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East and West – An Indian Adjusting to Life in the States

This is a guest post by Ritu from India. Before I started writing this article, I watched some videos on youtube and browsed through books that talked about cultural differences. I was trying to get a hook, a starting point, to begin describing some aspects of my own experience of what it means to be an Indian living in the United States. It’s an experience that’s difficult to put into words, and... read more

Expat Christmas Traditions

Life as an expat gives you the chance to either experience and adapt to a new culture as is, or you carry over some of your own traditions and blend it all together. The best of both worlds so to speak. Christmas is a great example and is generally celebrated the same, but with some slight traditional variations. It starts with the time to get a Christmas tree. In Germany my parents used to get it at the... read more

The Things We Miss

Welcome “Oh God My Wife Is German” readers! I know you just got treated with one of his finest once again, which is hard to compete with. But I gave it a shot and here the version of the “evil mirror image”… Background info for other readers: The other day I reached out to the author of the Oh God My Wife Is German blog, asking him if there are any products he misses from his... read more

Thanksgiving in the USA – More than just a holiday

It’s Thanksgiving season! The time when American families come together, even travel long distances to meet up, and share a meal together. Not any meal, but the traditional dinner centered around a large roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and gravy. For dessert there’s traditionally apple pie, but also pumpkin pie, pecan pie and other variations. But the most important part of... read more

430 Million Unused Vacation Days

Yesterday morning  I read an article in our local newspaper why so many Americans don’t use their vacation days. So let me try to paraphrase it in my own words. You’ve probably heard already that U.S. workers do not take a lot of vacation days during the year, mainly due to the fact that they don’t get a lot. There’s no mandatory amount of paid days off, that companies have to... read more

5 Tips to Avoid Looking Like an Idiot

Being new to a country comes with a lot of challenges and you always want to do as best as you can to fit right in without looking like an idiot. There are a lot of situations that you’re not familiar with at first and that you would manage totally different in your own country. Here are 5 tips on very common situation and how to master them. Gas Pump “not working” When I travelled... read more

5 Must See Historical Monuments in the United States

This is a guest post by Flora Cox. Every nation has a history and United States is no exception. Although its history may not be as rich as that of china or England it has numerous historical sites that honour the American history and heritage. These landmarks portrays America’s rich history from the early day’s right into modern times. People interested in visiting and explore these monuments have an... read more

3 Places to See in NYC That Are Not in Your Tourist Guide

This is a guest post from Christina Loiacono. New York City is one of the most traveled-to and written-about cities in the world. Visitors come to see the tall buildings, gaze at the bright lights, and walk down Broadway. After being a resident for nearly five years, I can confirm that New York really is everything all the tourist guides say it is. It’s colorful, energetic, charming, and the amount of... read more

14 American Mysteries I Haven’t Solved Yet

  When was the last time you were really puzzled about typical American behavior? For example the obsession over the greenest lawn, cheese everything or the mysterious gap in bathroom stalls. I notice stuff like this all the time and while it’s sometimes frustrating (see 70 degrees), most of the time it’s just amusing. We do live in a different culture and that comes with a ton of... read more

My 9 Biggest Struggles During my 1st Year in America

It would be too easy, if everything would go super smooth when moving into a foreign country. America is a great country, but there are also some things that can really challenge you during your first year. If you’re a seasoned expat, you know exactly what I’m talking about. True to the fact that you can never have it all, each expat struggles with a few things that are unfamiliar or just... read more

Need Customer Service Training? America Can Teach You!

Does America have a good or bad customer service culture? You might just remember some bad examples that you’ve heard somebody complain about, because all the good ones are usually taken for granted by anyone. I’d like to mention a few things that I really like about American customer service. Being from Germany, I have first hand experience of customer service between two countries, two... read more

26 Signs That You’ve Been Americanized

Every now and then I catch myself or my wife with something that we didn’t do back in Germany. Something very American. So I thought it would be funny to list a few things that expats sometimes copy, because they are getting slowly but surely Americanized. I actually just wanted to do a “5 Signs” series, but as soon as I started my list I couldn’t stop. If you’re American and... read more

Will the Kids Be Alright?

It feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity. Your employer is offering to send you to their U.S. subsidiary, so that you can help develop an important project. It’ll be good for the company and great for your career. And you’ve always dreamed of working in America. But what about your spouse and your 3 kids? Will they be as excited about this opportunity and be supportive? Every year... read more

Imperial vs. Metric System for Expats

The U.S. is one of only 3 countries world wide, that still uses the Imperial system, also known as U.S. Standard. Well, Americans have adapted to the metric system in science, sports (5k anyone?) and medicine, but everything else is still stuck in ancient times. Speed, length, temperature, weight, etc. – everything is different. That can be quite a challenge for new expats, because they usually think in... read more

American Culture Tips for New Expats

I love when I get questions from my readers. The most recent question I got is about American cultural behavior and what could seem odd or puzzling about it to a new expat. It’s been over eight years since I had my first encounter with the American culture, but I sure remember every bit of it. So let me dive right into it and give you a few examples of what to look out for. Easy “First... read more

USA and England Through the Eyes of a German Expat

For most of my life I lived only 500 miles away from England, but never visited until recently. I guess now, that I live 4,000 miles away, in America, made England a more desirable destination, so my wife and I recently made a 4-day trip to London. The fun thing as expats living in an English speaking country is to experience another English speaking country and to find out about the differences.... read more

13 Traits of the American Convenience Culture

I just returned from a 3 week long vacation to Germany and slowly getting back into the swing of things. While I was gone I participated in a blogger contest, where everyone had to write a “Top List” article. I did not win anything, but since I already spent the time writing it, I should just share it with you, too. It’s about the American Convenience Culture. To read my article, visit... read more

Thanksgiving and the Shopping Craze

Thanksgiving in America is the time of big family gatherings, very bad traffic, skyrocketing hotel charges, lots and lots of food with leftovers that will last until Christmas, long lines and overnight camping in front of stores, and merchants who are making a killing, because the days after Thanksgiving are kicking off the most lucrative time of the whole year. Blackout Wednesday It all starts out with... read more

Q&A: Open Container Laws, HOV and the $2 Bill

Why is drinking alcohol in public prohibited? In order to avoid public intoxication or even worse, being drunk behind the steering wheel, America has Open Container Laws that can slightly vary from state to state. In the majority of US states this law prohibits posession and/or consumption of open alcohol containers in public places like on the street or in a park. However, most states adhere to that law... read more

Halloween in America – Creativity at its Best

We’re near the end of the scary season with the grand finale coming up on October 31 – Halloween. Inspired by ancient Celtic traditions with giant bonfires to ward off roaming ghosts, Halloween was brought to the U.S. by the many Irish and Scottish immigrants who came in masses during the 19th century. Its popularity grew so much that by the beginning of the 20th century it’s been celebrated... read more

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