Sarah-Maria Vischer-James [00:00:00] Anna: Hello, my name is Anna. I'm a freshman and Bart college. And I'm going to interview, would you like to state your name and the, how can I address you? [00:00:09] Sarah-Maria: I'm Sarah Maria. [00:00:11] Anna: Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you too. Would you like to talk a little bit about yourself, your age, your occupation, and how did you end up here? [00:00:20] Sarah-Maria: All right. It's a bit of a long story. I I'm 42 years old. I have been in the United States since I was 17. Um, I came I'm. My occupation now is I'm a sewing supervisor. I work at a sewing factory right here in Kingston and have so for the last three years. [00:00:45] Anna: Nice. Um, uh, would you like to talk about your experience to come here to Kingston? Like why did you choose this area? [00:00:51] Sarah-Maria: Um, I was originally came to this country as a high school exchange student and I lived in [00:01:00] Lincoln, Nebraska for a year. Uh, but my dream was always to live in New York city. And then, so I ended up applying to. Uh, college in New York city after my high school year and, um, got accepted and, um, lived in New York city for seven years, met my husband there. And, um, we realized that New York city was just a little too crowded and a little bit too crazy for us. So we, um, moved out to Woodstock first then Phoenicia. I worked, uh, at a photography stock photo library, um, in Woodstock for over 10 years. And then, um, when I was pregnant with our daughter, um, that was she's going to turn seven in May. Um, we decided Phoenicia was too far out in the middle of nowhere. And Kingston was sort of the natural in between being a small city and, um, [00:02:00] being able to walk everywhere. It was very appealing to us as a young family and we never regretted it, never looked back so [00:02:08] Anna: nice. And, uh, where did you originally come from? [00:02:11] Sarah-Maria: I'm from Switzerland originally, from the German speaking part. [00:02:17] Anna: Um, so I have a question about like, what was the most helpful for you settling here in the U S and then Kingston as well? [00:02:25] Sarah-Maria: Um, I think I had a little bit of a different story than many people in that coming here, I was exchange student. I lived with an American family. And felt very at home with that. And I never really looked, I feel like I find a lot of people from other countries tend to gravitate towards people from their own countries, even when they live abroad. Um, and for me, that was never interesting. So I always was very closely connected with people that could. Here here in [00:03:00] Kingston or, you know, from just generally from the United States. And that helped me with my language immensely, of course. And, um, so it helped me feel at home here pretty quickly. And I was fairly young or young enough to come here that I kind of grew up here in a way. So it was, became my home. [00:03:22] Anna: Nice. Were there any like challenges or barriers that you faced when coming here? To the U S and in Kingston. [00:03:29] Sarah-Maria: Yeah. I mean, it's, you know, I was, I'm pretty lucky. I'm from a pretty solid middle-class background. Um, I always had the support of my family, um, financially, um, to a certain degree and, and, and always, um, supported me living here, although my mom, but some point kind of regretted things a little bit. Um, and she realized that I wasn't coming back. She always fought that eventually I would come back. And I never did. Um, I mean only for [00:04:00] vacations and stuff, but, um, so it was, um, what was the question? [00:04:05] Anna: Uh, what were the challenges or barriers that you faced? [00:04:09] Sarah-Maria: Yeah, I mean, it was, you know, it's the immigration hurdles, like, you know what, mostly from the government and does a lot of paperwork. Um, I was, at some point it became an issue of whether I could stay here, whether I would. Because I didn't have a green card or anything. So yeah. Luckily I fell in love and time we've been married for 20 years now, so it worked out very well, so, yeah. [00:04:35] Anna: No, that's great. Um, and you, you said that your family always thought you would come back to Switzerland. Why didn't you? Or like what, what, what became this like anchor to be here, to stay in the U S [00:04:50] Sarah-Maria: um, I never felt quite at home in Switzerland in a way I, um, to very small [00:05:00] country. It's also very international country in

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