There are approximately 2 million Native Americans living in the US today, they speak 150 Native American languages.
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The USA has 6 different time zones. New York City is in Eastern Time (GMT-5), Chicago is in Central Time (GMT-6), and San Francisco is in Pacific Time (GMT-8).
The USA offers a Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) that allows visitors from certain countries to stay for up to 90-days. Click here to apply for the ESTA Visa. The process takes 10 minutes and is a good option for those seeking to work or study in the U.S.
For tourism, all countries are allowed entry into the United States except for the following:
- North Korea
For visits that are less than 90-days, there are options for leisure and work.
The B-1 Business Visa is specifically for coming to the States for meetings and/or conferences that are not for immediate employment in the U.S for a U.S company.
The B-S Tourism Visa is for leisure tourism for a stay of less than 90-days.
The DS-160 form must be completed to apply for these visas, and an interview with the U.S Embassy or consulate must be done. After the documents are submitted, and the interview is reviewed, the embassy or consulate will notify the submitter of whether or not their visa was accepted.
Every major U.S. city has an international airport. The largest ones in the U.S. are:
- Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Uber and Lyft are both available in nearly every U.S. city. Most major cities have some form of public transportation, some better than others. For example, Chicago has the “L” train system, New York has the subway, and San Francisco has the BART.
The USA is generally very safe for female solo travelers. As long as you carry with you general street smarts, you should be fine. Here are some basic safety tips:
- Avoid walking alone at night
- Don’t accept drinks from strangers
- Watch your belongings and don’t flaunt your money.
- During your research, keep in mind which neighborhoods are considered unsafe so you can avoid them while traveling.
Since the U.S. is such a large country, the weather varies greatly. Most U.S. states have the basic four seasons: summer, spring, winter, and fall. For example, Chicago has an extremely brutal winter, where L.A’s is nonexistent. Be sure to do some research in the specific area you are visiting to see if you need to buy a coat or sandals!
English is the official language of USA. While each city and state carries with it their own form of language diversity, it is still handy to know some English before you visit.
Americans are usually very friendly and social. As long as you show interest and warmth, you should be able to get around well and even make some friends. When you are at restaurants, bars, etc, always be sure to tip at least 15% if you can. This is the most important widespread etiquette rule in the United States.
The United States currency is the US Dollar ($ USD.) From banks to private currency exchange businesses, it will not be difficult for you to find somewhere to convert to USD.
Tipping. Is. Essential! If you do not leave at least a 15% tip after your meal, it would be seen as a lack of respect towards the waitstaff. Also, it is customary to tip your taxi/Uber/Lyft driver when taking one.
The U.S.’s standard voltage is 120 volts, with a two or three-pronged plug. For those traveling internationally, you should be prepared to bring an adapter. Here is what yours should look like:
It is usually safe to drink tap water in most cities and towns in USA. If you are concerned about your water quality, I would recommend buying a reusable filtered water bottle to carry with you.
In most cities, Wi-Fi is available in many public places. Most restaurants, bars, cafes, and hotels will have Wi-Fi. If you’re visiting smaller U.S. towns, Wi-Fi naturally won’t be as readily available.
Uber and Lyft are available in nearly every U.S. city. All you need to do is download the app!
The U.S. has a long history of LGBTQ+ activism that starts with Stonewall Inn in New York City. While there still is a long way to go with full rights and acceptance in the country, the U.S. did legalize gay marriage in 2015.
Major U.S. cities are very LGBTQ+ friendly and even have their own neighborhood filled with clubs, bars, and shops. If you are in more rural areas, midwestern or southern states, I would avoid excessive PDA, just to be safe. Unfortunately, there is a huge divide in LGBTQ+ acceptance between the rural and urban populations in the United States.
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Native Americans with an estimated 300 different languages and 600 societies lived across the Americas. By the time of European contact, nearly 15 million Native Americans lived in the US.
The first ship of 20 enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia’s Jamestown colony.
The Declaration of Independence was written on July 4th, 1776, and marked the birth of an independent United States of America.
Andrew Jackson enacted the Indian American Removal Act which forcibly relocated thousands of Native Americans. This led to the tragic Trail of Tears where thousands of Native Americans died while relocating on foot out West.
President Abraham Lincoln enacted the Emancipation Proclamation which freed 3 million enslaved people in the Confederacy. Many enslaved people, however, didn’t know they were free until as late as 1965. Today, it is commemorated in the African American community as Juneteenth.
The 19th amendment was passed by Congress, it granted women the right to vote.
Civil Rights leaders marched from Selma to Montgomery in order to fight for Black voting rights. Protesters were met with violence and brutality. Later that year, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act which prohibited voter racial discrimination.
The Vietnam War ended after Saigon was captured by the Viet Cong. This controversial war led to numerous protests in the United States and the deaths of nearly a million Vietnamese civilians in addition to 60,000 U.S. soldiers.
The extremist group, Al Qaeda, killed nearly 3,000 US civilians in suicide terrorist attacks on 9/11. This attack led to the War On Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Barack Obama was elected as the first African-American president in United States history. He went on to serve as president until 2016.
George Floyd was murdered by the police in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Breonna Taylor was murdered in her sleep by the police in Louisville, Kentucky. These tragedies set off a massive amount of Black Lives Matter protests throughout the USA and expanded the movement for justice.