Cultural Compass

Learn About the U.S. During Your Program


When visiting the United States, you will have the opportunity to see some of the most famous cities and sites in the world. But, if you are looking for a truly American experience, you may have to take a different path and explore some lesser-known towns, museums and areas around the country.

At InterExchange, our staff has traveled around the world and around the United States, too. We want you to go home with a camera full of pictures and a bag full of souvenirs as well as life-long memories and a greater understanding of the unique characteristics that make up American culture. We have made a list of must-see places and sites that will give you a truly American experience while here. And don’t forget to browse our favorite parts of U.S. culture, including books, movies, music and sports in the United States. These are all great ways to improve your English, too.

Find cultural activities in a U.S. state.

WestNortheastMidwestSouthwestSoutheast

If you’re hosting one of InterExchange’s international participants, we encourage you to act as a “cultural ambassador” and share all the aspects of your local community that will provide unique insights into American culture. Whether you coordinate an outing to a local museum, a hike in a national park or a dinner enjoying local cuisine, you’ll be contributing to developing better relationships between the U.S. and all the countries who participate in cultural exchange programs.

View Other Videos About Cultural Exchange in the United States

American Culture - Our Top Picks

Traveling and working in the United States provides valuable opportunities for exchange visitors to gain exposure to day-to-day life, but they can also learn about U.S. culture through books, movies, television shows, music, sports and food. There are hundreds of ways to experience American culture, and even the most basic entertainment like TV shows allows visitors to see different perspectives on life in the U.S.

The InterExchange staff has put together lists of our favorite forms of entertainment that portray life and culture in the U.S. Guidebooks and travel are fantastic ways to get to know the United States, but adding books, music, TV shows and movies to get an image of what life is like in America is a fun supplement for enjoying a truly American experience. They can also be an excellent way to start a conversation with a new American friend or co-worker!

Sports are also an important part of the fun and unique entertainment options in the United States – from major league professional teams to college athletics to hobby sports you can try out for yourself.

And we can’t forget about food! Our team has lots of opinions when it comes to the best foods in the U.S., so check out our delectable descriptions of some American favorites (it’s not all fast food!)

U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
Exclusive partner of the Erasmus Student Network for J-1 Visa sponsorship of internships in the U.S.
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Generation Study Abroad
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation