Moving to the USA: Culture Shock

So, you’ve decided to take the path of history and head for the promised land yourself? Great job! Now, while you may be bright and wide eyed still, while imagining all of your favorite movie scenes, let us quickly dissolve that image. There are numerous things which a European will face when moving to the USA. You will find yourself wondering if this is truly the country which you have been watching on TV for years and comparing the differences. Luckily, we’re here today to give you a quick guide through the culture shock of moving to the USA!

When moving to the USA you ought to be ready for just how friendly Americans are

As you very well know, in Europe, it isn’t too common to talk to people at the supermarket. If you tried it, the vendor would probably offer some chitchat and the other patrons will look at you in shock. Altogether, the conversation won’t be either informative or lucrative. So, often people don’t bother with it in Europe. However, if you’re moving to the States, be prepared to face this culture shock.

Culture shock: In the USA it is normal to talk to strangers

If you’re a fan of crime TV shows and expect the USA to be kind of like that, full of cautious people expecting a criminal around the corner, forget it! People in the States are probably the friendliest you will come across, as you will realize after moving to the USA. If you walk into a store, club, bar or even the local Walmart, chances are that people will talk to you. Sometimes it will be a chat about the weather and at other occasions you might find yourself looking at pictures of an old granny’s ten grandchildren. It’s really a unique culture shock experience. Luckily, there are numerous topics which you can cover with the denizens of the USA and they will undoubtedly want to hear about your country and Europe.

If you’re moving to the USA be prepared for the change of lifestyle

What is a normal day like for you? Do you usually get up, eat really quickly and hurry to work? And then, when the workday is done, you get home and tiredly eat some lunch? Perhaps you’ll take aside some time for coffee with a friend or watch some TV? Well, be prepared for the culture shock as this is a pretty slow day for a person in the US. As you will see after moving to the USA, the lifestyle gets pretty hectic in any state. It doesn’t really matter if you live in a big or a small city, but you simply have a number of things to do.

Culture shock: In the USA there’s always plenty to do

If you think that you’ve seen all there is to see in a city after a couple of weeks of moving to the USA, you’re naïve. After relocating to the States, no matter where you settle down, there will be plenty to do besides work. There is the option of exploring the city and state which you’ve moved to. You can also be meeting new people left and right. Altogether, get ready for an active lifestyle. And, if that isn’t culture shock enough, be prepared to take up a hobby or two. You’ll find after moving to the USA that Americans are big on hobbies and get-togethers, so free time will probably be a thing of the past for you.

When relocating to the USA, you should be ready for the variety

America is like a big melting pot of different cultures. Hence, you ought to really be ready for the whole lot of variety which it can offer. In Europe, every country is pretty much a world of its own. There is a specific language and culture which you’ve grown used to using and you’re very familiar with the daily routine. Even the food, which you love since you’ve grown up on it, is native to your country. After moving to the USA, you’ll find that there is plenty of options to choose from, and not just in the dating pool.

Culture shock: In the USA there’s a little bit of everything

Let’s forgo talking about people, nationalities and cultures altogether and let you experience this on your own. However, we’d like to touch a bit on the topic of food in the USA. After moving to the States you will undoubtedly never eat the same lunch two days in a row. After all, there is simply too much different cuisine to explore and taste. This time, you won’t have to get on a few hour flight just to get some Greek or Italian food at a normal price. Instead, you’ll simply need to drive a few streets down and find the perfect restaurant. And, don’t worry about getting homesick, you’ll surely be able to find some nostalgic food to ease your taste buds. It might not be completely authentic, though. But, it will definitely give you a flashback to your mother’s kitchen after moving to the USA.

Finally, if you’re moving to the USA you should know that size matters

You are probably used to seeing buildings where you live, yes? You perhaps even live in a building yourself. Maybe, you even live on the top floor. However, if you’re thinking of living on the top floor after moving to the USA, you ought not to do so lightly. After all, you might find yourself feeling like a true bird in their nest. The building might be a little too high up for your liking. In other words everything in the USA gets a bit bigger than usual.

Culture shock: In the USA people like everything a bit big

If you’ve ever spoken to a European expat, they may have told you that the sky is much bigger in the USA than back home. If you’re moving to a city like New York, you might think that these expats have a few screws loose. However, if you’re relocating to the South or somewhere outside of the city walls, you’ll soon consider this yourself. It’s easy to notice that Americans like things big, no matter if these are parties or portions of their favorite meal. Get ready to upgrade everything for a few sizes up after moving.

We wish you a great move and an even better time getting over the cultural shock after relocating to the USA!