When it’s time to move to another country, you must make a big adjustment. It’s not just your address that you’ll be changing. If you want to fit in right away, even if you’re there for a short time, you need to adjust to the culture of the new location.
In this article, you’ll learn about the ten things about the US culture that every visitor should be aware of. Cultural shock is a real thing that happens to everyone, but as long as you know how to adjust and adapt to people’s behaviors and understanding in the States, you’ll quickly blend in, build a successful career, and fall in love with the country.
Luxury and Size
When it comes to size and look, Americans like the luxurious and huge. So, don’t be shocked if you see huge SUVs all around, as well as big trucks across their parking lots, or an American shopping in bulk. This is practical and smart. For Americans, big is good and, you must admit – this idea has its own appeal.
In the US, people who don’t eat their meals simply take leftovers to finish at home. If other cultures don’t feel comfortable asking about a portion’s size, this is exactly what an American will do. In fact, if the menu gives vague information, he might even judgmental of it.
Even though we mentioned restaurants, you shouldn’t think that people in the US eat in restaurants all the time. Some cultures do this quite a lot, but Americans don’t have the luxury of time to dress up, make reservations, and sit in restaurants on a daily basis. In fact, most of them don’t visit restaurants often, but you’ll often see them eat takeout from their favorite Chinese place around the block.
Eating On the Go
That’s the truth about us. We love our food choices and want to try just about everything, but not if we have to make a reservation, wait in a restaurant, and spend our time there. That’s why, if we don’t order takeout and don’t have the time or skills to cook, we’ll simply grab something on the move and rush to our social outing or meeting.
This is why, when in the US, you’ll see many people rushing with containers with food or coffee mugs in their hands.
Americans live to compete. Children are taught to learn a lot, work hard, find ideas for research paper, all to beat the competition and succeed in the very competitive culture in America. In fact, this is the country where the importance of studying is so emphasized, students are often pushed over the limit in trying to learn more. If you go there to study, you might want to get the contact of a fine writing company you can call and write an article review essay when the deadline is tight.
The three most popular sports in the US are baseball, basketball and, of course, football. These are competitive people, so they’ll be in love in their sports. When big games are happening, sports are both dividing and uniting among the American people. People will get into debates with you about sports team and matches.
If you don’t believe it, it’s sufficient to just know that over 103.4 million Americans watched the Super Bowl in 2017.
The US is big, highly democratic, and really diverse. This is an immersion of many cultures that use different ways to express their ideas, stand up for their beliefs, and even communicate their thoughts. This is why, in America, it’s important to be politically correct. Try not to step on people’s feet and offend them based on age, race, gender, etc.
Americans praise independence. The kids leave home as soon as possible to a summer camp, to study a semester abroad, to a college far, far away, etc. This gives them independence and teaches them amazing life lessons. In fact, you’ll learn that in this country, most people leave their home after they’re 17 or 18 years old.
As we said, the US is a melting pot of different cultures. This is marvelous to experience and you’ll definitely love it. If you’ve lived in a place with only few cultures or a dominant culture, you’ll find the American life to be absolutely impressive.
When you talk to strangers in America or people you are only acquainted with, you should try and make small talk. Talk about television shows, the weather, or sports. People from different countries won’t even acknowledge your presence in an elevator or at a bus stop, but in the US, you can expect them to say something, just to make small talk.
If you’re uncomfortable with something, feel free to speak up. Expect Americans to do the same. People in this country are free to express themselves and will do so if they’re bothered by something, even if it is with their superiors and bosses. Just try to be respectful, but don’t hold back. Also, don’t be offended if others do the same.
The American culture is rich and impressive, but only if you understand their behaviors and beliefs. That’s why it is crucial to understand the culture from the place you’re headed to.
Connie Elser is a traveling nomad and freelance editor that is constantly on the move. She is mostly based in the US, but uses every opportunity she gets to travel the world with her husband, Joey. In her spare time, Connie also does freelance writing for blogs and magazines.