Way of Life
Living in USA, is a dream come true opportunity for many individuals across the globe people have a perception of the country based on what they have seen in the movies and TV soaps. And in most cases those perceptions are true. Americans do tend to be more informal (and may be on first name basis with the Professors – though its always good to check this before hand). Whilst casual clothing will get you everywhere, be careful to check some high end restaurants have a dress code (that is enforced) and also certain events call for formal dressing.
As a practice, restaurants do not include a service charge in the bill, ideally 10%-15% of the bill is expected as tips. In a change from the home country, taxi drivers in the USA expect to be tipped at 10%-15% of the fare too.
The US follows the date as MM/DD/YY as opposed to the British system that we are used to i.e. DD/MM/YY. So be mindful of this – especially in the first few months when you are downloading class time tables or doing reservations online.
Geography and climate
United States of America enjoys a wide variety of climates and topographies across the country (which is one of the reason why some Americans don’t feel the need to travel outside the USA).
While California, Florida have warmer climes and milder winters, northern cities like Boston, Chicago, New York, Washington, Minneapolis have colder weather (snow gear).
The USA also has Daylight Savings Time when clocks are set forward one hour. This is generally on the first Sunday in April and ends on the last Sunday in October. A popular mnemonic to remember this is “Spring Forward, Fall Back”
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Though way of life in USA is attractive, countries like Poland, France, Canada, Australia and UK too have friendly living atmosphere, affordable living standards. Click on the respective countries to know more.