Isolation of nations, different climate and resources as well as other factors led to different customs in different places forming. But with globalization, we are able to know about those differences and prepare for them. However, some things are less talked about because people may not even realize that it could be different in other places, so there is always something that can surprise us.

The country that people like to talk about very often is the US. There are so many things they do differently, so visiting the country or living there might cause some culture shocks. Redditors were discussing this very topic when Miserablemermaid asked “Non-Americans of reddit, what was the biggest culture shock you experienced when you came to the US?” There were more than 30k answers given in just a day, so we collected the most interesting things redditors pointed out.

More info: Reddit

#1

Amount Of Sugar In Food

Amount Of Sugar In Food Your sugar has very little food in it.

manjeete , Lisa Risager Report

RNA
Community Member
4 months ago

You! I like you :)

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#2

Racial Diversity

Racial Diversity Seeing children of all different colors. It was beautiful.

SuspiciousSpecific71 , USAG- Humphreys Report

april jenkins
Community Member
4 months ago

you see that in australia..

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#3

The Treatment Of Veterans

The Treatment Of Veterans The treatment of veterans. A lot of communication around the respect they deserve. Yet many of them are broke, homeless and in a generally bad position.

coenw , Nick Vidal-Hall Report

RoseTheMad
Community Member
4 months ago

And (and I'm sure I'll be downvoted for this) unfortunately, I've seen and read about a lot of cases where veterans (and especially their spouses, for some reason) become extremely entitled. I completely agree with the quote from Bojack Horseman "Maybe some of the troops are heroes but not automatically" where he goes on to say that people can be jerks, and giving a jerk a gun and a title doesn't make them not a jerk. I respect the fact you fought for your country, but I'm not going to respect you if you're an entitled jerk. xP

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#4

Flags Everywhere

Flags Everywhere Not really a shock but one thing that really surprised me was the sheer amount of flags.

It was like almost every building had an American flag. Here in Belgium, if I see a house with a national flag I assume there's some kind of sport event going on that I didn't know about.

Conocoryphe , Bill Smith Report

Tyler Hobson
Community Member
4 months ago

And they "make" kids pledge their allegiance to it. Not to our country or fellow Americans, but a flag.

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#5

The Toilet Doors

The Toilet Doors The toilet doors (or lack thereof). Not enough door!

Seriously, you're a wealthy enough country you don't need to leave an inch gap at the sides and a foot and a half at the top and bottom.

litsto , njaminjami Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

When you are on the loo and you make accidental eye contact with someone outside your cubicle, that should tell you that the gaps around the doors are too big.

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#6

Large Spaces, But Poor Public Transport

Large Spaces, But Poor Public Transport Could not walk anywhere, or take good public transport. Always had to take Ubers or hitch lifts.

Everything was also HUGE. Cities, buildings, regular houses, food portions. I'd say people but I did not see anybody who was hugely obese there at least.

There was an insane amount of space just...everywhere. As a European used to being crammed into every available nook, even in rural areas, the way that towns and cities just stretched out was unimaginable.

ScotchSirin , Virginia State Parks Report

A Jones
Community Member
4 months ago

I guess I should consider myself lucky by moving to a place where I can walk in the states. I don't like driving (anxiety, can't pump gas). It's a semi-urban place.

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#7

Friendly Strangers

Friendly Strangers Everyone I met treated me like a long lost friend

Red_Ranger75 , Ricardo Moraleida Report

Ylva
Community Member
4 months ago

Great, I suppose.. I, a swede, would hate it though. Not people being nice, just people invading my personal space. 😂

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#8

Air Conditioning Everywhere

Air Conditioning Everywhere The air conditioning. Everywhere. And the literal temperature shock between the inside and the outside of any f**king building.

un_saumon , Matthew Paul Argall Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

One of the things I miss most of all about the USA!

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#9

Everything Is Huge

Everything Is Huge Everything being f**king huge. Literally. Road lanes, groceries, soda sizes. Especially distances: where i come from, 3 hours of driving are enough to cross half of the country, in the US it's just a small drive to go to see a relative or something.

salderosan99 , Ben Schumin Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
4 months ago

3 hours wouldn't even get me out of state.

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#10

Lawyer Commercials

Lawyer Commercials Lawyer commercials and "if this happened to you, you can sue them" commercials.

RegnumRico , Wesley Fryer Report

ojjunior
Community Member
4 months ago

Absolutely! Lawyers billboards, TV ads, subway ads, bus ads incentivating people to sue everyone for every reason is simply disgusting. Let alone those advertising in spanish as your "abogado". Simply ridiculous. Easy to understand if someone says the US Legal system is overwhelmed.

