Moving to a new country is incredibly stressful! After you’ve finished packing, traveling, and setting up your new life, it’s easy to forget the next step: adapting to the incredibly unique American culture!
Here at Golden Beacon USA, we’re passionate about helping you transition smoothly into your new life in America.
To help make your journey more manageable, we’ve put together this helpful list of five ways to lessen your homesickness and adapt to the American way of life.
Watch American TV
Familiarize yourself with American media. What do your neighbors, friends, or colleagues watch? What books do they read? What movies would they recommend at the cinema? Conversations about what was on TV last night are a great icebreaker. American media has a strong entertainment focus on Hollywood and the personal lives of its biggest TV and movie stars. Being up to date with the latest must-watch show or the latest news about who’s dating who is a perfect way to get to know those around you.
Try local food
OK, when we say American food, you probably think of a giant burger with a side of large fries. But American cuisine is so much more than the stereotypes will have you believe. No two states are the same. If you’re in New England, look for lobster and clam chowder. In the south? Why not try soul food? You might just find your new favorite dish.
Explore your local area
America is massive. It’s the third-largest country in the world by area, and no single square kilometer is the same. Whether you’re surrounded by lush fields in the Midwest or skyscrapers in New York, take a step outside and explore the area around you. Get to know the locals by asking them what they enjoy. Tell them about your interests and hobbies and maybe you’ll find someone who shares those same interests! Also, Americans love their sports – football, hockey, baseball. Is there a nearby baseball team you could support? Go along with the locals to a game, and you’ll begin to see yourself fitting in.
Become an expert in small talk
Most Americans are very, very friendly. Those that have been brought up in a culture where people are far more reserved can often be caught off guard when a stranger asks them how their day is at the grocery store, or if they’re complimented on their outfit at the bus stop. But once you’ve gotten used to this, it can become an excellent gateway to making new friends. So learn how to make polite, quick conversation if you want to settle in. The weather, celebrity gossip, current events – these are all great starting points.
Share your experiences
Your past is what made you the wonderful, unique person you are today. Remember, only 42% of Americans have a passport, so chances are they’ve never been to your country of birth. Tell them about your own culture and chances are they’ll be fascinated and will want to learn more about you.
Yes, you may have heard of the ‘Ugly American’ stereotype that foreigners assign to us due to our tendency to compare other cultures and customs to our own. You will meet some people here who make crazy assumptions and ask things like whether your country has access to the internet or any hospitals and schools. But most of the time, these people are merely curious and don’t realize what they’re saying is incredibly rude. Teach them about your culture and answer any questions they may have. Educating just one person can do a world of good.
Are you looking for guidance when it comes to learning about life in America? Golden Beacon USA’s Resource Referrals and e-learning videos on American culture and resources are here to help make your transition as easy as possible! Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text (866) 403-7173. Remember, you are not alone!