Life in the USA:
An Immigrant's Guide to Understanding Americans
by Planaria J. Price and Euphronia Awakuni
Here’s a taste of what you'll be reading:
A Thai student is appalled because his co-worker lets her elderly mother live alone. A Mexican immigrant is insulted when an American friend insists on "going Dutch". A Japanese tourist discovers that bath houses are very different in the US. An Iranian student thinks all Americans are phony because they say “Hi, how are you?” and walk away before hearing how the person really is.
Immigrants and international students living in the USA, as well as tourists, often misunderstand and are confused by cultural differences. Those differences can be as subtle as how to pay on the bus, how to stand in a line, to major misunderstandings such as seeing a hand gesture and thinking it means something else or bringing their entire family uninvited to a dinner party. Because of these differences, both foreigners and Americans often incorrectly conclude that the other is rude and insensitive.
This fascinating book, based on real student letters, sheds some light on typical American culture for foreigners, and is also interesting for Americans to see their culture through others’ eyes. This indispensable guide is perfect for new arrivals to the USA or anyone with questions about the major, troubling differences between American culture and other cultures.
This review is from Amazon.com
Hand this out at the border!, January 13, 2010
Every university that issues a visa to a foreign student should provide a copy of this book to that student. Every U.S. embassy or consulate assisting a foreigner in moving temporarily or permanently to the U.S. should do the same. For Americans welcoming family or friends to our shores, this is the ideal gift. It is sure to be passed around, read and re-read until the binding falls off!
For the newcomer lucky enough to have a copy of this book, here's a bit of friendly advice: Make a mental note of a few parts of this book that are of special interest to you. When you meet Americans and have a chance to talk with them, ask them about something mentioned in the book. Ask "How should I handle a job interview?" or "What is a good gift for a baby shower?" or "I don't drink alcohol. What should I do or say when I am offered an alcoholic beverage?" Make new friends while learning more about "fitting in" as a fellow resident of America.