Take her on a Tour
As soon as you can you will probably want to take her on tour of your city and other nearby attractions. This could be a simple drive around town just to show her the sights or a tour around your neighborhood to show her what is within walking distance of your home. If you live in a big city you may want to break your tour up into smaller regions you visit on separate days. This will give you something to do to outside of the house over the next few weekends. If you are close by to another major city you may want to make a special trip there as well.
Take her to a Popular Attraction or Special Event
Your city, or one nearby, may have various attractions or special events that are popular for residents and visitors. There may also be places of natural beauty outside your city. Take her to these places and special events. Even if you have been there many times before you will experience them again like the first time when you see the wonder in her eyes and excitement in her voice. This will be a fun way to introduce her to something special about your city or nearby area. Creating fun events for you to share together will produce good feelings that she will associate with her move to your country. This will also give her something pleasant to share with her family back in Russia about her experiences (it is important for them to know she is happy). Don’t forget to bring along a camera and have someone take a picture of you two together. You lady will want to send some pictures home of the things you do together.
Take a Vacation
It would be a wonderful way to welcome her into your country if you can take a week or two off from work to be with her. Consider taking her to a romantic or famous destination where you can spend exclusive time with each other away from all other distractions. Even if you don’t have a lot of available vacation time you can easily arrange for a weekend get away to a nearby city, mountain retreat or health resort. Remember that you probably have only spent time together while on vacation so you already have a strong association for this kind of lifestyle together. Unfortunately, vacations are a temporary situation that will end when you have to return back to your professional activities but they are great way to spend your time with someone very special in your life . . . Enjoy!
Attend English Classes
A good way to keep her busy and help her adapt will be to enroll her in an English class. Many communities offer free ESL (English as a Second Language) programs for non native speakers. Check with your local community college for adult education programs that may be offered in your city. Besides helping her to improve her English skills she will have an opportunity to socialize with other people and possibly make new friends.
Study English at Home
As a supplement or substitution for a real English class you can purchase English tutorial software, books and audio tapes or CDs that she can study while at home. Effective ESL (English as a Second Language) products for Russian speakers are available from WorldLanguage. This could be a good method if she is especially timid about her current English skills. If she doesn’t currently type in English you can purchase a typing tutorial software that can be used on the computer. With the proliferation of computers today being able to type in English will be a very valuable skill to possess.
Enroll her in Driving Lessons
If you live in an area where the best mode of transportation is a private car then eventually your lady will need to learn to drive. It is advisable to enroll her in a professional driving school. This will ensure that your nerves and relationship remain intact. You can provide some private instruction in how to pump gas and what to do incase of emergency. As a new driver your lady will appreciate having a cell phone for making emergency or convenience calls. Consider a prepaid cell phone like Tracfone for an inexpensive cell phone system.
Find Work or Volunteer
If your lady has the appropriate language and job skills she may be interested in finding paid work soon after her arrival. Not only will this make her feel productive and useful but also it will enable her to earn her own money to spend on things she wants without having to ask you for it. Some ladies prefer this sense of financial independence. She may also be interested in earning money to send back to her family. Check to be sure that she is permitted to work under the terms of her entry Visa to your country. For the United States, the K-1 Visa should be stamped on her arrival indicating she is permitted by the INS to work during the 90 day period of the Visa. If you are an American citizen then you will also need to obtain a Social Security Number for your lady so she will have the necessary documents for a new employer.
If your lady does not have adequate language and/or job skills then it will take more time for her until she can pursue paid employment. Although this may be a disappointment for her it is not hopeless. With effort and time she will eventually be able to obtain paid employment if this is the desire of you both as a family. One of the best ways to develop the social skills, job skills, work experience and supervisor references that can lead to a paid position is to volunteer. Investigate volunteer programs in your area that can give your lady opportunities to get out of the house, learn new skills and meet new people. Not only will she make a positive contribution to her new community but this may improve her self esteem and confidence as well.
Make Time for Going Out
Be sensitive to her need to get out of the house. Although you may be tired after a long day or week at work she may become restless if she does not have many activities outside of the house. She may not complain or tell you there is a problem but you can be certain that being ‘trapped’ in the house all week will take its toll if this is her only lifestyle. Make it a point to take her out even if it is for a simple walk or drive to some place nearby. Here’s just a short list of some of the things that you can do: Go for a walk in a park, beach, or shopping mall. Take her to a movie, restaurant, museum, play, concert special event. Visit friends or family members.
Create ‘Our Home’
One the things you should strive for is to help her achieve a sense of ‘home’ in your residence. The place that you have always referred to as ‘my home’ must now transform itself into ‘our home’. Take her out shopping and look for some new decorative accessories that you both like. If she spends a lot of time in the kitchen she may be pleased with new cooking tools and small appliances that suit her preferences. Shop together for some new furniture, a major appliance or window treatments if you desire. Shop together for some ways to personalize your bedroom and all the other shared rooms of your residence. It will take some time, effort and money but eventually what was once a home occupied by a single man will become a home occupied by a family.
Here is a short list of other things you may want to once she has arrived or soon after you are married: