How to Adapt to American Culture

by Culture & Society Editor
Distinguish the key differences between American and British English.

Distinguish the key differences between American and British English.

Adjusting to a new culture can be difficult for anyone, especially those adjusting to American culture. American culture is fast and furious in comparison to many nations; but a few simple steps can help you adjust to American culture with relative ease.

Learn the language. If you already have some understanding of English, you can improve your skills by being immersed or by taking supplemental conversational English courses at a local learning center or college.

Seek out communities from your culture with which you can find refuge and assistance. Many communities, especially large ones, have groups that meet periodically from various cultures. You might also look for areas of town with specialized markets and businesses where you can find friends from your culture.

Find food that reminds you of home, while simultaneously seeking out new Americanized dishes to add to your repertoire. Food is comfort, and as a result, it's a good idea to stick with what's familiar and stay open to adapt to American cuisine.

Mix your customs with American customs. Since there are some unbreakable taboos in America, just as in other countries, it's good to familiarize yourself with those in order to adapt. However, don't feel as if you have to divorce yourself from the customs and practices of your homeland.

Join an international organization if you're a college student. College campuses offer an especially rich environment for various cultures and the blending of them. Take advantage of multicultural clubs and events on campus.

Read about American culture. Not only will reading any of the overwhelming variety of American culture books help you adapt, you can also practice your English skills at the same time.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images