There is any number of reasons you might be adjusting to life in the U.S. It’s common for people to come to the U.S. to work temporarily, to immigrate permanently, or to study abroad. Au pairs come here for a period of time to provide childcare to families and also live with them during that time.

Regardless of the reasons why you might be in the U.S., you probably already have a lot on your plate. If you’re working, you may be supporting yourself here and also sending money back to your family. If you’re studying, there is the workload that comes with that, along with the inevitable adjustment period of being in a new country.

Being prepared for the adjustment can be helpful, and the following are some things to keep in mind if you’re a new arrival in the United States.

Soak Up American Entertainment: Every area of the world has their own entertainment including movies, music, TV, and general pop culture, and it can provide a lot of insight into the culture of any given region. In the U.S. you have plenty of opportunities to easily and inexpensively soak in all-things entertainment.

Even cultural opportunities like sports events and concerts can be a really good way to familiarize yourself with some of the elements of life in America. Participating in these events can also be helpful for meeting people, and just getting out and enjoying all your new country has to offer.

Take Language Classes: If you’re reading this, you probably have a pretty good understanding of English already, but it can be helpful to take a language class. This is something a lot of au pairs are required to do as part of their programs, but it can be great for anyone new to America.

There are a lot of elements of English language that can be nuanced, and you just get a fuller understanding of not only the details of the language, but you’re also likely to learn about culture in these classes.

Plus, you may be able to meet friends in the classes, and you can all go out and explore the U.S. together.

If Possible, Get Your Driver’s License: In a lot of places around the world, you wouldn’t necessarily need your driver’s license to acclimate. In the U.S., it can be hugely helpful.

Even a lot of the big cities in the U.S. aren’t known for their public transportation. Beyond New York City, in most places, it’s common that everyone drives When you have your driver’s license, it gives you the opportunity to explore your new surroundings and have a sense of freedom in terms of getting out and about.

Finally, what’s great about the U.S. is that it truly is a melting pot, and even outside of big cities you can probably find pieces of home whether it be in certain groups and organizations, restaurants, or shops. While that can be good if you’re feeling homesick, don’t rely on these things instead of exploring your new country. Rather than only focusing on what you might not enjoy about the U.S., try to explore enough that you ultimately find what you do like.

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