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Helpful Tips to International Students Joining US

Helpful Tips to International Students Joining US Institutions

Helpful Tips to International Students Joining US
Institutions

Immigration Regulations

Money and Banking

Health Care and Medical Insurance

Customs and Culture


Immigration Regulations


Maintaining Status

You are responsible for maintaining your immigration status. There are
several important things you must do to maintain status:

  1. Keep your passport valid.
  2. If you are a student, maintain full-time enrollment and normal
    progress toward your degree. Please check with your campus about the
    required credit hours per semester is considered a full course load
    for undergraduates. Graduate students must take at least the required
    number of credit hours to be considered “full-time”.
  3. Do not work off-campus without employment authorization.
  4. See an International Students Advisor if you plan to transfer to
    another University, or if you change academic level. The INS must be
    notified of these changes.
  5. Obtain extensions of stay as needed. Be sure to note the expiration
    date on your Form I -20 or IAP-66 and apply at the International
    Student Services Office for an extension, if needed, 30-45 days prior
    to the expiration date.

Legal Documents

Form I-94, I-20ID (Student) Copy, and Form IAP-66 (Form I-94, the small
white card) shows your arrival date in the United States and should be
stapled to your passport until you leave the country. It also shows your
status: F-1, J-1, B-2, etc., and your expected departure date from the U.
S. D/S (Duration of Status) means that students may remain in the U. S.
until completion of their current program of study (note date on item #5
of your I-20 ID or item #3 on your IAP-66), plus 60 days for F-1 students
and 30 days for J-1 students and scholars. The I-20 ID (Student) copy is
the student’s copy of the Form I-20. It is a permanent record of your F-1
status, and is used for re-entry to the U.S. and to record work
authorization, practical training, and transfer approval. Keep this
important form in your passport and do not surrender it when leaving the
United States. The IAP-66 (copy 3, pink) is to be kept with your passport
for travel and re-entry to the U. S. and for permission to work. Students
and scholars should keep copies of all I-20s and IAPs issued to them.

Extension of Stay

Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) regulations state that F-1 or
J-1 students may stay in U. S. for the duration of an educational program
or series of educational programs (for example, from an undergraduate
degree through a master’s degree) plus a period of practical/academic
training, and an additional 60 days to leave the United States for F-1
students, and 30 days for J-1 students and scholars. Those unable to
complete their program in the time indicated on their I-20 or IAP-66 must
see your advisor in the International Students Office to begin the
extension process.

Travel Outside the U. S.

F-1 students need the following documents to re-enter the United States
after a temporary absence:

  1. Form I-20 ID endorsed by the International Students Office or other
    authorized office
  2. Valid passport
  3. Valid U.S. visa

J-1 students and scholars need the following documents to re-enter the
United States after a temporary absence:

  1. Valid IAP-66 (pink copy) endorsed by International Students Office
  2. Valid passport
  3. Valid U.S. visa

When you re-enter the U.S., you may be asked if you have ever received
public assistance, especially if you have a child who was born in the U.S.
If you can answer “no” to this question, you should not have any
problems. If you must answer “yes” to this question, be prepared
to show proof that you have paid back any public assistance that you have
received. If you have participated in the WIC program, you do not need to
repay this assistance. This policy decision was made by the Immigration
and Naturalization Service (INS)
, but not all agents may be aware of
this decision.

If an agent does not know about this decision, contact the International
Students Office so that they can help to clarify this INS policy.

Special Note on Travel to Canada

You may travel to Canada (up to 30 days) and re-enter the United States
with an expired U. S. visa, if you have all the other documents necessary
for re-entry (see above). Before traveling to Canada:

  1. Check with the International Students Office to see if you need a
    visa to enter Canada
  2. Carry proper documents to re-enter the United States.

    Practical Training (F-1) or Academic Training (J-1)

    Practical training and academic training are opportunities for
    students to gain actual work experience in their field of study. See
    your advisor in the International Students Office to learn more about
    these opportunities both during and after the academic program.

    Permission to Work

    F-1 students may work on-campus and can apply to the INS to work
    off-campus due to economic need. F-2 visa holders are not permitted to
    work under any circumstances. J-1 students must obtain permission to
    work on-campus or off-campus from their program sponsor. The program
    sponsor is identified in #2 of the IAP-66. J-2 visa holders must
    receive INS permission to work. F-1 and J-1 students cannot work more
    than 20 hours per week while school is in session.

