5 Things to Know About U.S. Culture Before Arriving
Welcome to the United States! Now that you’ve decided to either study abroad or join a university there is always room to familiarize yourself with U.S. culture. We have made a list for all internationals students who wish to learn more about how Americans live! Here are a few things that you should keep in mind while studying in the United States.
1. Eating on the go
Let’s be real… food is LIFE. I think we could all agree that we all love food no matter what part of the world you come from. In America, food is taken the next level both in size and commodity. With the past faced life most Americans have they truly appreciate having food on the go. Although it is convenient for the working parents who have a million things to do daily, it could have unwanted long-term health effects. Don’t be surprised if you see someone scarfing down food in their car or walking around with food containers and a cup of coffee on the other hand. For many Americans, there simply isn’t enough time to sit down and have a proper meal.
2. Take out meals
Not only do Americans pride themselves in their skills of balancing food in their hands while walking but they like to think they are multicultural individuals. Another common way of enjoying food is ordering take out from any restaurant you could think of. Restaurants see the opportunity in offering take out meals for their clients and Americans enjoy feeling cultured while eating foods they might not necessarily know how to make. Ordering take out food is not only convenient for the family but who doesn’t love leftover food for lunch the next day.
To say that Americans thrive on competition is an understatement, they live off of it. We are not just talking about being competitive in sports but being competitive in life. Most of Americans grow up either middle or lowered class and therefore have different expectations for their children. From a very young age, children are taught the value of hard work and are motivated to succeed in anything they do from hobbies to education. Parents recognize how competitive the job market is in America and could only hope their child attends a prestigious university. The cycle will continue from generation to generation and every year that goes by it becomes harder to live the American dream.
Don’t be afraid to say what you think and how you feel! Americans love individuality. In the United States, many Americans experience being independent since they are teenagers. Teens often have to work from a young age to help parents make ends meet. For this reason, many of them end up leaving their homes at 17 or 18 years old. Another common practice in America is moving away to attend college. Like many international students who abandon their homes for a better future elsewhere, Americans also see the value in studying out of state. As many of you might already know this isn’t a simple task as moving outcomes with the responsibility of doing laundry, cooking, and shopping on your own.
5. Small Talk
Yeah, this is a thing in the United States. A lot of the conversations will depend on the particular state and city you are in, but for the most part, Americans love small talk. Making short conversations with strangers while waiting on the bus isn’t uncommon in America but always remember they should be respectful. What classifies as small talk? A good example would be asking about a recent sports game such as the baseball world championship. Since Americans also love sports and are proud of their teams, it is very likely that you’ll come across a sports question at some point. If you are feeling up to it and would like to chat, feel free to do so the next time you’re catching a ride!
Interested in learning more tips to improve your study abroad experience in the United States? Follow US Ready on social media or visit our website for more information on U.S. living.
Magdianis Martinez is a University of Florida advertising alumni and a marketing specialist intern at US Ready. She was born in Cuba but spent most of her childhood growing up in Miami, Florida. From a young age, she embraced her ethnicity and is prideful in being able to help other international students find their passions through the comfort in the United States. Her favorite things about growing up in Miami was the food and high representation of culture within the city.