My parents moved to the U.S. for a better life, but I’m returning to Asia for job opportunities

Fast Company has profiled several Americans who, as summed by the title of the piece: “My parents moved to the U.S. for a better life, but I’m returning to Asia for job opportunities.” It was noted how for many Asian Americans, living and working in Asia is linked to a desire to spend time in their parents’ hometown or get reacquainted with their mother tongue. Among those profiled in the article:

  • Judy Tsuei (Taiwan). “They [her parents] were like, ‘Why? What the hell are you doing?’ Putting myself in their shoes, it must be so weird because they worked so hard to get out of the country to go to America. And then I was like, ‘Well, I’m just going to go back to where you left.’”
  • Bridget Cheng (Hong Kong). “My parents moved to the States for better opportunities, but since they moved, Asia has changed so much. Things have flipped, and I want to have that international experience on my resume…I feel like this is an itch I need to scratch. But I also don’t want to move just to move. I want to make sure it’s a good career move and that I’m not taking a pay cut for it.”
  • Sonia Sen (India). “My parents think it’s cool that I’m learning the hard way what they had to go through. But honestly, I think I’m getting a very, very different side of India [as an expat] than they did… “[My parents] came in December, and it was kind of a funny experience. I was like, well I live here, and you guys are just visiting.” Sen says her parents would point to something that happened on the street or in the news, and quip, “Well, this is why we left.”

The article went on to note that many people are choosing not to leave India or other Asian countries in the first place. During grad school, Sen said she was surprised at how many Indian students wanted to return to India, despite having gone abroad for school:

“That was surprising, seeing how much pride people my age still had about India. They all got tech jobs in Silicon Valley and New York, but the idea of going back to India was something they welcomed.”

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