Moving to the US? Here’s what’s in it for you as an expat

One of the main challenges expats face when moving to a new country is culture shock. Cultural differences can get in the way of living a stress-free life abroad but are inevitably something you’d have to adapt to eventually. This is especially true if you’re planning in moving to the US, especially since there are certain ways that the country does differently than others. But before that, you’d first have to become a US citizen by complying with the qualifications and requirements that the immigration process requires. 


Besides this, it’s also best if you’re knowledgeable about the things you ought to expect in the country before moving. Knowing these things will allow you to have a brief overview of the kind of life you’ll be having in the US and some of the things you should abide by during your stay. 


Here are some of the things that are in it for you as an expat when you move to the US. 


  1. Language Barriers


Language barriers are usually an inevitable problem you have to face when moving to an unfamiliar country. If you’re not familiar with the language, this can make even the simplest and meager of tasks complicated and difficult to accomplish. Because of this, it’s best if you try learning basic phrases or words before moving so that you can communicate your needs to the locals and residents should you need help. You should also commit to learning the language throughout your stay and work on improving your vocabulary. This is essential in establishing meaningful friendships or relationships that can help you get by from your day-to-day, allowing you to gradually ease into a more comfortable life. 


  1. Healthcare is not free


Unlike in Australia and other countries, the healthcare services in America aren’t provided for free. While moving to the US means potentially escaping the 2% income tax, private medical insurance is still a must. The best way you can go about this is through the help of your employer; however, such an option is usually reserved for full-time employees or workers. Ambulance medics in the US typically possess the right to ask for information about your insurance before transporting you anywhere, which is why it’s best if you have a health insurance card with you at all times. 


  1. States widely vary 


In America, no two states are exactly the same. Since the US is a country that is composed of a massive 3.8 million square miles, it should come as no surprise that there are massive regional differences here. You’ll find differences across its fifty states in politics, weather, accents, and policies or laws. For instance, Oregon legalized the use of Cannabis while Louisiana prohibits it. Mississippi residents consider religion as an essential part of their lives, while those in Vermont do not do so. 


  1. Patriotism is vital 


Patriotism is a serious thing in the US, which is why it’s important that you know about the ‘Flag Code’ before moving there. The Flag Code instructs the citizens how they should act and behave while they hear the national anthem playing, though there are usually no serious consequences gained from breaching it. A few important tips you should keep in mind are standing up, facing the flag, and putting the right hand on your heart while the anthem is being played. Americans usually sing along while it’s played as well. 


  1. Work is a big deal 


If you’re fond of holidays, moving to the US might be a shock to what you’re commonly used to. Unlike Australia, America doesn’t have any law that stipulates employers to provide its workers with paid leave. Fortunately, most firms or businesses in the country give some kind of holiday allowance, though it’s only 21 days on average. 


  1. Don’t forget to provide tips


Meals eaten in restaurants particularly cost more than what’s written on the menu. This is because the restaurant staff isn’t usually compensated well for their efforts, which is why any amount of tip has become an essential source of income for most of them. Leaving a tip that’s lesser than 15 or 20% will have your friendly waitress or waiter feeling a little cold or stoic than usual. While giving tips is optional, it’s still something recommended for you to do. Tipping is also applicable for hotel bellboys or taxi drivers, so make sure to have extra cash to spare on you as much as possible. 


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