    Transfer of Schools

    F-1 students must notify the INS if they transfer schools or change
    educational levels. The new school is responsible for assisting with
    the transfer process. Those transferring to must give to the
    International Students Office the Form I-20 issued  and a letter
    from the previous institution stating that they have been enrolled
    full-time prior to coming to the University. Students with J-1 status
    must obtain approval from the program sponsor to transfer schools.

    Public Assistance

    International students, scholars, and their families ARE NOT ELIGIBLE
    for any type of public assistance. Some examples of public assistance
    are low-income/subsidized housing, food-stamps, Medicare/Medicaid,
    W.I.C. program, subsidized utilities, etc. If you or any member of
    your family accepts public assistance of any kind, you could be
    jeopardizing you F-1 or J-1 status. Public assistance is intended for
    U.S. citizens and some categories of immigrants with low or no income.
    If you accept public assistance, you may be denied renewal of your
    non-immigrant visa and/or be required to pay back any assistance you
    received before your application for a new visa will be considered.
    Bring questions on this issue to an Advisor at the International
    Students Office  and DO NOT rely upon advice from friends.

    A Few Words of Advice

    Requests for the International Students Office to prepare Form I-20
    and Form IAP-66 must be made at least 5 working days in advance of
    when they are needed. Therefore, plan accordingly! This condition may
    change from campus to campus.

    Bring your passport and all relevant immigration documents (I-20ID,
    IAP-66, I-94) and financial documents when you come to the
    International Students Office with immigration questions.

    Always see your International Students Office advisor regarding any
    question you may have concerning your immigration status. Do NOT
    contact the INS directly unless instructed to do so by the Office of
    International Programs .
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    Money and Banking


    General Information

    Americans don’t usually carry a lot of cash. They prefer to pay by
    check, even for small purchases, or by credit card. To function
    efficiently in the U. S. economy, you will need to open a checking
    account at a local bank. This section introduces you to a few of the
    basic banking options available to you. When selecting a bank, you
    should compare services and choose a bank whose offices are
    conveniently located before making your decision. Most banks will ask
    you for two pieces of identification, such as your passport and
    Massachusetts State ID, when you open an account.

    Types of Accounts

    Checking Accounts

    Banks offer different types of checking accounts designed to fit
    individual needs. The cost of having a checking account varies from
    bank to bank. Some banks charge per transaction, some have a basic
    monthly fee, and others offer free services if you maintain a certain
    minimum balance in your account at all times. Your cancelled checks
    and a list of all the account activity of the preceding month will be
    sent to you in a monthly statement. Be careful to keep an accurate
    record of every check you write in order to avoid having checks
    returned and incurring additional charges. “Bouncing” a
    check (writing a check for more money than you actually have in the
    account) can cause a major expense and a great deal of trouble.
    Through some banks, you can apply for a line of credit attached to
    your checking account that provides overdraft protection.

    Savings Accounts

    A savings account enables you to save money and accumulate interest on
    your savings. Interest is paid either monthly or quarterly. Although
    you can withdraw money from your saving account, this service is
    limited. Ask your bank for the number of monthly withdrawals permitted
    without penalty. The difference between a savings and a checking
    account is that you receive higher interest in a saving account, and
    fewer transactions take place since the purpose is to “save your
    money”.
    Interest Checking Accounts

    Interest checking accounts provide the services of both a checking and
    a savings account. This means that you can write checks and also
    collect interest on the money in your account.

    Cashing Checks

    To cash a check after endorsing it (signing your name on the back),
    you will most often be asked for 2 pieces of personal identification.
    The primary piece of ID must be a driver’s license or a State of
    Massachusetts ID card. The second piece of ID is usually a major
    credit card. Some stores will cash a check for you if you shop there
    regularly and have a proper ID. Supermarkets may allow you to pay by
    check, with authorization from their credit department. After a credit
    check, the supermarket will issue you a check cashing card.

    Bank Cards

    Many banks issue cards that make deposit and withdrawal services
    available 24 hours a day by use of an automated teller machine (ATM).
    These machines, which are frequently located outside the bank, are
    very convenient. You can avoid waiting in line at the bank and have
    access to cash after the bank closes or in an emergency. Banks that
    are members of a national ATM network allow you to access your funds
    with your bank card at selected ATMs throughout the country. However,
    there is often a service charge of approximately $1 when you do not
    use your bank’s machine.

