What is American culture? There is no single answer to this question. The reason is because the United States of America is a diverse land. Covering more than 9.6 million square kilometers, the U.S. is home to more than 311 million people. While there are values that unite Americans, you will find that a large, urban area like Los Angeles, California has a very different culture and way of life than a small town like Oxford, Mississippi. When nearly three thousand miles separate people on the west coast from those on the east coast, there are sure to be differences! Continue reading for more cultural information what to expect when you arrive in the United States.
Be Prepared to Adjust:
- Research your location in the U.S. to get a feel for the culture, cost, and climate.
- Most people face culture shock upon arrival. This is normal!
- Allow time to adjust and miss family and friends.
- It is COLD in the winter and HOT in the summer! Learn more about the climate of where you will be living.
Culture Shock Advice:
- The program is what you make of it… Get involved! Ask your supervisors and peers about volunteer opportunities in the community.
- Be independent, but seek help if you need it.
- Keep a journal/diary/scrapbook of your memories. This will be something great to share with your family when you return to your home country. This could be hand written or online via a blog or social media.
- Reach out to fellow international participants via Facebook, Twitter or Instragram using #AAG! You can find information on local events here (link to interactive map page).