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6 things that shock Aussies when they visit the US

Although Aussies and Americans both speak English, there a number of defining differences in culture, language and cuisine. Some differences are smaller, like the importance of college football, and others are more noticeable, such as American’s huge food portion sizes.

  1. The U.S. is very diverse

The U.S. is very diverse in every way it can be. Depending on the region of the country you’re in, the state or even the town, you will see differences among how people look and dress, speak and even act. Beyond that, the American landscape ranges from hot and humid to cold and dry, all depending on where you are.

  1. Americans love an Aussie accent

In particular, American women love an Aussie accent. As soon as you speak, an American woman may look up and smile. As with most cultures, Americans don’t like their own accents but love everyone else’s.

  1. Dining out may be confusing

There are many differences in the names of food items in the U.S. For example, main courses are called “entrees” and Italian tomato sauce is called “marinara,” and regular tomato sauce is called “ketchup.” Perusing a guide of vocabulary differences may make eating out a bit easier, or you can embrace the fact that dining out might be food-roulette.

  1. Americans still use cheques

Despite the fact that Australians don’t use cheques, Americans still do – and they’re called checks. If you’re staying in the U.S. long-term and need to pay rent, cheques are typically the only way landlords accept payment.

  1. Talking about politics is common

Americans have a reputation for being outspoken, which is accurate. Personal boundaries are less restrictive and opinions are often given weight. As such, don’t be surprised if you are asked about your social and political views, religion, or sexual preference within minutes of meeting someone new.

  1. Cross-town traffic

Watch out when you are crossing the street! In America, they drive on the right-hand side, not only that, walking anywhere in town is very rare, a trip two blocks away is considered car-worthy. Prepare for some funny looks if you suggest a short walk to the local store when there is a perfectly good taxi coming along.

For the frequent traveller, finding the differences between Aussie and American culture will be fun. Although a lot of things are the same, there are many surprising contrasts in food, etiquette and language.

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