Getting to Know a J-1: Vladislav Haralampiev

Filed in Exchange Visitor Spotlight by on October 24, 2014 0 Comments


Name: Vladislav Haralampiev

Training Location: San Francisco, California

Originally From: Bulgaria

What have you found most surprising about the U.S.?
First three things that come to my mind:

  1. People work harder the U.S. than in Bulgaria.
  2. The weather in San Francisco is very nice. From what people tell me, this is year round.
  3. And after visiting the de Young Museum (a fine arts museum), I was really impressed by American paintings—especially of nature.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve observed while on your visit?
In San Francisco, people were swimming in the cold ocean.

What did you find to be true or false about the U.S. that you only learned after spending time here?
I saw that the U.S. is not that much different from Bulgaria.

What one thing would you like to take from the U.S. and bring back home?
I like your laws. I’m not an expert, but it seems like U.S. laws are much less obstructive for the people.

Also, I was really impressed how energetic people are. In Bulgaria, everything seems much slower.

What one thing would you like the U.S. to adopt from your home?
I found it hard to buy scales in San Francisco to weigh my luggage. And there weren’t many food stores near my house. Maybe it would be better if there were smaller shops around.  Also, I found that there was no internet coverage in some places in San Francisco.

What has been the favorite part of your experience here?
The excursions. I visited many museums, including Alcatraz Island, Muir Woods … and there is still a lot more to see!

What has been your least favorite part about your experience here?
I didn’t like seeing homeless people. This is sad.

What is one burning question you have about the U.S. that you would like someone to answer for you?
Why must visa procedures be so complicated?

Someone you know from back home is coming to the U.S.  for the first time. What is one thing they should definitely bring with them?
There is everything here–I guess they just must bring money!

What is the one place you would most like to visit before you leave the U.S.?
On my last day here I went to Coit Tower in San Francisco.

I wanted to see once more San Francisco. Otherwise, I really wanted to go to the Grand Canyon and the Redwood forests in northern California, but I didn’t have time.

What are you most likely to tell friends and family at home about America?
I had a lot of great experiences here. I will be sharing what places I have been and showing them photos.

What is one thing your U.S. colleagues and friends have been surprised to learn about life back in your home country?
My colleagues thought that weather in Bulgaria was cold. In reality, it gets very hot in summers. They also found Bulgaria’s social programs strange (but I also find them strange).

What impact do you think your experience here will have after you return home?
I learned a lot about software engineering–I hope I will be able to apply it. I really liked the positive attitude people in the U.S. have towards life and the multicultural society here.

What is the most “American” thing you have done during your visit?
Going to a baseball match. We don’t have such thing in Bulgaria.