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The Classic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the United States Updated and Expanded for a New Generation
So you want to go to the U.S. and work there? You probably think you already know a lot about the country, having seen so many things on the TV.
But, do you?
You know what, instead of questioning yourself, we have a better idea!
We present you the summary of the book “Living in the USA” which will teach you all there is to know about the culture and lifestyle there. After reading it, you will understand what you are in for better, and hence you will be able to form more precise expectations.
Who Should Read “Living in the USA”? and Why?
“Living in the USA” is, on the one hand, a cultural explanation, which presents the American culture to people that come from other countries, and on the other hand a relocation guideline, which gives useful advice for everything a person may need. In fact, the book is more than just a simple guidebook; it is a training manual that anticipates all newcomers’ needs and questions.
You will find useful tips on food, education, airport security, life in major cities, and immigration regulations.
We recommend “Living in the USA” to everyone who wants to visit it, and even more to those who decided to move there.
About Alison R. Lanier and Jef C. Davis
Alison R. Lanier is the owner of Overseas Brieﬁng Associates, a company that helps people adjust to new cultures and countries.
“Living in the USA Summary”
Most people that visit the USA know more about the country than Americans know about other countries apart from their own. This fact may not be that surprising, since Hollywood, as well as American media, have a significant impact portraying the USA all over the world.
However, even though you have seen a bunch of broadcasts of the American lifestyle, don’t assume you know everything there is to know about it. TV programs, books, and movies provide you with information.
What they give you is a partial picture of the American culture.
In fact, many people find the U.S. lifestyle overwhelming once they arrive in the country, and feeling comfortable with its pace and habits can be a slow transition.
Now, although it can be hard to pinpoint the exact things you can expect in such a diverse and liberal country, there are some impressions you are likely to get upon your arrival, which we present below.
First, you will surely notice that the pace of life, especially in urban areas, is faster than the one back in your home. Everyone you meet will seem to be in a rush: shoppers, taxi drivers, crowds in the street.
Next, you will find that people from different backgrounds and nationalities live in the U.S., making the diversity level higher than anywhere else.
Furthermore, people are open and friendly, so if you are a person that likes to communicate, this fact will work in your favor. However, if you are not a person that wants to talk about private stuff, then you may feel a bit uneasy.
Americans tend to inquire about personal matters since they are used to reaching out like that.
Another critical thing to note is that Americans do not pay much attention to rank or age. Rather than that, they require equality and casual demeanor instead of the preferential treatment of individuals.
Make sure you do not mistake this with a lack of respect – the respect is there, but people do not pack it up in formalities.
The U.S. is big (really, really big) – bigger than China, Brazil and all of western Europe. With its fast pace, fast food, and packaged living filled with furniture rentals and short-term leases, the culture may seem very transitory.
In any case, you have to be there, to truly feel the difference, but still, you can prepare for it by continuing to our critical lessons extracted from “Living in the USA.”
Key Lessons from “Living in the USA”
1. Common Values
2. Relationships: American Style
3. Saving Time
As we already said, having in mind that the country is big and quite diverse, it is hard to pinpoint and summarize the values that drive the society. However, there are several values that we can safely say that rule the U.S. territory. Those are:
- Do-it-yourself independence
- A willingness to challenge authority
- Straightforward approach
- Need for privacy
- Need for personal space
- Control orientation
Relationships: American Style
The pace of life affects all areas of American lifestyle and habits. It also affects the friendships and relationships. The mobility of the society makes indefinite friendships hard to maintain. Relationships are short-lived and may change or disappear once circumstances change. And that is not considered as a big deal.
In fact, years later, relationships can be renewed as if nothing happened. If you come from a society where you view friendships as lifelong connections, you may find this mindset hard to grasp.
In the U.S. time is money, and people always try to make the most of this limited asset. They do not engage in extensive small talk; they love using time-saving devices such as telecommunication and internet devices.
In the U.S. you do not work only when your boss is nearby, you work all the time, and employers expect for you never to stay idle.
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“Living in the USA” QuotesIt is intended as a practical guide to point you toward resources and to help you ask the right questions, with a better understanding of the results you might ﬁnd. Click To Tweet Clearly, we are still coming to terms with the obligations and limitations of our status as the world’s sole remaining military superpower. Click To Tweet We like to believe that we are too diverse a country to make generalizations about; of course, that doesn’t stop us from being quick to generalize about (or even stereotype) other nationalities or ethnic groups. Click To Tweet It is probably fair to say that almost anyone in the world knows more about the United States than the average American knows about any other person’s country. Click To Tweet The fact that we in the United States have lost our innocence is resonating throughout our geopolitical world. Fear is driving our politics, and to some degree, the rest of our lives as well. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
This book is a practical presentation of the culture and logistics needed to know about when preparing to make a new home in the US. One slight problem is that the term “American” should include people from Canada and South and Latin America, and in this book, it is used for the U.S. However, the problematic terms do not make the book any less useful.