50 states come together to form the United States of America. Each state with its own unique culture, each resident with an idea about what makes up the “American Dream”. The country can be viewed through so many different lenses. And while we all know various cliches about cheeseburgers and chatty people, I want to share some insider tips about the US culture.
Let’s go ahead and establish it now: not every American eats fast food for every meal (though, I might try it if In-N-Out ever starts making breakfast). Often called “The Melting Pot”, the US is nothing if not a complete blend of cultures. This means that influences from all over the world come to live together and that means one very important thing – you’re going to find some amazing food!
In the same neighborhood, you can easily find authentic Salvadorean pupusas and Indian curry. In the bigger cities, you’ll come across cultural favorites dancing together on the plate. The US loves a good fusion kitchen. And if that’s not enough of a new experience for you, you’d be hard pressed to find a restaurant that doesn’t let you customize your order to your liking or dietary need. Of course, we do like a classic steak with potatoes and nothing beats a fresh-baked apple pie.
TOP TIP: Take advantage of America’s many different cultures as they fuse together in a menu. Go exploring and figure out your new favorite meal from a culture you might not have grown up around. Or if you’re feeling brave, check out one of the interesting eateries from a celebrity chef like Guy Fieri or keep it lowkey at one of the popular chains like the always favorite, Cheesecake Factory.
This felt worthy of its own category, as it’s such a favorite in the US. We know, our coffee chain culture isn’t exactly revered everywhere and it might come as a surprise to see that many Americans really do walk around with a hot cup of coffee in their hand during their morning commute. But as with the food culture, it’s safe to say that there are endless combinations when it comes to our coffee. Whether it’s a small decaf or a large latte with three extra shots of espresso. Different regions have different ideas about what makes a great cup of coffee and contrary to popular belief, it’s not always going to be a giant flavored latte from the chain on the corner.
TOP TIP: Try a chain you like and figure out your signature drink there. You have just about endless options so don’t be afraid to mix and match until you find what you like. You should also check out the local boutique cafes in the area. You’ll find something that’s one-of-a-kind there, guaranteed. But it’s also okay if you’re just there for the Starbucks.
Basketball and American football are huge staples in the average American home and it’s impossible to forget about baseball – often hailed as “America’s pastime”. Volleyball, snowboarding, and Nascar are some of the contributions we’ve provided to the world of sports. We also love a good counterculture sport like Roller Derby and Truck Racing, but those are for the truly extreme.
TOP TIP: Get to a live game if you can. Basketball games are exciting, even if you’re not too familiar with the game. And even though it’s not quite as fast-moving, baseball games are an American tradition you’ve got to experience at least once – even if you’re really only there to eat hot dogs (don’t worry, we won’t judge you for that!)
At our New York campus, high school students can explore contemporary learning and boarding school life through America’s academic experience while preparing for university.