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#11

Christianity Everywhere

Christianity Everywhere Christianity everywhere. On your money, in the school, every Sunday, churches everywhere, in your pledge, in the Boy scouts, verses at the bottom of In&Out milkshakes

Majestic_Bierd , Ben Schumin Report

RandomBeing
Community Member
4 months ago

This depends on where in America you are. I remember going to an area in the "bible belt" for the first time and it was also a culture shock for me lol.

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#12

Friendly Road Workers

Friendly Road Workers I was walking down the street and there were some road workers doing something a bit ahead. When I got near them, one of them approached me and super kindly asked me to cross to the other side, halted the traffic so I could cross and wished me a nice day as I went along.

In my country they would've probably heckled at me for not crossing, and I would've told them to go f**k themselves for not signaling things properly as I walked in the middle of the street potentially getting hit by a car

madkeepz , Daniel Lobo Report

Zophra
Community Member
4 months ago

Awwww... this one is USA nice.

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#13

Turn Right On Red

Turn Right On Red Turn right on red. Beautiful.

klonricket , A_Peach Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

The only reason it works is because most of the USA is built in a grid system. So you come to a 90 degree angle crossroads and you can make a right on red. It does not and cannot work on older streets where roads do not meet at a right angle, or when there are more than four roads meeting at the junction.

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#14

The Importance Of The College/University You Go To

The Importance Of The College/University You Go To The importance of the College/University you go to. For me it felt like the name, you can even call it brand, of the College is more important than your actual skills and knowledge as well as the quality of education you receive. So many times, people asked me which College/University I visit and told me about their College and the College their childrens are visiting. Totally different than what I am used to in Germany, where it is mainly focused on your skills and grades not the College/University your are visiting.

Breathinglegend69 , carmichaellibrary Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

That only matters for a very few colleges, and I am in a position to say that the education you get at Ivy League colleges is NOT superior to the education at other universities. It's just that it will open doors for you by other people who are part of the elite club. If it's not one of these elite colleges, it really doesn't matter where you go.

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#15

Tipping

Tipping Tipping. And not just tipping, but tipping so much that the entire thing I bought (e.g. a meal) is now in an entirely higher price bracket.

wristconstraint , Kai Hendry Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

Tipping is really, really important, because US laws allow for servers to be paid around $2 an hour (which is just so wrong to begin with). So not only do they need the tips to stand a chance of making a living wage, but they are also taxed on those tips because it is ASSUMED that they will get them. So if you don't tip someone, they actually lose money. It's a really bad system, but while it exists, please plan to tip in the USA.

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#16

How Early Everything Starts

How Early Everything Starts How early everything starts. School, work. 6am wake ups. That was hard.

helicoptercici , Paul van de Velde Report

april jenkins
Community Member
4 months ago

then you've never worked in brisbane, australia. we don't have DLS, and most people like working from 4am when it's bright and light ;)

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#17

A Lot Of Advertisements

A Lot Of Advertisements Advertisements in between the title credits of the show and the actual show. You guys have a LOT of advertisements.

VodkaMargarine , Markus Report

RoseTheMad
Community Member
4 months ago

Same in the UK for any channel that isn't BBC (Itv is the worst for adverts. xD)

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#18

Spray Cheese

Spray Cheese Spray cheese. I was not ready.

ItsACaragor , Wendy Harman Report

Kookamunga
Community Member
4 months ago

That's not cheese.

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#19

No Sidewalks

No Sidewalks No sidewalks, not everywhere, but outside of major cities, you often literally can't walk between places safely

rioting-pacifist , TheMuuj Report

Nikki Sevven
Community Member
4 months ago

This one is a catch 22. The reason usually given for not putting in sidewalks is that "nobody walks there." Well, no, not without sidewalks they don't!

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#20

The Different Kinds Of Flavors For Beverages

The Different Kinds Of Flavors For Beverages The different kinds of flavors for beverages. I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of options.

Just so you guys know,I enjoyed having multiple options, until I came to the US I had no idea I liked Blue Raspberry flavored soda and I found out that I liked to mix different kinds of sodas from the fountain and make a cocktail soda occasionally.

