come and continue their lives.

Junior Jaylen Welch talked about why he enjoyed moving to Illinois.

“I love living in Illinois because there is so much to do. I came from Heflin, Alabama, and it was a very small town, there was never anything fun to do and I was always bored, but when I moved to Downers Grove that all changed. I can engage in more fun things and fun activities,” Welch said.