Top 3 Reasons Why California Is an Ideal Home for Foreign Assignees

Homesickness is one of the challenges foreign assignees face upon relocation to their new workplace, and acceptance in a culturally diverse society is one of the best support systems that a global mobility professional can rely on to help provide a solution.

An Asian, European, and African will do his best to fit into his new community. There will certainly be a few expected bumps along the way.  No matter how willing the assignee is to learn about his new home’s cultural and corporate practices, there will be small but important moments where he fails to understand an American idiom or circumstance.

To help him blend in and boost his self-confidence, he has to feel that he has been given an adequate learning curve and space. A society that is culturally diverse will help him realize that differences are recognized and respected, and that avenues of communication are open to him and the people whose beliefs, practices, and behavior might differ from his own.

In short, he has to feel the freedom that he can explore this brave new world open to him, while sharing his own culture without fear to his newfound friends.

One such location which assignees have happily discovered as a foreigner-friendly place to relocate to, along with their friends and families, is Northern California. Throughout history, Northern California (as well as its southern neighbor) has been regarded as haven for immigrants, journeymen, adventure-seeking brave souls, as well as the world-weary longing for hope. Historically, it has always evoked images of new beginnings –and because it draws in pilgrims and entrepreneurs from other countries, it has created an atmosphere where differences in culture are honored and celebrated, and not feared.

That spirit has survived and thrived up to modern times, and here are the 3 tops reasons why foreign assignees have found it easier to make Northern California a new home for themselves:

  1. Multiculturalism is very publicly celebrated with festivals and events like the Lunar New Year in Chinatown, or the Ethnic Dance Festival which unleashes a colorful array of costumes, beguiling exotic performances, and rousing choral songs representing the various peoples that have made their home in Northern California, while paying tribute to their international origins.
  2. Ethnic communities have grown beside each other harmoniously in Northern California. Friendships, business partnerships, and other long-lasting relationships have formed between the first-to-second-generation immigrants who come from Anglo, Chinese, Indian, Iranian, Korean, Latin, Polish, and Russian stock, and with very little tension. Anglo college students buy their home equipment from Latin American shops, attend lectures by Chinese professors, and apprentice under Indian engineers — and that is just a small example of the cultural ecosystem that has taken root in the state.
  3. Northern California is a multilingual hub with 25 percent of its younger population speaking and writing another language besides English. It isn’t uncommon to see college graduates with distinct American and European features conversing in Chinese and Korean, while others with obviously Asian ancestry communicating accent-free in Russian and Polish.