Common Surprises in the USA

Yes, there are fraternities and sororities, but they are not like what you see in the movies. Many of them are developed to focus on charity and philanthropy. They do have parties but not like what you have seen in movies like Superbad, American Pie, or Neighbors. Feel free to join a sorority or fraternity if you want to help your community and make some lasting friendships!

Americans are very friendly and will want to get to know all about you. Do not be afraid by how forward and loud some Americans can be, we are very curious and interested in learning about you. They are always willing to help someone in need (and are actually quite excited to do so).

Yes, supermarkets are amazing places that you can easily get lost in here in America. Many countries have separate stores for all of your needs. You can go to Walmart or Wegmans and general find anything necessary for building your dorm room to your liking while feeding yourself easily for a week in bulk items. Everything here is HUGE!
Going to the restroom here might be a bit of a shock. There are cracks along the door walls that people can see through, and men generally urinate close to one another. No one is looking, don’t worry. We might be curious people, but not that curious.
The United States is a very large country. So large that it takes a solid eight to nine hours just to travel across New York state from Buffalo to New York City. Everyone has a car and more often than not, and if you give them a few dollars in cash, they will gladly drive you where you want to go.
Tap water is free when you dine, and most places will give you free refills on drinks if you ask. Don’t be afraid to ask. We are used to being questioned/questioning if something is free, for sale, or if they accept discounts from students.

Everyone is very polite. We will apologize for even slightly getting in your way and say please and thank you at any chance we have. It’s a bit ingrained in our heads to be overly polite to anyone for doing even the smallest of tasks for us.


Americans have the mindset of “work hard, play hard” and are known as one of the hardest working nations in the world. We are very motivated and will spend a lot of our time in college studying very hard to keep our grades up as high as possible. Our education system generally requires a lot of work throughout the semester, which may be different from various education systems around the world. We still enjoy having nights out with friends somewhat frequently. There is always something else going on in towns and cities that gives you other alternatives, and Americans won’t generally pressure you to party with them if you say no.

We always tip at a restaurant or bar, or really anywhere that requires a person to serve you. This even includes tattoo artists and taxi drivers. The rule of thumb is 10% tip for the worst service, 15% for good service, 20% for great service. People in these professions very often do not receive a full wage and depend highly on the tip money that they receive to support themselves.
**All gifs taken from
EC Fredonia prepares you for a University English Test.



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