Skip to content

Traveling with your ESTA: practical driving tips

Are cultural differences between Europe and the United States a source of conflict? This could happen, that’s why we would like to share some general rules of conduct.

Of course, we can have good relations with the Americans, but they are very respectful of the rules. They have a good sense of humor, but they tend to be direct in conversations.

Be self-confident in conversation, it is not recommended to use metaphors. The Americans are direct, they do not turn around the bush. This is reflected, for example, in their way of writing, most of the time very direct. Generally, a frightened or shy attitude could lead to doubts: would you hide something.
Remember this when presenting your ESTA upon arrival at the airport . The immigration officer will be very courteous, but he will be very attentive to your attitude when you answer the questions he will ask you. Do not be fooled by questions about the details of your trip (where you will go, where you are going to reside).

Neutral Conversation Themes To break the ice: as we said above, European and American cultures have differences. Although some rules seem bizarre, you must respect them.
If there is some confidence in your interlocutors, questions about the family are welcome. How are your children? Your family? Generally, it is a good starting point for a pleasant conversation.

The work has a central role in American society, why not discuss this topic? The economy in Europe and in the United States has great differences; Exchanging your experiences could be very informative.

Another possible topic of conversation is sport . Unlike Europe, the most popular sport is not here, football or soccer, as the Americans call it. Basketball, baseball and especially American football are the most popular. In fact, the Super Ball (the final of the American football championship) is one of the most watched sports events in the world. Take note and learn the basics of these sports avaN’t be afraid of cultural exchanges. Differences in your country will cause many questions. The conversations that follow will enrich your trip to the United States.nt come.

Conversation Themes at Avoid: Certain social themes which in your country are often discussed around a table among friends, are not as neutral in other countries. Avoid political, racial or religious themes.
If you are curious about laws that allow you to possess firearms, let your questions be neutral; Listen to the reasons of others. We do not recommend that you address the themes of sexual freedom, abortion or the death penalty in the US justice system.

Generally speaking, you may find yourself in a very uncomfortable position if you decide to impose your own views on the topics we have just mentioned. America is known for its respect for differences of opinion , but you should not talk about these topics unless you are among friends.

Body language well understood : Remember that eye contact should not be prolonged, you could annoy and even offend those you observe.

Si on vous présente quelqu’un, un sourire est la meilleure manière de réagir.

Langage corporel à éviter: Contrairement aux habitudes européennes, les américains n’ont pas de propension au contact physique. De fait ils ne saluent pas leurs amis en les embrassant. Pendant une conversation, évitez le contact physique et maintenez toujours une distance « sûre ». Cela diffère des cultures latines (Portugal, Espagne et Italie) et ressemble à la culture allemande ou suédoise par exemple.

Langage corporel avec son partenaire : Comme nous l’avons dit, la culture américaine est assez formelle, et plus conservatrice que l’européenne. Donc, si vous voyagez en couple, faites attention aux manifestations publiques d’affection, elles ne sont pas bien reçues.

N’ayez pas peur des échanges culturels. Les différences de votre pays provoqueront beaucoup de questions. Les conversations qui s’en suivront enrichiront votre voyage aux États Unis.