Many people use religion as a way to stick together in America since many churches are formed to cater to specific groups of people. For instance, the Haitians have their own church services, as well as the Africans and the Spaniards. Despite all the new things that are happening in America, many are strong in their faith and religious belief.” (Sean Horsford, Grenada)
American appreciate their privacy, especially when it comes to matters of money. They would not like to be asked how much things cost or how much money they make. This is seen as an invasion of privacy and very rude.
“I know Americans do not like to talk about money, because of privacy. Sometimes, they even think it is impolite. So I barely do that. But I found an interesting phenomena, which is totally different from what I knew about America before I came here. In my old perspective, Americans always pay their own bills when they hang out together, even if they are best friends or in a relationship. Actually, they sometimes treat their friends without any special reason, the same as we do in China. Additionally, if they invite you to their home and you order food together, they will treat you as well.” (Chao “Calida” Gao, China)
In restrooms, it is expected to flush the toilet after use and to dispose of toilet paper in the toilet. Please ensure to wash hands after using the toilet. Ladies’ sanitary items should be put in the provided trash can.
Tap water is clean enough to drink and to brush your teeth with. Some people prefer to drink bottled and/or filtered water.
“Sharing food at dinner is not proper in the USA. Chinese people like to share food at the table, especially among family, relatives, or friends. Americans usually prefer to split the bill when having dinner together.” (Liping “Cindy” Qin, China)
“In my country, Brazil, we can go to a restaurant and not order anything or take a long time to order. In the end we always stay after eating to talk to whoever is with us and it may sometimes last for hours. You pay for your check whenever you want. In the U.S. you are expected to enter the restaurant, order, eat, pay and leave. Sometimes you don’t even need to ask for the check, and when you eat the last bite of food, the server may bring the check for you. In the beginning it was very weird and stressful to me, but I got used to it. If you do not want to eat, but just want to have drinks, you should ask the host/hostess of the restaurant if you can get a table or if you erican restaurants are more relaxed and waiter/waitress will not pressure you so much to order, slowly we find the places that we feel more comfortable in.” (Patricia Flecha Amarante, Brazil)
Americans like their personal space and stand about 2 feet apart when talking. Physical touching when in a conversation usually makes Americans uncomfortable.
“In America, personal space is needed when accidentally bumping into someone. If this happens, you may simply say, “Sorry”. When needing to get by someone, always say, “Excuse me” loud enough for the person to hear and then wait for them to move over.” (Agnesa Cherepanova, Ukraine)
When people are good friends or family, they will sometimes hug each other to say hello, goodbye or thank you.