I made the move to Michigan in 2003. I still can’t believe it has been ten years since I first arrived in the United States. At first, I thought that the move would be temporary, as my parents had hoped. I initially planned to go to the University of Michigan with my wife, finish the Master’s program in Romance Languages and return to Argentina. When the Argentinian economic situation did not get any better, I decided to complete the doctoral program in Romance Languages as well. After that, I began making connections in American academia and losing those I had developed at the University of Buenos Aires. Even if I had maintained them, a PhD from the United States or Europe is not as respected as one from the University of Buenos Aires because of differences between the institutions. At that point, I realized it made more sense to build my career in the United States.
Living in Ann Arbor was great. It’s a wonderful city and I enjoyed the six years that I spent living and teaching there. It’s really grounded in the diversity the university brings. I was lucky that when I arrived, there already was a group of immigrants living there because of that diversity. I was welcomed, both by the rugby team and the Latin American and Latino communities. I never experienced any sort of segregation or discrimination because of my identity. But then I also realize that even though I’m hispanic, I’m white, well-off, and educated which gives me privilege in a lot of ways and impacts how I was received by the community.