WHERE TO LIVE IN THE US
America is a huge continent with 50 states and thousands of cities and towns. The best thing about it, is that there’s every possible option that you could possibly dream of. From a cold and icy climate in the north and all the way to the hot and tropical dessert, you can have your pick. Plus, you have the luxury to choose what type of lifestyle you’d like to have according to the area you live in.
For instance, are you looking for that urban big-city experience? Everyone knows America has some of the most impressive and dazzling metropolitan in the world. How about a suburban country life, with the front and backyard, and that small-town American charm? No problem, the US has gorgeously picturesque small cities and suburbs. What about nature? Well, America has plenty of that too. Lakes, rivers, natural reserves, woods, and endless forests – it’s all up to you and what kind of life you’d like to lead.
If you’re undecided, and we admit there are a lot of options, we invite you to consult one of our e-books that cover all these topics and more. From the best locations for family life, through household expenses, an all the way to choosing your ideal hometown in the US.
Once you arrive in the US, you will need to open a bank account. Now, banking is sometimes complicated even when you’re in your own country. So here how’s American Banks work. There are several types of banks you can choose from. There are commercial banks, that provides service to businesses (you can learn more about these in our Business Program-book), there are savings banks, where you can create savings accounts, there are savings and loans banks, and credit unions.
When you open your bank account you will have two types of accounts. One is known as a checking account and the other as a savings account. The checking account is where you’ll receive your paychecks, draw money, make purchases and pay your bills. Also, you will have a checkbook and a bank card for this account. In your savings account, you will deposit long-term funds, that will accumulate interest rates. Of course, these rates vary according to the bank you choose. Make sure that you choose your bank wisely and do your research!
You may have seen it in the movies or TV shows but American culture is very distinct. When you immigrate to the US, you have to be ready and be willing to accept what may seem as a very different culture. For instance, you might have to adjust to the weather, or to the customs, or even to the food. But remember, it’s all part of the experience. While you might choose to live among a community of immigrants from your country, it’s crucial that you are aware to the local culture.
For instance, American holidays are not so much religious as they are focused around family and culture. The biggest and most important and celebrated holidays are Christmas, the 4th of July (Independence Day), Halloween and Thanksgiving. Though the majority of the population in the US identifies as Christians, very few attend churches or practice their beliefs. They are, however, a rather patriotic nation – meaning that they tend to be more politically involved and aware of the political climate around them.
Of course, there are other aspects of American culture that you should be aware of, such as what are considered good manners, the appropriate way to greet new people, education, health system and so much more. But some of those things you’ll have to either read in one of our programs’ e-books or learn along the way – that’s simply part of the magic!
In the US, all children from the ages of 5-8 must attend school. Though some children are home-schooled by their parents or tutors, this must be reported. The first school, which children attend between the ages of 5-12 is known as primary school. Once completing their education at primary school, they move on to secondary school which is divided into two programs: middle school and then high school. Overall, to receive a diploma, children will have to attend school for 12 years in order to graduate.
After this, students usually go to college – which is referred to as higher education. College lasts between 3-4 years, depending on the chosen program. After this, college graduates might choose to continue to an advanced degree at the university. This depends on your grades – which are graded in the US by a system known as GPA. Your GPA determines whether you can enter a more advanced degree, whether you can enter a more prestigious institution. You can read more on this in our designated Student e-book, designed and created for immigrants wanting to study in the US.