Coming To America:

One Man's Journey

     gabriele_dieugenio     For our migration and culture class, we had to interview someone who had immigrated to the United States from another country.  One of my classmates, Gabriel Di Eugenio, came to the US from Italy so I decided to interview him and find out more about him and his story.  Here is a picture of Gabe in class presenting his family migration object.  He brought an Italian coffee maker.  You can check out his web page for class at:          

1. What year did you come to the US and where did you come from?

“I came to Arizona from Rome, Italy two years ago this July.”

2. Did your whole family/extended family come?

“I came by myself, but my mum was already here. She had moved here from Rome six years ago. However, she was born in the US and had always wanted to come back.”

Map Of Italy 3. Why did your family decide to leave?

“I decided to come to America to finish school and be closer to my mum. My mother also came here to go to school and she wanted to be closer to her parents that live in L.A.”







4. Who/what was your bridge to America? Who, if anyone aided the process?

“Obviously, I used my mum as my bridge to get me into the United States. Because I was not yet 18 when I came, I was allowed to come and live with her.”

5. What were some of the major things you/your family had to adjust to in the US?

“As a result of my mother being American, my life in Italy had a lot of American things involved in it so the adjustments were not that drastic. I have gotten used to a lot of burgers and the language, other than that I keep my Italian culture close to me.”

6. I know that you are a student, but what is the rest of your family doing here?

“My mum is also still going to school.”

7. How have you perceived your treatment by American Society as a whole? Do you feel you have been discriminated against in any way?

“I don’t feel that way at all. It seems to me that Americans, especially the women, love Italians. Plus, of course, you know I’m pretty cool and easy to get along with.”

Flag of Italy8. How did you deal with the language barrier? How long did it take for you to become comfortable speaking English?

“Because my mom was American, I learned English back home and I also studied it while I was in school. We spoke a lot of English at home in Italy. I still have an accent, but it was real bad for my first six months here and sometimes people had a hard time understanding what I said.”

9. How do the people/your family in your homeland perceive you now that you have left? Do you think that there are any hard feelings or are they jealous?

“A lot of my friends and cousins that are the same age as me are very jealous and always ask my all types or questions about what it is like here. On the other hand, my grandparents on my father’s side have very hard feelings that I moved here to live with my mum. They miss me and wish that I was around more often.”

10. How often do you go back to visit?

“I usually make it back at least once a year. I was last over there a year ago, but I am going back again at the end of May when I am all done with school.”

11. Are you a United States citizen? If so, how long did this process take and how did you go about it?

“Yes, I had dual citizenship while I was growing up in Italy. Because my mum was a US citizen, and I was born through her, I automatically became a citizen of the US.”


You can check out some of my thought on the interview with Gabe by going here.


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by Jay Gehrke

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