Do you dream of moving to the USA? And living the American dream?
Well, in this post I’m interviewing a real life expat – my friend Inés who moved from Madrid to Austin, Texas, in January 2017.
She’s a Spanish teacher at yourlifeinspain.com where she teaches Spanish through culture to help learners connect with Spaniards.
This is not Inés’s first time living abroad, as she spent 18 months living in London.
But, this time it’s a bit different as in 2015 she met her American husband in Spain, hence the move to Texas.
In this chat, she’s going to talk about some of the differences between Spain and the USA.
And, most importantly for you, give some tips on how to fit in with the locals when travelling or living in the USA.
Inés mentions many times that her likes and dislikes are personal and based on her own cultural background. But you’ll find her experience useful even if you’re not Spanish.
Here are some highlights of our discussion:
- Why the USA is not as culturally homogeneous as we assume – there is variation between the states and even within states (Austin vs Dallas for example)
- Inés’s experience of love at first sight – it’s not just something that happens in romantic comedies
- The best things about living in the USA – friendliness, clothing style, smoking, open spaces
- The worst things about living in the USA – car culture, politics, racial/ethnic groupings
- Politeness differences between Americans and British people that can be the source of cultural miscommunication
- Why it’s not unacceptable to go outside in your pyjamas in the UK
- Trying to “belong” in the USA as a Spanish speaker not from Latin America
- The reality of homesickness even if living abroad is cool
- What Inés misses the most about Spain
- Why even fluent speakers struggle sometimes to speak in English all the time
- Why someone in Austin should open a tapas bar
- The language barrier between Inés and her husband
- Tips for integrating with Americans
- The importance of listening and sounding natural as a new arrival to the USA
- How to prepare your English for moving to the USA before you go
- Why Inés sometimes sound rude in English, despite her high level of fluency
- How TV shows and movies can help you learn about the culture and how to interact in a language so you can connect with the locals
Watch the video:
More From Today’s Guest
Inés Ramos is an online Spanish Language & Culture coach passionate about helping students improve their Spanish with materials focused on Spain’s culture, traditions & lifestyle.
She works 1:1 with expats, visitors and lovers of Spain through her website Your Life in Spain, where she offers creative learning programs that help students become fluent in Spanish culture—not just the language.
You can learn more about Inés and her Spanish language-learning programs through these different links: