What is life like for a European in the USA?

Of course, there are many differences between Europe and the USA. One of the first differences you’ll notice is the way you interact with administration. Most of the time, you’ll encounter friendly and highly efficient people. When the atmosphere is relaxed, it’s not uncommon for conversations to turn to more personal aspects, like your interests and how you’re settling in.

Regarding daily life and shopping, if you prefer a certain quality of products, there are stores like HEB, Target, Sprouts, and a few others where you can find ingredients to cook just like back home, or at least very close. These types of stores are widespread, making life quite convenient in that aspect.

If you’re in Texas, be cautious about Tex Mex restaurants if you’re not familiar with them. The food you’ll find there is often of lower quality, overly salty, and the dishes can be particularly heavy, served with rice, red beans, and more. Surviving on that diet might be tough for a typical European. However, if you need a little spice and want more refined Tex Mex cuisine, places like Casa Garcia and others might suit your taste better.

For pizza, wine, and Italian cuisine lovers, aim for authentic Italian restaurants, as the rest might not be up to par. And if you’re looking for interesting American cuisine, consider starting with the Applebee’s restaurant chain.

Finding good burger places will be easier, as there are several spots in Texas like Dan’s Burger or chains like P.Terry’s that are worth trying. In Austin, there’s also Waterloo, which offers a wide variety of cuisine, from burgers to Tex Mex, with a friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices. Just be aware that inside, the music might be loud, making it challenging to have conversations with friends without shouting.

The most challenging aspect regarding the climate, especially in sunny regions like Texas, will be getting used to the heat. It may take a full year to acclimate, as even winters are generally mild except for occasional polar cold spells.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the politeness, kindness, and deep respect for privacy among the people. Values that might have disappeared in Europe can still be found here. For example, package deliveries are left at your doorstep, and there’s less likelihood of theft when you’re not home.

If you don’t have a strong command of the English language, it’s easy to find courses, often free, with highly competent teachers for total immersion. You might not encounter many people speaking your language, so having the Deepl and Chat GPT applications on your phone or tablet to translate anything you don’t understand quickly will be helpful. While Deepl is good for fast translations, Chat GPT is not limited in that regard.

As for culture, museums, theaters, and cinemas, you’ll find everything you dream of here.

If you’re a jazz enthusiast, two favorite places in Austin are Cactus Cafe and Monks, where you’ll hear some of the best musicians. After a year and a half, you may find that you don’t miss Europe anymore. Life here is just simpler, and you’ll experience a profound sense of freedom guaranteed by the constitution—a feeling you might have been seeking in Europe but couldn’t find.

It’s also a paradise for journalists; here, you can cover any topic without fearing threats from the government. Freedom of speech is protected, and it’s not a joke. At first, things may seem a bit strange, as everything that’s forbidden in Europe is permissible here.

Overall, the experience is very positive, provided you set aside any cultural biases that might have been ingrained in you since childhood.

The most challenging part might be obtaining a green card, which may take about a year and a half. Be honest and provide all the required information, and things should go smoothly.

Meeting people and making friends is quite easy. I would recommend making friends who don’t speak your language, as they will be of great help in improving your English, pronunciation, and getting accustomed to different accents, as there are plenty of them here. Just adapt your ear each time you encounter a new one.

Thierry De Clemensat

Editor In Chief

Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News