5 surprising facts about the U.S.A.

Going to the USA for the first time? Coming from another country, you may be surprised by some cultural differences that you come across. Read these 5 surprising facts about the U.S.A. to avoid culture shock!


If you’ve never been to the United States, you may come across some shocking experiences during your first visit. People from all over the world see things in movies and on television about the U.S., but in some cases, you need to experience the country for yourself to truly understand it.

Avoid culture shock and read these 5 surprising facts about the U.S.A.:


The distance between everything

The United States is big – so big that it may be difficult for you to wrap your head around. It´s size is 9.857 million kilometers squared – more than twice the size of the entire European Union. The State of Hawaii is so far from the continental U.S. that it is almost halfway between California and Japan. Driving from the east to the west coast of the country would take you about 48 hours (without stopping to sleep). Just to drive from the north to the south of the State of California takes around 15 hours. One of the most surprising facts about the U.S.A. is the travel time needed to get from one place to another, most people are shocked when they experience it for themselves.

Unfortunately, in a country that could highly benefit from good public transportation, there is a lack of it.  Cars are a necessity for most people. Unless you live in a major city, everything you need is far from your house and going by bus or train is most likely not an option.




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University costs

For the 2015-2016 school year, ONE year of tuition at a private university cost $32,405 on average. State residents at public universities paid around $9,410 and out-of-state residents at public universities paid an average of $23,893 for one year of tuition. Because of the extremely high cost of college tuition in the USA, many people are forced to take out student loans to pay for their education. This problem has left a huge amount of young Americans in debt. On average it takes about 10 years after graduating to pay back the loans, in some cases it can take decades.




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Paying with plastic

In the U.SA., it has become increasingly common to pay for things with a debit or credit card. People rarely pay for things with cash. Almost every business in the states accepts debit and credit cards, and in many cases there is no minimum amount for paying with a card. Therefore, it is relatively quick and easy to pay for everything with a card. Don´t be surprised if you see an American paying for something that´s worth $2.00 with a card!


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Customer service

For the most part, customer service in the United States is extraordinary compared to other countries. Waiters and shop assistants are friendly and helpful. Customer service centers try their best to solve your issues quickly and efficiently. Americans strongly believe that the secret to having a successful business is having great customer service – and it shows.


The melting pot

The United States is known as the melting pot of the world because, unless they are native American, every American´s ancestors were immigrants from another part of the world. If you ask an American about their family´s heritage, they will most likely give you a long list of the different countries their ancestors came from. In the United States there are immigrants from all over the world that are passionate about sharing and celebrating their culture and heritage. In the US, you can find a variety of languages being spoken, an array of ethnic restaurants and diverse cultural celebrations.


Have you visited the U.S.A? What did you find shocking about the country and its culture? Share some surprising facts about the U.S.A. in the comments!