    A note of caution

    When withdrawing cash from an ATM after dark, be aware of your
    surroundings to prevent an assault. Protect your bank card and your
    secret access code as you do your cash and credit cards. Also, the
    machines do not always work. Don’t panic! Call your bank if you have a
    problem with an ATM.

    Credit Cards

    Credit cards are convenient, especially if you unexpectedly have major
    expenses. You can also pay medical fees, airplane tickets and car
    repairs with any major credit card. But you must remember that credit
    cards are seductive. Before you know it you may be in debt. Most banks
    charge an annual fee of $20 to $40. If you are unable to pay your full
    balance, you will be charged high interest rates (usually 18%) on the
    remaining balance and any additional charges you make. Make sure you
    stay within your budget when making credit card purchases.

    Planning Ahead

    If you deposit a check drawn on a foreign bank in your U. S. checking
    account, it may have to go through a collection process. This means
    that the money is not available to you until the U. S. bank has
    collected it from the foreign bank. It may take several weeks before
    the money is credited to your account. You may want to consider having
    moneys wired to your account. This process takes less time and is very
    safe.

    In countries with restrictions on foreign exchange, you may need to
    provide your sponsor or your family with a letter of certification of
    enrollment in order to receive money from your home country.

    The application forms for letters of certification are available from
    the International Student Office. Please allow 5 working days for
    processing.

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    Health Care and Medical Insurance


    Insurance

    In the United States, each individual, not the state, is responsible
    for paying the costs of his or her own medical care. Except for
    certain low income U. S. citizens and permanent residents, no
    government assistance is available. The cost of medical care is the
    fastest rising expense in the U. S. today. Since most Americans cannot
    afford the high cost of medical care, they rely on insurance in
    medical emergencies. For an international student or scholar, one
    serious illness, injury, or catastrophic medical emergency can mean
    financial ruin and the end of his or her academic career. Medical
    insurance is an absolute necessity in the United States
    . Therefore,
    many campuses  requires all international students and scholars
    to have health insurance. This requirement is waived only if you are
    covered by another health insurance plan that offers comparable or
    better coverage. You may sign on for the India Network Group Health
    Plan for Parents (see the web page at http://health.indnet.org).

    Whatever health insurance you elect, make sure you understand the
    company’s policy regarding how they make payments. Call your insurance
    representative to ask about your insurance coverage and claim filing
    procedure.

    Low Cost International Medical Insurance

    For low cost medical insurance, contact India Network Foundation,
    a non-profit in the USA that sponsors low cost insurance plan for
    International students, Scholars, and their dependents and is valid wordwide.

    Visiting Scholars and their Families

    Visiting scholars and their families are not eligible for
    “Student Health Insurance”. If you are a visiting scholar
    whose salary is paid by the University, you may be eligible for
    limited health insurance coverage through the faculty/staff group
    insurance plan. Visiting scholars who are employed by the University
    are sometimes eligible to purchase one of the faculty/staff health
    plans.

    When making an appointment to see any physician, you may ask what the
    costs will be. Physician’s fees vary and it is important for you to
    know ahead of time how much money to budget for the physician’s visit.
    Health insurance rarely covers 100% of your medical expenses and some
    physicians insist on payment at the time of your visit. Check with
    your international student advisor pertaining to dental coverage.

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    Customs and Culture


    Culture Shock

    When moving to a new community, particularly in a different culture,
    it is common to experience what is known as “Culture Shock.”
    Culture shock may be defined as the feelings you experience when you
    are taken out of a familiar environment and thrown into a completely
    new and different one. It is quite normal for a visitor, anywhere, to
    feel depressed and isolated once the initial excitement of arrival has
    worn off. You may feel frustrated and confused with foreign ways and
    idioms. But hopefully, understanding why Americans behave the way they
    do may help you understand your own feelings. Some helpful ways to
    cope with culture shock are:

    • Get plenty of rest to deal with the stress and jet lag that you
      may experience.
    • Take time to think and/or talk through your own feelings.
    • Make an effort to be optimistic, but not to the point of
      avoiding negatives that should be expressed.
    • Make your new home environment as comfortable as possible.
    • Make friends as quickly as possible. If there are others of your
      nationality on campus, get acquainted. It will give you a support
      system.
    • Keep a diary or journal. This is a helpful way to vent some of
      the frustrations you might be too embarrassed to speak about. It
      may also be an interesting record of the changes that occur over
      time.
    • Try not to compare your surroundings to your home area. Things
      are different!
    • Enjoy and explore those differences.
    • Keep an open mind and a sense of humor.

