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My name is Bimala, I am 24 years old and was born in Nepal. I just finished my associate degree in social work from CCAC. Now I am applying to California University of Pennsylvania for a bachelor’s degree in social work. I am excited to start college and learn more at Cal U.

When I was 14 I moved to the United States through the refugee program, we first lived in Idaho. It was hard in the beginning because of the language. I knew some basic English, like my name and age, but that was it. When I was living in the refugee camp we were all speaking Nepali, so I did not get a chance to learn English. The weather was hard too! In Nepal there is winter weather but it is not that cold.  In Nepal you can just wear one jacket, but in the US you need to wear lots of layers just to stay warm in the winter. 

My family lived in Twin Falls, Idaho for about two and a half years. It was a remote place, more of a village or the countryside than Pittsburgh. It was pretty hard to get around. I don’t think we had Uber back then, but even if we did I was so new and learning so many things that I probably didn’t know about it. Even though Pittsburgh and Idaho have the same weather, it is way easier to get transportation in Pittsburgh. I like Pittsburgh more than Idaho for that reason. Pittsburgh has a public bus, it is way easier here. For rides and jobs it is so much easier here. Even though it is easier here, there were many things we were scared of when we moved here.

When I moved to Pittsburgh I was in 10th grade, I graduated from Brashear High school. For immigrants and refugee families I think Pittsburgh is one of the best places. Not just because I lived here, but because it was so easy to live here. There are a lot of different families with different backgrounds, there is a diversity here. There is a lot of access to rides, lots of job opportunities. You just have to go out and look you have to ask people. You can’t stay home and expect to find a job. You have to ask. But if you look for it, you will find lots of jobs you will want to do. Pittsburgh has the best things for people moving here.

**Photo is not of Bimala