An Expat’s Guide to the US Culture

The USA is known to be a great destination for expats to relocate to, in order to enjoy great weather (depending on where you go), job opportunities and quality of life; but there are also many little everyday differences you can also look forward to as you prepare for your new life Stateside…

Social Life

The USA offers residents a very sociable lifestyle, with many neighborhoods, workplaces, churches and schools hosting regular social functions such as barbecues, potluck suppers and participating in local sports leagues.


Americans have a wonderful way of showing enthusiasm for everything – whether it is a pro-sports team game or a kiddies Little League Baseball game, the same amount of effort and cheering will often go in to each from the spectators. The enthusiasm they have is pretty contagious, and difficult not to get caught up in! If you have kids, prepare to be involved in your kids’ school fundraisers, extra-curricular activities, and field trips, as parents are often very hands-on in this area in the States. It’s also a fun way to get to know new people!

Eating Out and Fast Food

Everywhere you seem to turn in the USA there are fast food joints, diners, and chain restaurants serving up delicious food at low prices. It’s no surprise then that Americans do value convenience eating, and tend to eat out on a regular basis. All-you-can-eat buffets are also popular choices.


Americans tend to drive a lot more than people from many other countries, as things are often spread out across vast distances. Americans often won’t think anything of driving 90 minutes to visit a particular restaurant or mall – something Brits would never consider! Driving holidays are also an excellent way to see and experience more of the USA’s amazing landscape and famous landmarks. Many families own RVs or camping equipment, and make the choice to holiday in this way. Head to spectacular sights like the Grand Canyon, check out Yellowstone National Park, or visit Florida’s beaches. The comparatively cheap price of gasoline also makes this type of trip nice and easy on the wallet.

Bigger is Better

Things are often simply bigger in the USA – roads, vehicles, parking spaces, houses, shopping malls, and restaurant portions often come in much larger sizes than the average Brit would be used to! America boasts some of the world’s largest theme parks, sports stadiums and malls, and there are practically endless possibilities for places to visit and events to attend, all packed into one huge country.

Check out our in-depth expat’s guide to moving to the US, with information on education, retirement, finances and more.