Main Differences in Social Culture Between the USA and Europe

The US and Europe are in many ways two different worlds. With very different histories and perspectives in general, visiting or moving to either place might be a bit of a culture shock for some people. Social culture in more ways than one shapes our perspective, lifestyle, habits, and values. It determines our environment and what we become accustomed to. Throughout the rest of the text, we’ll explore some of the main differences in social culture between the USA and Europe. Meanwhile, we’ll give you the most efficient tips you can apply to your move overseas. 

Social Culture

We don’t often realize the variety of cultures around the world. The social norms each of us become accustomed to stem from our background, the history of our culture, and the environment altogether. For example, something that’s a given in one place might be completely foreign and perceived a different way elsewhere. This is why it’s important to educate yourself and immerse yourself in different cultures while being aware and open about your own social culture. Being multicultural truly does broaden one’s horizons and makes you much more open-minded. 

A dreamcatcher.
Embrace the differences of a variety of cultures in Europe, while learning the history behind it.

USA vs Europe

Relocating from the US to Europe is a big step. It’s important to be well prepared for this overseas move. First, begin planning your move early on. A well-structured plan with an organized timeline is key to a successful relocation. From planning each stage of this move to keeping yourself organized and focused, you will maximize your efficiency and simplify the entire moving process. 

A person holding a  check mark in the hand as a sign of knowing all about the differences in social culture between the USA and Europe.
A moving plan is your overseas checklist. It will keep you organized, efficient and focused.

Moreover, it’s important to consider all aspects of the move well ahead. For example, you should start researching moving companies at the beginning of the process as it might take some time to find someone reliable. Finding dependable experts is crucial, as having an efficient team help you with moving will help you stress less. 

Main Differences

As you are gradually preparing and planning for your overseas move to Europe, we suggest that you do a bit of research on some of the main differences in social culture between the USA and Europe. This will help you adjust and settle in much faster. From different holidays, politics, food, and socializing rules to the university system, there is a variety of customs and norms that will differ between the two places. Let’s evaluate!

Food and Drinks

When it comes to eating food and having drinks, Europeans are more inclined to eat traditional meals and their own specialties as opposed to Americans. Meanwhile, fast food is much more common in the US, as work schedules keep most people busy throughout the day. Also, lunch in Europe is one of the biggest meals as opposed to dinner in the US. When it comes to alcohol, the law is much stricter in the US. Age controls are much tougher there and strictly regulated. 


When it comes to the US, the most spoken language is English, with Spanish following right behind it. Meanwhile, Europe having about 44 countries, the number of languages spoken is a lot more than that of in the USA. Hence, we suggest doing research on the country you are moving to so that you can get familiar with the language and social culture there. The more efficient you are with that, the easier it will be to settle in. 


The schooling system is a little bit different as well. Most universities in Europe are free, while in the US yearly tuition is a common thing. Most European universities also have entrance exams prior, while in the US the application system mostly depends on prior schooling and GPA. 


While Halloween is huge in the US, most European countries don’t celebrate October 31st. With different religions and cultures across Europe, not everyone has Christmas in December either. We encourage that you become familiar with your future country’s customs while embracing your own as well. On the other hand, mixing religion with politics in Europe is not as common as it is in the US. 


With such different histories and highlights on social culture, it is normal for the USA and Europe to be different in many aspects. From individualism to state views, and differences in lifestyles, it is very interesting to have a wider outlook on these elements. For example, while in the US most people stand by the motto live to work, in Europe this is way more laid back. Europeans work to live, hence why grabbing a coffee or lunch midday is a lot more convenient than in America. 

Some old letters and photos and a pen.
History is an intricate and insightful topic. Learning where our social norms derive from is important.

Ready, Set, Go!

While you are getting more familiar with the way of life in Europe, continue preparing for your overseas move. Transferring your belongings overseas is a big project, therefore ensure to start it on time so that you can handle everything in a timely manner. In case this is all new to you and you don’t know where to begin, consider and look for professional assistance for overseas moving. An experienced professional will handle this task with efficiency and ease, allowing you to focus on other matters of your European relocation. 

Embrace the Changes

Moving to Europe from the US can be overwhelming, but it is also something to look forward to. Moving to a place with so much history and roots, it will be truly amazing to get familiar with the social culture there. As we have highlighted a few differences to be aware of, for now, feel free to do much research on the differences between the two places. Getting to know your future home while learning valuable information is exciting! Therefore, get your dictionary ready, pack your bags, and explore Europe!

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