Lifestyle In USA

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Lifestyle In USA

The United States of America is home to countless riches that attract travelers from all over the globe. The country houses some of the most picturesque and diverse landscapes on earth, a vast collection of iconic attractions, and many concrete jungles to explore. The destination truly encapsulates all the experiences that make an overseas trip an adventure to remember. Although, there are a few things that you should be aware of before visiting the US. From tipping customs and payment expectations to entry requirements and road rules, here are some of the important things to remember before visiting the United States of America.

Americans do tend to be more informal than people from other countries. It is common custom in the USA to wear casual clothing to school. Unlike India, students greet professors by their first names and don’t use any prefixes such as sir or madam. Nonetheless, good manners and politeness are always appreciated. Always be courteous and polite, and Americans do use sorry and thank you for the smallest of gestures.

However, there are situations and environments in which formality is the norm. Some businesses require their employees to wear a uniform or a suit. It is inappropriate to wear casuals to a job interview. Some of the more prestigious
restaurants, venues, and gatherings require a coat and a tie along with formal shoes. Americans tend to dress up for cultural events (the opera, theater and ballet) and to dress down for athletic events. Formal wear is required at weddings and funerals, or any other event with religious overtones (Formal clothing for men usually comprises of a suit and for women, a dress or a suit).

In the USA, restaurants do not include a service charge in the bill, so tipping your waiter is the normal practice and not leaving one is considered rude. Most servers and staff work on minimum wages and tips being their major source of income, it’s common to leave a 15% to 20% tip to compensate. There have been incidences where restaurants have been offended by the behavior of patrons leaving without or with low tips and banned them from coming back again. So remember, whether you’re at a restaurant, bar, or in a taxi, it’s important to leave a tip, especially if you’ve received good service.
Be careful where you wander in cities
Many cities, no matter what country you visit, typically include suburbs/ areas that you should avoid at all cost. In America, the line between these areas can be quite thin. In fact, the difference between a friendly and dangerous neighborhood can sometimes differ by only one block. Just to be safe, try to be aware of your surroundings at all times, assess your situation regularly, and try to gain some local wisdom on where to and where not to wander.
Most Americans eat three meals during the day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast begins between 7:00 and 8:00 am, lunch between 11:00 am and noon, and dinner between 6:00 and 8:00 pm. On Sundays “brunch” is a combination of breakfast and lunch, typically beginning at 11:00 am. Students often enjoy a “study break” or evening snack around 10:00 or 11:00 pm.
Smoking has in many ways become socially unacceptable in the US. Smoking is prohibited in government and public buildings, and many businesses, especially restaurants, will not permit smoking on the premises. People who smoke are looked down upon in a formal setting. Those restaurants that permit smoking will usually have a separate section for customers who smoke. Most schools and universities have a ban on smoking within campus buildings or near building entrances. If you do smoke, be a model citizen and do not throw cigarette butts on the road.
Temperature and Time

The United States has a very varied climate across all its states. Depending upon what part of the country you are in, you will need to carry clothing options appropriately. You may need an umbrella, even in Las Vegas or Los Angeles, and they may be just as useless on windy days. In the northern cities, such as Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York, Seattle, Washington, Denver, and Minneapolis you will need cold weather and snow gear (It is advisable to purchase them from the US; the Indian clothing and gears will not suffice for the extreme winters of the north). In the southern states, such as California and Florida, summers may be very hot and the winters mild. Depending on the part of the country, temperatures during the summer will run from the 70s through the 90s (Fahrenheit).

No matter where you are in the US, you will probably need a sweater or jacket for part of the year. If you will be living in an area that gets snow, you will need a good winter coat, boots, and gloves. If the coat does not include a hood, you will need a hat that covers your ears. But all this can wait until after you arrive in the US. Clothing is relatively inexpensive in the US, and it may be easier to find appropriate clothing at your destination. Wait until you arrive, and watch what the natives wear.

The concept of Daylight Savings might seem new coming from India. The main purpose of Daylight-Saving Time (called “Summer Time” in many places in the world) is to make better use of daylight. They change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. It begins on the first Sunday in April and ends on the last Sunday in October. The mnemonic “Spring Forward, Fall Back” will help you remember how to set your clocks. It is adjusted automatically on all electronic devices that are connected to the internet. Students tend to stay up and have parties that day to see the clock move forward or backward. Quite interesting, isn’t it!

Forms of Address

In an informal situation, Americans will introduce each other by first name, without titles. Some people preferred to be called by their last name and it is considered polite to ask how they would like to be addressed. People who hold important positions must always be addressed with their titles first, such as the director or a president of the university. Unless they tell you otherwise, faculty should be addressed using their title and last name (e.g., “Professor Smith”).

Be sure to address your professors or people whom you email with the correct titles (not every lecturer is a professor, as professor is an official title given to a select few and reflects seniority in comparison to others); this would reflect good on your candidacy. It showcases sincerity and effort. A mistake here can be seen as a sign of being casual and disrespectful.

Business Visits
Business visits, on the other hand, tend to be extremely punctual. If you arrive late to a business appointment, it will reflect badly on you. So try to arrive on time, or even a little early. If you know that you will be arriving late, you should telephone ahead to let them know of the delay. Remember, it is considered more professional to be on time, not earlier than 10 minutes to your appointment and not a minute late.
Don’t visit without health/ travel insurance
Travel insurance is a necessity of any trip overseas and when it comes to America, it is absolutely essential. The country’s health services are extremely expensive, to the extent that you’ll be wondering whether you truly need medical attention or if you can stick it out. Just to be safe, it may be wise to make an investment in travel insurance and keep a printed version with you while on your journey. No student must ever travel without a valid insurance to study in the USA. Most insurance providers have their mobile application to store digital copies of active insurance as well.
If you wish to give a gift to those who helped you with your admission process to the University of your liking, the best gift would be something that is unique to your country. It need not be especially valuable or rare, just reminiscent of your home country. Possibilities include a book about your country, an inexpensive handicraft or piece of art, or something else that reflects your culture. You may walk an extra mile to find out about their hobbies in their bio and be thoughtful about your gifting choices.

If you owe a debt of deep gratitude to an American host family, a common way of repaying it is to take the family to a form of entertainment, such as a baseball, basketball, or hockey game, the ballet, or to a good restaurant. It is customary in the US to split the bill so be sure to make it clear that it is your treat!

Calendar Dates
In the United States, dates are written as month/day/year. This is the opposite of the British method, in which dates are written day/month/year. So while 4/3/67 would be March 4, 1967 in Europe, it is April 3, 1967 in the United States. It is best to write out dates using the month name in order to avoid confusion.

Education In The US

In the US, higher education refers to optional schooling that is done after secondary (high school) education. Also known as tertiary education, third level, third stage, post-secondary education, or higher education takes place either in universities or colleges all around the country.

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US Colleges & Universities

Americans love to have variety in their personal lives and always like to have choices. This is reflected in the wide variety of institutions of higher learning existing in the U.S. There are a large number of colleges and universities in the United States that were formed by religious groups and organizations.

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Customs & Immigration

Every person who arrives to the US needs to go through Customs and Immigration checkpoint, just as you will go through the Emigration checkpoint at your country of departure. Note that there are separate lines for Greencard and US Citizens, so be sure to use them if you are eligible.

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Travel Checklist

A complete travel checklist with all the necessary documents that are required is provided to our students to prepare for departure and their time to study in the USA. Several US travel agencies specialize in student, and budget travel, including international travel.

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