Multiculture, Profiles

Ariel Céspedes: non-European immigrants meet closed doors

Despite his legal status, a 25-year old Bolivian continues to pursue his goals in London, with the support of his partner.


  As a teenager, Ariel moved to Italy for a better future, but despite being granted permanent residency, he was unable to obtain the citizenship he wished for.

In Rome, he completed a Bachelor’s degree in Economics that made him consider the idea of doing a Master’s degree in Business Management.

He chose London to do his Master’s degree, but in order to demonstrate his linguistic skills and get accepted into University, he had to improve his level of English by sitting the IELTS examination. For this reason, less than a year ago he arrived in London with his partner Carolina Romero, who he met during his studies in Italy and whom shares his career ambitions.

Upon their arrival, Carolina’s friend  them stay at her house during the first week, but following this, he recalls how difficult and daunting it was to find a suitable place to live.

At first, he had to live in zone 5 – further away than they had wished – in order to make a living. Thus travelling around was not so easy, as transport is very expensive.

Luckily, after a while he moved together with Carolina to one of the main Latin American neighbourhoods in London, Elephant and Castle.

Ariel encountered difficulties that went beyond that of flat hunting, as he was not able to find a job that would support him financially due to his legal status.

Given that he was unable to obtain Italian nationality, Ariel is still considered a Bolivian citizen with a tourist visa in London.

Therefore, he is not allowed to work here, so he is denied opportunities that would be suitable to someone with his qualifications.

Nonetheless, he does not let this hold him back and views the significant improvement of his level of English as a great achievement.

Ariel hopes that his dreams will come true and that he will be able to finish the Master’s degree that he left home to do, with only the support of his partner.

After spending such a long time in London, Ariel’s intention is to return to his country, where he wants to use all the international knowledge that he has obtained thanks to his many migrations. According to Ariel, ti is very difficult to live in London as an immigrant because of the way British people treat foreigners.

Ariel admits that even though London is a city that welcomes millions of tourists daily, British people are not patient with people who are not familiar with the system. “They say that British people are educated and kind, but I did not get this impression. They do not understand that many immigrants arrive without knowing any English and without any previous migratory experiences, and hence have to learn all this from scratch.”

Yet, he compares Rome to London, where he stayed for 10 years, and says that the Italian capital is much more discriminatory and it is therefore more complex for an immigrant to find a job.

(Translated by Loukia Katsiami) – Photos: Pixabay

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