My life in St. Louis [case study]

When a teenaged Mark Sutherland left Hampshire to go and live in the United States with his parents, he had no idea that he would be waving goodbye to living in the UK for good.

St LouisTwenty five years later, though, and Mark is still living in the city of St. Louis in Missouri.

“My father originally came to work in the US on an H1 visa,” explains Mark. “While here on that visa, we decided we would like to stay and applied for green cards. A few years later we were approved.”

One of the main factors that encouraged the adult Mark to stay and make a life for himself in the US was the increased employment opportunities in the States at that time.

 “I found it rather easy to find work in the US,” he recalls. “People here love people from overseas, and they appreciate a good work ethic. I’ve worked in the media, public relations and marketing here, while also having second jobs in retail and food service at times.”

Even today, Mark insists that job opportunities remain in St. Louis – especially for those willing to go it alone.

St Louis “The start-up scene in St. Louis is currently very exciting – I would say it is on-par with the start-up scene in London,”he says. “I have had opportunities here in the US that I simply would never have had in the UK.”

Of course, increased employment opportunities aren’t solely responsible for keeping Mark Stateside for the past quarter of a century. “St. Louis is a great family town. And the people here are very welcoming,” he enthuses. “There is also a large British community here which keeps things interesting and connected to the homeland. This city is also very internationally diverse with large Italian and Bosnian communities, along with a large number of international students and professionals.”

While Mark does admit to missing some of the UK’s history and the good old British fish and chip shops, the bottom line is that he has no regrets about his decision to swap life in the UK for the US. “One great thing about life in the US is that if you work hard you can make your life what you want it to be, regardless of social status or birth.”