    These suggestions should help you feel more comfortable in your new
    surroundings. The rest of this section will let you know what to
    expect in some areas of American culture.

    Greetings

    In the U.S., “Hi, how are you?”, “Hello, how are
    you?”, or when introduced for the first time, “I’m pleased
    to meet you,” are the most common forms of greeting. “So
    long”, “See you soon”, “See you later”,
    “We should get together sometime”, are also common
    expressions used for saying, “Good-bye”. An expression such
    as, “Hello, how are you?” does not require a lengthy answer
    beyond, “Fine, thank you.” Likewise, “See you
    soon” or “Later” do not imply any definite promise
    about getting in contact with you in the next few hours or days. They
    are simply forms of saying “Good-bye.”

    Social Equality

    The American dream is equality for all. Unfortunately this dream has
    not yet been completely achieved. Americans expect that all people
    respect an individual regardless of occupation, handicap, sex, race,
    religion, or sexual orientation. All individuals you meet will expect
    the same consideration and courtesy.

    Both men and women in the United States have an active part in
    community life. Many women have full-time careers outside the home and
    in many cases both parents take care of small children and share with
    home chores. Women who hold positions in the work world expect the
    same professional respect as do their male counterparts.

    Names and Titles

    First names are used in the U.S. more frequently than elsewhere.
    People may call each other by their first names immediately after they
    have met if they are about the same age and status. The Americans’
    ready use of first names may make it appear to you that they are
    oblivious to differences in age and status. They are not. There are
    subtle differences in vocabulary and manner, depending on the
    relationship between the people involved. For example, an American is
    less likely to use slang when speaking to a person who is older, whose
    social standing is higher, or whom she/he does not know very well.

    If you meet a person who has a title such as “Doctor,”
    “Ambassador” or “Dean,” use that title and the
    last (family) name. Any faculty member can be addressed as
    “Professor” whether she/he holds the rank of assistant
    professor, associate professor, or full professor. Again, people might
    ask you to address them by their first names, and you should abide by
    that wish.

    Americans do not use a title followed by a first name. For example,
    you would not address Elizabeth Taylor as Miss Elizabeth but as Miss
    Taylor, or, if she asked you to, as Elizabeth. Occasionally, married
    women use their maiden name (family name at birth) instead of their
    husband’s name. Or they may use both their maiden name and their
    husband’s family name. For example, Jane Smith may be married to Sam
    Jones. However, her name may now be Jane Smith, Jane Jones, Jane
    Jones-Smith, or Jane Smith-Jones. The chosen form is consistently
    used.

    The use of “nicknames” is fairly common among Americans. A
    nickname is not the person’s real name, but a name assigned to him/her
    because of certain physical characteristics, behavior patterns, or
    some other factor. International students often get nicknames if their
    own names seem long and unpronounceable to Americans. For example, a
    student whose name is Nakagawa might come to be known as Naka. Being
    called by a nickname is not usually uncomplimentary. On the contrary,
    it may indicate that you are viewed with respect and even affection.

    If you are in doubt about what to call a person, ask him/her,
    “What shall I call you?” Americans will sometimes be
    confused about what to call you. If you see that a person does not
    know what to call you, tell him or say, “You may call me
    ________.”

    Cleanliness

    Americans put a great deal of emphasis on personal cleanliness. The
    standards of personal cleanliness that an individual maintains
    determine, to a large degree, the extent to which she/he is accepted
    into society. Most Americans are very sensitive to the smells and
    odors of the human body — sometimes their own, but especially
    someone else’s. For this reason, most Americans bathe once a day and
    sometimes more during hot weather or after strenuous exercise. They
    use deodorant or an antiperspirant, and they wash their clothes
    frequently. Americans are also very concerned about having clean hair
    and fresh breath.

    Smoking

    A decreasing number of Americans smoke. Because many Americans dislike
    being exposed to the cigarette smoke of others, you should not assume
    that it acceptable to smoke indoors. This is especially true of
    American homes. You should always ask if it is okay that you smoke
    before you begin whenever you are indoors in the presence of others.
    Many public buildings, including restaurants, are designated as
    “smoke free” environment. This applies to buildings on
    campus. Therefore you should look for signs which indicate that it is
    designated smoking area before you begin smoking.

