Living in the United States of America
A melting pot of different cultures and nations since before Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean at the end of the 15th century, the USA has always been a popular destination with immigrants, and those looking for adventure, a new life and new opportunities. The USA is not only one of the strongest economic powers in the world, but offers an unparalleled mix of cultures, and lifestyles, varied terrains, and diverse employment opportunities.
The USA was founded by thirteen British colonies located along the East Coast. After acquiring further land from other European countries, waves of immigration, and the two world wars, the USA has emerged as a major economic and military power. Today it accounts for almost 50% of global military spending, and is a leading political, ideological, and cultural force in the world.
The USA is the second most popular destination of expats when leaving the UK, and is filled with people chasing their American dream and making all their deepest ambitions a reality in the land of opportunity! America is one of the most desirable countries in the world that can offer British expats living in the USA unparalleled opportunities, high wages, and a thrilling sense of individual freedom.
Dreaming of beautiful white-sandy beaches of Florida in the East Coast? Or an abundance of stunning natural beauty in Alaska? Or maybe you want the cosmopolitan lifestyle of California in the West, or life in the fast lane in New York? Every state and city in the USA has something special to offer you and make your life as an expat living in the USA the best years of your life.
For those who manage to move permanently to the USA, there is great potential in a multicultural country that welcomes and values expats and encourages an entrepreneurial spirit.
Advice about moving to and living in the USA
To work in the USA, you will require a visa, which you can apply for at the American embassy in the UK. If you are living and working in the USA without a visa, you are considered an illegal alien.
Living costs will greatly depend on the area and state you are moving to. If you are moving to Los Angeles, Chicago or New York for example, prepare for high costs. Moving into smaller towns or areas with more land can be much cheaper and make your money go a lot further. In some areas, you can get affordable large and spacious houses, complete with swimming pools, a basement, huge kitchens and a garage for the price of flats and houses in cities in the UK - sometimes even cheaper!
Before moving to the USA with your children, you will have to consider education options. In most states, there are both public and private schools, and a good university degree may require substantial financial investment. The American system of teaching is different to the UK and the initial adjustment to American culture can be difficult for children, but there are plenty of resources to help prepare your children for the change such as speaking with people who have already made the move and been in your position.
Interesting facts about the USA
- The United States is spread across six time zones, it's that big. From west to east, these are Hawaii, Alaska, Pacific, Mountain, Central, and Eastern.
- The USA is the 3rd biggest country in the world in terms of population and size. Native Americans are used to driving for days to get to their holiday spot. To give you an idea of scale, you could drive from one end of the UK to the other in roughly the same time as it takes to get across the whole of Texas.
- 9 different cities across the USA have served as the nation's capital at one point or another, even if only for a day! They are: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; Lancaster and York, Pennsylvania; Princeton, New Jersey; Annapolis, Maryland; Trenton, New Jersey; New York City; and Washington D.C.
- Flag etiquette is important in the USA. Do you know about The United States Flag Code? The Flag Code establishes advisory rules for display and care of the national flag, and states that the flag should not touch anything beneath it, including the ground.
- Every state in America has its own license plate slogans. Most states create the slogans to help promote tourism to the state. You've probably heard of The Sunshine State of Florida, but did you know Minnesota is The North Star State? If you're preparing for a move to the USA, you can turn it into a fun game with your children.
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