It is essential to know that when you arrive in a country you do not know, you may be surprised by cultural differences.
When I arrived here, I had a super positive image of the United States, a country where everyone is free to be what they want, without judgment. However, there were many things that seemed strange to me.
The thing that struck me the most was the way men look at women. Everything here is sexualized. Men will find it normal to call you by nicknames like “bae”, “honey” or “sweetie”. All these words are usually used for your girlfriend. As a French woman, I found it very derogatory coming from men I didn’t know. I asked myself a lot of questions about how foreigners could afford to call me that.
It was at that very moment that I thought about my cultural management courses in France. Before we left for abroad, my university taught us behavioral habits. We talked about cultural differences, customs of many countries in the world. Moreover, this point had not been addressed, hence my frustration.
But I took things with more hindsight because our school had put us in a situation on certain points in order to better understand cultural differences.
On the other hand, Americans are very tactile, in France, we’re going to kiss it. Here we’re going to hug you and take you in their arms.
Finally, you won’t believe me but racism is much more present in the United States. At first glance, people will think you’re from here and won’t give you their time. Once you say that you are a foreigner and from another country, people will want to help you no matter what and are interested in you to make you look good.
When it comes to food, eating healthy is more expensive than buying fast food. A piece of advice, scout several supermarkets and find the lowest prices. For fruits and vegetables, without a doubt, the most advantageous is WALMART. Then you have signs like ALDI at very affordable prices as well.
You will surely gain weight when you go to the United States, don’t worry, it’s normal.
When you come across chocolate brands like HERSHEY’S, it’s impossible to resist. You will realize, that French gastronomy is uncontrollable. Americans like it easy. Most of the dishes will be already cooked or the pastry ready, requiring no effort.
If you want to buy alcohol or enjoy a glass of good wine, here you must be over 21 years old. I almost forgot the most important thing, French cheese is a very rare commodity in the United States. They’re cheddar cheese lovers. However, if above all you want to eat the food of French origin, you’ll find it! It will just be more expensive.
I especially understood during this trip, that you have to be open-minded and adapt to cultural differences. After all, we are the tourists in history.