    Unspoken Language
    Because gestures and unspoken signals have become so automatic, we
    often forget how they may mean different things in different cultures.
    To avoid misunderstandings, be sure to keep in mind that the unspoken
    gesture you exchange with people from other cultures may not say what
    you think it does. If words and gestures seem to disagree, it might be
    safer to believe the words.

    Shaking hands is common in business and in more formal social
    gatherings (banquets, and special parties) among both men and women.
    In more casual social encounters, however, men tend to shake hands
    with each other more often than women shake hands with women. (In a
    situation where the other person is quite distinguished or is several
    years older, she/he usually initiates the handshake.) Handshakes are
    usually accompanied with “How do you do” or “Nice to
    meet you” or “Nice to see you again.” Usually (except
    in business) people do not shake hands in subsequent meetings.

    Aside from hand-shaking, even same-sex physical contact is generally
    infrequent in American culture. Under certain circumstances physical
    contact is appropriate. The best way to learn about customs regarding
    physical contact is to observe Americans as they interact with others.
    While talking with someone, how close you stand to the other person is
    determined by the degree of familiarity in your relationship. Most
    Americans like to keep a little private distance between each other
    when walking side by side, while standing in elevators or anywhere
    else. But when some contact is unavoidable, a person will say,
    “Excuse me,” thereby indicating she/he is sorry for having
    violated someone else’s personal space. And while Americans generally
    like to make eye contact in conversing with one another, they do stand
    two to three feet apart while doing so. A closer distance will make
    them feel crowded and uncomfortable unless they are very familiar with
    the person. For example, it is acceptable to stand close to a friend
    while talking, but it would not be appropriate to stand very close to
    a professor or school official.

    Generally, you will find that the atmosphere in a U.S. university is
    more relaxed than it is in other countries. However, while Americans
    tend to be informal, they do place great emphasis on their personal
    privacy. Because a professor, or a university official, is accessible
    and friendly with students this does not necessarily mean you can call
    on him/her at the office or at home without first making an
    appointment.

    Friendship and Dating

    Americans are generally considered open and warm people who make new
    acquaintances easily. Because they are very mobile and place great
    emphasis on the qualities of individuality, independence, and personal
    privacy, Americans often have many casual and informal relationships
    and few lasting friendships. However, in spite of this, many Americans
    are quite capable and more than willing to take the extra step needed
    to establish an enduring friendship.

    American women have more personal freedom than women from some other
    countries and are not usually shy with Americans or foreigners. It is
    not unusual for unmarried women in the U.S. to live by themselves,
    share living quarters with other unmarried women, or go to public
    places without a male companion.

    The rules for dating Americans are flexible. Generally the initiative
    comes from the man, but this is not always the case. If you want to
    get to know someone, it is often wise to ask the person to join you
    for coffee or a soda or to get together to study. Such short events
    may prove to be the beginning of a strong and durable friendship. On
    weekends, a man may ask a woman for an evening date, invite her to
    dinner, a concert, or a movie. It is no longer automatically assumed
    that the man will pay for expenses on the date. It is especially
    common on a university campus for the two people to share the
    expenses.

    Remember that two or three dates by no means indicates that a lasting
    relationship is developing.

    Social Invitations

    While , we hope that you will meet and spend time with American
    families. These hints will make you a little more comfortable when you
    are invited out.

    Acceptance

    Your prospective hosts will either phone you, speak to you in person,
    or send you a written invitation. The invitation is usually for you
    only unless your hosts specifically invite your family or friends.
    Bringing a guest of your own without asking your hosts’ permission
    ahead of time is considered impolite.

    The written invitation will include the date, time, place, and
    description of the occasion. You should always answer a written
    invitation, especially if it says R.S.V.P. (repondez, s’il vous
    plait). You may respond by telephone or by letter. This helps the
    hosts with their preparations if you do so promptly.

    Never accept an invitation unless you plan to go. If you are going to
    refuse an invitation, it is enough to say “Thank you for the
    invitation, but I will not be able to come.” If an unavoidable
    problem makes it necessary for you to change plans, be certain to tell
    the host as soon as possible before the time when you are expected.
    When accepting an invitation make certain that you ask for directions
    to the event.

    Food

    When accepting an invitation for a meal, be sure to explain to your
    host if there is any food you do not eat. This courtesy will help the
    host plan food and drink for everyone to enjoy together. If you must
    refuse something after it is prepared, refuse politely. Never hesitate
    to ask for any food on the dinner table (“Would you please pass
    me the vegetables?”) since a request for more food is considered
    a compliment to the hostess.

