If you are doing business in the USA this year in one of the great cities like New York or Boston, you have a fantastic opportunity to do more than just advance your career. You can improve your English and learn about American culture by getting out and experiencing life in these urban centers. A lot of our English students at English and Culture are assigned to positions in New York or Boston for a short term project (a few months) or for a long term position and they stay for a year or more. Regardless of how long you are here, you should take advantage of your chance to experience American culture outside of your office. Do you have a free Saturday afternoon? Get out of your hotel room or your apartment and do some exploring! Why is this so important? Keep reading to find out.
Why Should you Explore the City?
Practice your English: Go beyond the textbook English that you learned while in school in your home country and find an opportunity to learn local phrases, slang expressions and improve your speaking rythm and intonation by practicing with native speakers.
Learn about American culture: Although most people say NYC is not a typical American city, you can still find aspects of American culture in New York City life. You can learn a lot about American history, values and ways of life by visiting famous spots, museums and local neighborhoods in Boston and New York.
Learn How to Do Business with Americans: Going out and learning the language and the culture while you are in the United States is not just a way to kill time when you are free after work- it is a strategy to improve your ability to do business with American people. Why? Because the more you understand the language and the culture of the people that you are working with, the easier it will be to communicate with them and see what they value in business and why.
So You're Ready to Explore...Where Should You Go?
Take the boat to Ellis Island: The United States was built on immigration. Ellis island is a place you must see if you want to understand the history of America and what cultural values began through immigration and are still important today.
Listen to a gospel choir in Harlem: New York is a city made up of many different cultures. In Harlem, you can experience one of the most historical and vibrant parts of the culture on a Sunday morning. Gary Stoller of USA Today says that this is a must-do if you are in New York.
See a Red Sox game: Americans love their baseball and even if you are not crazy about the sport, an afternoon at Fenway park in Boston will give you an opportunity to sample American culture.
Join an English Conversation Meetup: In New York, there is a group called Friends of the United Nations English Club. This could be a great way to get to know native English speakers and take trips around the city with a fun group of people.