What To Do on Your First Day in the U.S.

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Congratulations, you’ve finally made it to the United States! Right now, you must be feeling anxious about starting your new life in a new country. While the journey from your home country to a whole new one is both jarring and overwhelming, you need not worry. As a country built by immigrants, many newcomers before you were once in your shoes trying to resettle in an unfamiliar place. So to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the new culture that surrounds you, let’s take your new adventure one day at a time. Read on for some ideas on tackling your first day in the U.S.

Grocery Shopping

On your first day in the U.S., it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the local grocery stores where you will be doing most of your shopping. Depending on your background, you may or may not be able to find ingredients and foods you recognize from your home country. However, some of the major grocery chains, such as Kroger, Walmart, and Albertsons, do include international aisles with a host of different ingredients from different countries and cultures so you may be able to find what you need there.

With all the changes going on around you, the last thing you probably want to change is the cuisine you are used to. If you are looking for a taste of home, try local! You might find local grocery stores that cater to your taste buds by Googling places in your area. However, if you are out of luck locally, try online! Some online stores, such as International Food Shop and Amazon, import ingredients and foods from all over the world. And keep in mind that a nutritional meal will help keep you healthy and lower the stress you are undoubtedly feeling due to your new circumstances. For more ideas on how to stay healthy in the middle of your transition to America, check out our video on health and nutrition.


On your first day in the U.S., you should also figure out how you will get to and from your destinations. Do you live in a city where public transportation is more common than driving? In some areas of the country, buses are a bigger form of transport, but places like New York City and Washington, DC rely more on subways. However, whether it’s a bus or a subway train, these forms of transportation usually run on scheduled stops, so you must learn each system and its schedule. However, if you are in a pinch, taxis or mobile phone apps like Uber can get you to your destination when you are in a hurry.


If you plan on getting a car yourself, you’ll need to learn the rules of the road in the U.S. If you are a visitor, an International Driving Permit along with your license from your home country will usually suffice. However, since you will be staying here permanently, you will eventually need a U.S. driver’s license. Depending on the state, the rules and requirements for getting a driver’s license will differ. Some states allow you to use your home country’s driver’s license for at least six months to a year while some states require you to have a green card. Some states even allow undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license. You can check out your state’s requirements online to get started on this important step in your new country.


When you arrive in a new country, it’s easy to hole yourself away from everyone. Fear, lack of family and friends, and feeling overwhelmed can cause you to hide at home. This, however, will make things worse! The more you get out and interact with your new country, the easier it will be to fit in. A good first step starts with trying phone apps like FindHello and Settle In. For example, FindHello provides a handy map to find services and resources in your area. When in doubt, try Google! The search engine acts as a translator, map, and researcher all in one! For more helpful mobile apps to help you on your first day in the U.S., consult this blog.

We all need help sometimes, especially in a new country. Thankfully, the internet is full of helpful tips and resources for immigrants and refugees, including this list of resources on topics such as health and education. The U.S. government also has a helpful document called Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants you can download for free. Many people are willing to help; you just need to reach out.

Though your first day in your new country can be scary, it is also full of possibilities! We are here to help you discover those possibilities and live your best life in the United States. Sign up for a Resource Referrals package today so we can connect you with local services in your community to get you started on building your new life. Golden Beacon USA’s products and services are here to make your transition to your new country as easy as possible! Questions? Contact me today at laura@goldenbeaconusa.com or call or text (866) 403-7173.

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