Also, I like how you guys have a s**t ton of flavors for your alcohol. I liked a lot of them but to be honest I didn't enjoy the whipped cream flavored stuff.

howwouldiknow-- , danielle_blue Report

Bettie-Jean Neal
Community Member
4 months ago

When I was a kid in the 70's/80's, at the roller skating rink, we used to get suicides. A suicide was every flavor of fountain soda mixed in a cup with ice. So tasty!

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#21

Medical Advertisements On TV

Medical Advertisements On TV Medical advertisements on tv

DifferentAd154 , Leonid Mamchenkov Report

RNA
Community Member
4 months ago

Wait, you don't have them somewhere? In Poland significant part of commercials on tv are painkillers, anti-flu pills and so on.

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#22

Sewer Turtles Aren't Ninja Turtles

Sewer Turtles Aren't Ninja Turtles Sewers turtles aren't ninja turtles

BackgroundNoose , promiseminime Report

Emerald Ocean
Community Member
4 months ago

Haha. Lol

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#23

Unlimited Soda

Unlimited Soda When we first arrived, and I walked up to a soda machine. We never had those, and I think I drank 10-15 refills of coke before my parents started yelling at me. UNLIMITED SODA ARE YOU KIDDING ME WTF.

Lord_Disagree , Mike Mozart Report

RoseTheMad
Community Member
4 months ago

Even if it was sugar free soda/pop I'd feel a bit sick after 15 refills o.o

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#24

Billboards

Billboards Billboards. They are everywhere. You can go hours in the UK driving without seeing one. In Florida, I saw one every few minutes.

Ads on TV, motherf**ker, just play the show, this is painful.

Traffic, how do people drive in the US, it's so easy to get caught in traffic, it's everywhere. F**KER JUST DRIVE, ITS PAINFUL, ADD A F**KING ROUND A BOUT

7/11s are magical places though.

IAmTheGlazed , Zen Skillicorn Report

Kookamunga
Community Member
4 months ago

I see your 7-11 and raise you a Wawa.

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#25

People Pay For Their Own Food

People Pay For Their Own Food People pay for their own food. As someone who came from China, where everyone fights for the bill without the intention to pay, this is very refreshing.

ListenOrElse_ , Dale Cruse Report

RNA
Community Member
4 months ago

I am confused, why do they fight for the bill then?

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#26

Not Worrying About Burglars, Hoas, How Little It Is Known About Life Outside The Us And Aggressive Advertisement

Not Worrying About Burglars, Hoas, How Little It Is Known About Life Outside The Us And Aggressive Advertisement 1.No walls around houses, or burglar bars by windows.

2.HOAs, i don't get why neighbours can have any say as to how long grass should be or what colour i can/cannot paint a house.

3. People walking around with their phones in hand freely and not worried about getting robbed.

4. Not all but how many know little about anything outside of the U.S.

5. How hard they go in advertising for any and everything.

Natures_VO , Michaela Pereckas Report

Bacony Cakes
Community Member
4 months ago

Fun idea: Tie the HOAs to a stake and burn them.

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#27

Return Policy

Return Policy My wife is from the Philippines and also worked in Singapore for over 10 years. When she came here she had many surprises but one big one was the ability to return items that she had purchased. She had never been able to do that before.

CitySuper5546 , Gipsy Tights Report

april jenkins
Community Member
4 months ago

with our consumers right in australia, as long as you are able to show proof of purchase, you can return stuff for even after 12 months of use if unsatisfactory.

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#28

How Non-Physical Americans Are

How Non-Physical Americans Are How non-physical Americans are. I’m Latina and every time I meet someone new it’s considered polite to hug and kiss their cheek as a greeting. Obvi with professionals it’s a no go but like if I’m introduced to a friend of a friend I would do a very light hug and kiss, it was mind blowing to me that Americans mostly did the half hearted wave or a handshake.

rainbow_elmo24 , Henry Burrows Report

Aroace tiger (any pronouns)
Community Member
4 months ago

I can't stand people anywhere near me

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#29

People Really Caring About Their Teeth

People Really Caring About Their Teeth People really care about their teeth like whitening and straightening.

WhitePhatA** , Smiles7676 Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

I wouldn't say people care about their teeth per se, but the people that can afford it spend a lot of money having their teeth look "perfect".

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#30

Drive Through ATM

Drive Through ATM Drive through ATM. Very friendly people. How very obese so many Americans were. Water fountains in every public place. Heating system in every house. I was amazed by so many trees along the highways. Still am

Final-Couple-3729 , Sean Hayford Oleary Report

ima cat
Community Member
4 months ago

Trees along the highways are something I'm happy about in America.

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