    Drink

    Tap water is safe to drink and usually used by Americans as their
    normal drinking water. At Holiday and elaborate meals you may be given
    ice water in addition to another beverage. Americans generally do not
    drink alcoholic beverages with their meals. However, wines are
    frequently served at meals when guests are present. If you are offered
    an alcoholic beverage it is acceptable either to drink them in
    moderation or to decline. In most of the U.S. it is illegal for anyone
    under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. Those who are under 21 and drink
    alcoholic beverages, even at parties in private homes, risk being
    arrested.
    Promptness

    Being on time is very important in American society. Schools and
    classes, plays, concerts, public meetings, weddings, and formal
    dinners begin as scheduled. It is considered impolite to be even a few
    minutes late. Family dinners are a little more flexible and informal,
    but you should still be on time. You may attend a cocktail party or
    reception at any time between the stated hours.

    Informality

    Dining with a friend or family can either be formal or informal.
    Formality is an honor, but the informality gives you a chance to get
    to know your hosts and for them to get to know you. You should ask the
    host what to wear if the invitation does not give you an idea. Your
    national dress is always appropriate.

    It is not necessary to bring a gift for any member of the family or
    even for the host or hostess, unless it is a special occasion (such as
    his/her birthday or an important holiday like Christmas). Although
    Americans do not usually expect gifts from their guests, it is often a
    courtesy to do so. If you have visited several times, you may wish to
    bring a small token of appreciation for the hosts. Always bring a
    small gift when you are invited as house guest for an extended visit.
    While edible gifts are usually appropriate, because of food allergies,
    medical problems, religious reasons, or personal preferences; gifts
    other than food or drink may by more appreciated by your host.

    Gifts

    As a rule, gifts are given to relatives and close friends. They are
    sometimes given to people with whom one has a casual but friendly
    relationship, such as a host or hostess, but it is not necessary or
    even common for gifts to be given to such people. Gifts are not
    usually given to teachers or others who hold official positions. The
    offering of gifts in these situations is sometimes interpreted as a
    possibly improper effort to gain favorable treatment from that person.
    Christmas (December 25) is a gift-giving day, and it is when most
    Americans give gifts. Gifts are also given on occasions which are
    special to the recipient — birthdays, graduation from high school or
    college, weddings, and childbirths. Gifts are sometimes given when
    someone has a new house or is moving away.

    Generally, an effort is made to select a gift which the giver knows or
    supposes is one the recipient needs, wants, or would enjoy. The amount
    spent on the gift is something the giver can afford. Generally, it is
    not expected that people on limited incomes will spend a large amount
    of money on a gift. Expensive gifts are to be expected only when the
    people involved have a very close relationship with each other.

    If a gift is opened in the presence of the giver (as is often done), a
    verbal expression of thanks is appropriate. If a gift is opened in the
    absence of a giver, a thank-you note should be sent. The note should
    make specific mention of the particular gift that has been sent.

    Tipping

    Service charges, or “tips” (meaning “to insure proper
    service”) are most often not added to the bill in American
    hotels, restaurants, and barber shops/beauty parlors, but are often
    expected and needed by the employees. In restaurants tip the
    waiter/waitress about 15% of the check. In a hotel, the bellboy who
    takes you to your room receives at least $1.00 for his service. The
    person who cuts your hair may or may not accept tips, however, an
    average tip would be $1.00. The amount of a tip depends on you and if
    you feel that you have received good service.

    Time Schedules

    Accomplishment and progress are measured by the way time is spent. For
    this reason, punctuality is considered essential in conducting every
    day activities. One is expected to arrive at the stated time for an
    appointment with a professor, doctor, or other professional. On social
    occasions, however, such as parties, dinners and the like, more
    flexibility is tolerated.

    Families: Generally it is considered polite to phone someone after 9
    am and before 9 pm and either before or after the dinner hour (5:30 pm
    – 7:30 pm). If you plan to visit an American home, a phone call prior
    to going would be appreciated by the people you are visiting.

    Business Hours: Most businesses and stores are open Monday through
    Friday, with many stores and restaurants open on Saturdays and
    Sundays. Very few stores are open after 9 pm except for supermarkets,
    drug stores, and convenience stores.

    Appointments: It is always wise to call professional offices to make
    appointments to ensure being able to see someone. Again, promptness is
    expected in business and professional appointments.


 

 


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