Mixing In

One family's story of coming to the US

Haley Elder, Entertainment Editor

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Two years ago, senior Rashmi Chataut and her twin siblings, juniors Ayush and Akankshya Chataut, immigrated to the United States of America. They came with hopes to receive a better education than what was offered in their homeland of Nepal.

To them, coming to the U.S. was similar to winning the lottery—literally. In Nepal, the Chatauts came through a program called the Electronic Diversity Visa.

“The Electronic Diversity Visa is like a lottery. You fill it out and hope to be selected. If you are and they see that you are a good person, you get to come to America,” Rashmi said.

Citizens fill out their information and wait for almost half a year to see if they have been selected to receive a visa. After falling into the lucky 25 percent, Rashmi, Ayush, Akankshya, and their single mother, Sangita, completed a series of interviews.

“These interviews are to make sure that they are not letting any bad people in,” Akankshya said. “They are to make sure we are genuine.”

After that, they were packing and getting ready for their move to America. Their whole process, from filling out papers to packing, lasted almost two years. They have lived in the U.S. for two years since and are still not considered citizens, but instead are green card holders.
During their original travels, the Chatauts were in awe with the landscape of the U.S.

“We came to Omaha from Chicago in the nighttime. We flew over all the lights and the cities. It was really an amazing view,” Ayush said.
However, upon arrival, they were met with some difficulties. They faced problems with language, transportation and the whole order of things.

“When we came here we had to stay with family friends. We did not have social security numbers. We did not have a car. We would walk twenty minutes to school everyday,” Rashmi said.

Their first year in the U.S., the Chatauts attended Ralston High School. They struggled at first with understanding English-speakers. But as time went on and they received help from their teachers, language became less of a problem for them.

“When we first arrived, I did not understand English very well,” Ayush said. “When someone is a fluent English-speaker, they talk really fast.”
The family was also faced with a completely different education system. In Nepal, the students graduate after grade 10. Only the top students and the richest families are able to afford college. Student loans are hard to come by and scholarships are nonexistent. This dramatically contrasts how the education system in the U.S. is set up.

Two years after settling, they are adjusted and comfortable with their new lives. They have overcome the adversities of immigration and blended into the mix of America. The United States of America is known as the land of opportunities. And that is exactly why people come here—that is exactly why the Chatauts are here.

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Mixing In