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  • Writer's pictureGlobal Monday Team

Life as an Intern in the U.S: Your Guide to a Smooth Transition

Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty NYC

Congratulations on landing your internship in the US! We're thrilled to welcome you and know you're probably brimming with excitement (and maybe a touch of nervousness). This guide will equip you with the essentials for navigating daily life, housing, transportation, and even some cultural nuances to help you hit the ground running and make the most of your experience.

Finding Your Nest:

  • Ask Your Employer: Many companies offer intern housing or can connect you with resources to find suitable accommodations.

  • Apartment Hunting 101: If you're going the independent route, research average rental costs in your area. Popular options include shared apartments, studios, or subletting from current residents. Utilize platforms like Craigslist or for listings. Pro tip: Familiarize yourself with different neighborhoods. Consider factors like proximity to work, public transportation access, and the overall vibe (lively downtown or quiet suburbs?).

Getting Around:

  • Public Transportation: Buses, subways, and trains are prevalent in major cities and a budget-friendly way to navigate. Purchase travel cards for convenience. Explore multi-day passes if you plan on being a frequent rider.

  • Biking: A healthy and eco-friendly option in many cities with designated bike lanes. Consider asking your employer about bike storage facilities or explore used bike marketplaces like Craigslist to find a budget-friendly option.

  • Ridesharing: Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft are widely used, but can be costlier than public transport. Utilize them strategically for late-night commutes or when carrying groceries.

Embracing the American Culture:

  • Casual Fridays: Most workplaces have a more relaxed dress code on Fridays. Jeans and a button-down shirt are generally acceptable. Still unsure? It's always better to err on the side of caution and dress slightly more formally for your first few weeks.

  • Direct Communication: Americans tend to be direct in their communication. Don't be afraid to ask questions or voice your opinions in a professional manner. This will be seen as a sign of initiative and engagement.

  • Tipping: Tipping is customary in restaurants (15-20% of the bill) and for service providers like hairdressers. A quick heads up: Tipping is usually not expected at fast-food restaurants or coffee shops.

Pro-Tips for Daily Life:

  • Mobile Phone Plans: Look into prepaid phone plans specifically designed for temporary stays. Many carriers offer options with international calling features if you plan on staying connected with loved ones back home.

  • Bank Accounts: Consider opening a local bank account for convenience, especially if you'll be receiving payments through direct deposit. Many banks like Chase, Bank of America and Sofi offer student accounts with lower fees.

  • Embrace Diversity: The US is a melting pot of cultures. Be open to trying new foods, celebrating different holidays, and learning from your colleagues' backgrounds. This is a fantastic opportunity to expand your horizons!

Bonus Tip: Download helpful apps! Language learning apps like Duolingo can be a fun way to pick up some useful English phrases. Explore public transportation apps for real-time route updates and consider budgeting apps like to manage your finances during your internship.

Making the Most of Your Internship:

Your internship is more than just a "job"; it's a chance to learn, network, and gain valuable experience. Here are some ways to make the most of it:

  • Be Proactive: Don't wait to be assigned tasks. Take initiative and express interest in specific projects.

  • Ask Questions: Don't be afraid to ask questions, even if you think they might seem basic. Your curiosity and willingness to learn are valued assets.

  • Network: Attend company events and connect with colleagues from different departments. This can help you build relationships and gain insights into different career paths.

  • Seek Feedback: Regularly request feedback from your supervisor on your performance. This will help you identify areas for improvement and demonstrate your commitment to growth.

We understand this might be a whirlwind of new experiences, but remember, we're here to support you! Don't hesitate to reach out to us at Global Monday, your direct supervisor, your colleagues or HR department with any questions you might have.

Welcome to the United States, we can't wait for you to begin your internship!

The Global Monday Team

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Global Monday - J1 training in the United States

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