Fun Facts - Cultural Differences in the USA

Have you ever been to the USA? Are you there now? If you're not a native, you may have noticed some cultural differences in the USA, that are not what you're used to.

We've asked a few people who have been to the USA what cultural differences they noticed during their stays!

  • Tipping is mandatory for meals, at bars and at hotels.
  • People are more friendly and open. "I learned to smile in the States!"
  • Also, people are friendly to foreigners, and will offer to help if you look confused.
  • "It is a country of cars." In most places, except some big cities, it's difficult to get around without one.
  • The US seems to have "gigantism". Everything is bigger; the restaurants, the food portions, the cars...
  • Everyone wants to give you a business card!

- Vladimir, Russia

  • Americans are very welcoming!
  • Americans love talking about their jobs. People like to share where they work and what they do, and will ask you the same. 
  • They also like networking. "They go to quite a few events to socialise and get a bigger professional network."
  • I found that somehow, it seems we always need to pay for something in the US (from tipping, university and government documents, to the health care system)
  • Some Americans can be very shocked by risqué behavior, like profanity on TV or nudity.

- Marion, France

  • In NYC, people don't walk, they run. Life is very fast-paced there and everyone has somewhere to go.
  • Taxis are much cheaper.
  • Air-conditioning is everywhere.
  • People are more straightforward and friendlier. They get to the point quickly.
  • "Tipping is not only mandatory, but also very high and can really make the difference on how they treat you."
  • Streets, especially in big cities, can be very long.
  • People are quite patriotic. There are American flags  everywhere!

-  Daniela, Italy

  • California and the gyms!  Running, exercising, walking by the beach is important in California.
  • Huge sales and outlet shopping. I love shopping and brands. And this is something I found amazing in the US. The sale seasons and brand outlets are the best.
  • Big cars, highways & huge buildings are everywhere. It reminds me of Dubai.
  • People are friendlier in California than Chicago and NYC. They smile, they have very white teeth and they like to chat and know more about the Middle East. They are usually very helpful.
  • Many Americans think all women in the Middle East wear veils and are not independent. They really get curious to know more about the culture when they meet you.
  • Happy hour offers on food and drinks was something I'd never heard of before. It is basically a period of time when a restaurant or a pub/bar offers discounts or free drinks.

- Zainab, Iraq

If you've been to the USA before, what cultural differences have you noticed? Let us know in the comments, and we might use your insights in another blog post!

Do you want to study English in the USA? Check out our list of English schools in the States!

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