6 Things to Consider Before Moving to the U.S.

As with any country, the U.S. has its cultural norms and influences that shape society and the way of life for the public. Depending on where you are moving, you might be in for a culture shock. Here are six things to consider before moving to the U.S to make the adjustment easier.

1. Healthcare Is A Paid Privilege

Unfortunately, free healthcare is not a thing in the U.S. Although free healthcare is a perk that other countries get to utilize, it will be something you have to give up if you decide to move here.

Although healthcare isn’t paid for, you’ll have access to physicians, from traditional western doctors to eastern, holistic providers. It might be expensive, but with education being top-notch in the U.S., access to some of the world’s best doctors is undoubtedly something to appreciate.

If you need assistance in learning about the financial and legal customs associated with moving to the U.S. from another country, contact abogados de inmigracion en san diego or immigration lawyers near you to get help.

2. Tipping Is Courteous

In the U.S., the waitstaff is not paid well, so tipping is a polite gesture after a meal. Try to leave at least a 15% tip on your meal to avoid looking rude. Although tipping is not required, it is part of the social exchange, and you’ll be more likely to avoid tense encounters by following the norm! If you need transportation, follow this same rule of thumb for taxi cabs!

3. Work Then Play Lifestyle

Living in the U.S. means that you may need to shift your thinking about work. If you come from a country that prioritizes social time before work and responsibility, such as Italy or France, you will need to adjust to cultural differences. Americans prioritize their work first, as financial security and accomplishment are two very important priorities for most Americans.

Along with this cultural norm, others follow suit. You may find that your boss has higher expectations for you than your boss back home. If this applies to you, make sure you have all you need to work in the U.S. under a skilled worker visa legally.

4. Say Goodbye To Metric System

You’ll need to get familiar with conversions as your brain adjusts to this new measurement system. For some reason, the U.S. uses the imperial system instead of the metric system (unlike most of the world).

It will take some time to get used to it, so be patient. If you’re considering applying for citizenship, this is a big one to mull over! It’s kind of like learning a new language.

5. Understand Sales Tax

When shopping, expect to pay more than what’s listed on the tags. Retail sales tax is added during payment, and the rate will vary depending on the state you live in. If you’re looking to spend less, consider states with lower sales tax or choose to shop sustainably at thrift stores for discounts.

6. Obey Alcohol Laws

America is strict on alcohol laws. The restrictions on the days and times you can buy liquor vary by state, and you can’t legally drink until you’re 21. Driving under the influence is a severe crime! You’ll need to get used to assigning a designated driver or calling for a carshare service if you go out drinking.

The Bottom Line

Moving to the U.S. from another country can be a significant adjustment and culture shock. Consider the six tidbits of insight above as you further consider whether moving to the U.S. is the right move for you!