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Americans tend to dress more casually than individuals in many other cultures. Students at SUNY- Brockport often dress in pants (mainly jeans, slacks, and khakis) and simple shirts for class, as well as sweatshirts, short and skirts/dresses depend on seasons. However professional clothing such as formal suits is sometimes required in case of job interview, internship, and/or formal presentations in class. A dark color (black, gray, navy or dark blue) suits consisted of a jacket, shirt and pants/skirt are often preferred as conservative and professional.

Language & Conversation


Americans are rather casual and informal in their conversation style as well. Phrases such as “Hi,” “Hello,” “How are you?” “How’s it going?” or “What’s up?” are typically used as greetings and not requiring the complete answer. Likewise, phrases such as “See you later,” “Catch you later,” or “Goodbye” are often used to simply end conversations although it sounds like an invitation to actual visit. Those phrases are just commonly used as greetings in nature in the U.S.

Slang and Common Terms

Americans also tend use slang, which is not considered as a very formal type of language, more common in speech than writing in particular context or within a group. It also referred as “American English”—for example, some people call soft drinks (such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi) as “soda” but some other people call them “pop.” The best way to learn slang is actually to talk with Americans. You may want to apply conversation partnership program after arrival to the campus.

Introduction of Yourself

Another good thing to know in American communication is informal introduction of oneself. People typically introduce themselves with the first names, even with elders and people in positions of authority. However in the classrooms, you want to make sure you call instructors by their title (professor or doctor) unless instructors invite you to call differently. In case you are not sure how to call someone, you can always use either Mr. for a man, Ms. for a woman on top of their last names.

Last Updated 11/20/18

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