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A guide to independence day in the USA

Independence Day Explained for Non-Americans — A Quick Guide

What is Independence Day in the United States of America All About?

Many non-Americans are pretty familiar with the country’s Independence Day holiday: it’s about patriotism, independence from Great Britain, and defeating an invading army of enormous slimy aliens (that actually happened, right?).

Of the United States’ 10 public holidays, the Fourth of July stands out as easily the most well known to non-Americans around the world and probably the most significant for Americans themselves.

As I’ve written before, I think it’s an important part of an expat’s experience in their adopted country to try to understand and to mark important public holidays in their host country. With that in mind, what is Independence Day all about, and how should a non-American mark it? Here’s Independence Day explained.

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Why are British and American English different?

Why to Succeed in the USA You Must First Learn to Speak “American”

When doing business in today’s globalized world, all of the expert advice suggests learning to speak a little of your host’s language. If you’re British (or have learned British English) then you might think you have a head start in the USA. In fact, the differences between British and American English are substantial.

The approaching Fourth of July holiday (or should that be July Fourth?) is a reminder that American and British English share a common ancestry. Yet, despite the modern day United States having it’s roots in British colonialism, the two main branches of the English language have diverged quite markedly over the past 250 years.

Having a firm knowledge of the differences and deploying American English correctly is, as I am discovering as a British expat living and working in San Francisco, crucial to business success in the United States.

What, then, are the key differences, how should you handle them and why are British and American English so different?

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What is the friendliest country for expats?

The World’s Friendliest Countries for Expats

Which Countries Rank Highest for Social Life, Making Friends and Feeling Welcome?

Living overseas doesn’t have to mean loneliness, homesickness and being made to feel unwelcome by the locals. At least that’s true if you’re living in Russia (yes, you read that right), Bahrain or Mexico.

These are the three friendliest countries for expats, where they can most easily make friends, integrate into the community, enjoy an active social life and be made to feel welcome at work, according to the most recent HSBC Expat Explorer Survey.

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Books new expats must read

Five Books New Expats Must Read (plus some recommendations from the Twittersphere)

What Are the Best Books for New Expats to Read?

There are numerous “how to” guide books for expats out there. They detail the finer points of moving overseas, from arranging international shipping to getting your taxes in order. While these texts have their moments — mostly explaining the minutiae of the endless visa forms an expat must complete — they don’t provide much practical assistance  and inspiration to expats in their new lives.

Here, then, are my top five books new expats must read.

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