Here’s the next installment of my Success Stories series. This time it’s all about Gyscha, an expat from Indonesia, who took action on a job opportunity at Disney World in Orlando, FL. She also has a great tip on where to get a huge variety of international food. Enjoy!
Why did you decide to move to America and what do you do?
I’ve always wanted to work in the entertainment industry and I thought Disney would be a perfect place for me to explore myself and open doors to other opportunities. So I applied to Disney last year and surprisingly they called me back after a few months waiting and waiting, offered me a chance to represent my country Indonesia – introducing Indonesian and Asian culture to the guests in Disneyland Orlando. I used to be a Balinese dance teacher back home and did some performances in Malaysia, and have always wanted as well to introduce Indonesian culture to the world, so I thought, hey you know what, I’ll give it a try.
How did you get your visa? Tell us a little bit about this process.
The process was really fast and easy. So many people told me, the process would be hard, difficult, but the moment when I received the offer letter from my company, I knew the whole visa process would be so easy and fast. I had no problem at all, I received all my documents on time, made appointment with US Embassy and got my visa less than 2 weeks. Next thing I knew, I booked my ticket, packed my suitcase full of dreams to America.
What was the most difficult part of your immigration?
I was so lucky my company provided me all the information for the visa process and they guided me really well. I was nervous during the interview at the embassy, but the interview turned out fun and easy. I guess the officer caught how happy and excited I was to work in America after years working hard and waiting. Even in the immigration at the airport, I didn’t have any trouble at all. Everything went well!
What techniques worked best for you to learn English?
Ha, I remember I was only 6 years old and I spoke very little English but I was very confident to talk with my English teacher or any foreigners I met – simply because I just wanted to practice my English. I guess the best techniques would be, do lots of conversation in English. Lots of reading and writing too!
Is there anything that you miss from home other than family?
Indonesian food!! I wish they have Indonesian restaurants here in Orlando.
Have you had a culture shock yet? Please share some examples.
Nope, haven’t had any culture shock yet.
What are the biggest differences between every day life in Indonesia and America?
I think I’m glad to actually escape from Jakarta’s hustle bustle. We – Jakartans – really used to get stuck in traffic for hours. While here, it’s pretty easy to get around without traffic,so practically that makes my life a lot easier, less stress.
Have you found a good source (in-store or online) to buy Indonesian food in America?
Yes. I have shopped a lot with www.efooddepot.com! They have Teh Botol and some other spices.
Tell me 3-5 things you would take back to Indonesia from the USA.
- Definitely all memories with some lovely people I work with in Disney. I learnt a lot about respect, being creative, love, never settle for less, they inspired me to create more.
- Some Disney souvenirs and mugs.
- If only I could bring those princesses back home with me, all my girls, my nephew and nieces would be so happy to see Snow White, Tiana, Ariel, Anna and Elsa from Frozen.
What are the most important steps you would advice every new expat to take right after immigration?
As a new expat moving into a new place, I’d suggest them to check out some expat blogs or websites, attend some networking events. Meeting the local people and other expats will make it so much easier and fun to settle in new places.
You’re blogging at Travelagys.com and share your beautiful photography. Why did you start your website and what are your plans with it?
I just finished my South East Asia trip in 2010 and I had tons of pictures just sitting at my computer. I love photography and stalking on good blogs, and one day I thought, maybe I should start my own travel page. My goal was very simple, I wanted to share my experience and help travelers with budget and travel info – especially for those planning to visit Asia. Travelagys represents those independent, brave, smart, fun, fearless women who dare to travel the world, find herself, celebrate life and love, dream big and never settle for less. I can tell you guys, blogging is fun ! I learn a lot about photography, writing, I want to inspire my readers – get them to travel more.