Summary of Living in the USA

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Living in the USA book summary
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Alison R. Lanier’s book is part cultural explanation, designed to help those from other countries understand Americans, and part relocation guide, offering practical advice ranging from food customs to how to select a good school. The book, which anticipates newcomers’ needs and helps ease their transitions, is more than a guidebook; it’s a training manual. Intercultural expert Jef C. Davis, who updated this sixth edition, explains how post-9/11 aftershocks have changed things for visitors from abroad. He includes useful advice on cooperating with airport security, staying safe in major cities and complying with immigration regulations. Davis realizes that, due to its cultural and ethnic diversity, America tends to elude effective characterization. The book also offers information on some groups within U.S. society, from Native Americans and Asian Americans to gays, retirees and the disabled. One small caveat: the sobriquet "American" should rightly include folks from Canada and all of South and Latin America, grammatically if not in common social exchange. U.S. citizens are Americans, indeed, but hardly the only ones. Such petty Yanks aside, likes this useful, time-tested presentation of logistical and cultural knowledge for making a new home in the U.S. Now about those sidewalks paved with gold...

About the Authors

Alison R. Lanier based this book on her experiences with her company, Overseas Briefing Associates, which helps people adjust to new countries, cultures and circumstances. Jef C. Davis is an intercultural trainer. He has worked as director for international students for several universities.



Coming to the U.S.

Most visitors know far more about the U.S. than Americans know about other cultures. Perhaps that’s no surprise, given the impact of Hollywood films and the fact that the American media broadcasts images of the U.S. 24 hours a day internationally. Citizens of others countries often feel bombarded with images of the United States. However, don’t assume that you already know American life. TV programs, movies and books can only provide a limited picture of U.S. culture. Many find life in the U.S. somewhat overwhelming at first and feeling at home in the U.S. can require a difficult transition. You are likely to experience these first impressions:

  • The pace - Particularly in major urban areas, the pace of life is fast. Everyone seems to be in a rush. Shoppers seem impatient, taxi cab drivers are brusque and crowds flow rapidly. Particularly in cities, people assume everyone is self-sufficient and in a hurry.
  • Diversity - People of every nationality and background live in the U.S.
  • Openness - Americans tend to be friendly, especially when you get away from major urban centers. You’ll see lots of smiling American faces - continuous ...

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