Understanding the U.S. Culture

U.S. social customs may be similar to your own but they can also be very different from where you call home. 


Adjusting to a new environment can sometimes produce a lot of uneasiness, anxiety, fear, embarrassment, anger and just general discomfort in your new surroundings.  This is commonly known as “culture shock”.

One proven way to lessen the symptoms of culture shock is to learn as much as you can about the social norms and customs of the U.S. before you arrive.

Here is a List of Resources (PDF) you may find helpful in your quest to understand Americans and the new culture you will immerse yourself in.  In addition, please visit the websites below for more details.

World Values Survey
These surveys were designed to provide a comprehensive measurement of all major areas of human concern, from religion to politics to economic and social life.

Pew Research Center for the People and the Press  
The Center is an independent opinion research group that studies attitudes toward the press, politics and public policy issues. Their purpose is to serve as a forum for ideas on the media and public policy through public opinion research.

Fulbright Scholars Describe Perceptions of U.S. Abroad
Ten visiting Fulbright scholars from seven countries tell in a town meeting how the United States is viewed in their home countries.

EduPASS  
Social customs and cultural differences in the United States.

Salisbury University
American customs and the things you need to know about.

(Information provided by NAFSA: Association of International Educators)