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Moving to America and Adjusting to Life

A military spouse looks out a KC-135 Stratotanker window during takeoff as part of a spouse familiarization flight

Welcome to the United States, the land of the free.

Adjusting to a new culture and language takes time and a dose of patience. We are here to ease your transition and point you to resources that will help you adjust. Start with these guidelines.

Before relocating

  • Visit the United States Consulate or embassy in your home country. The staff can give you brochures, suggest helpful websites and recommend places you might enjoy visiting.
  • Look up U.S. government websites. Start with and search for information by category. Next, check out the government website for the state where you’ll be living.
  • Find a travel guide or informational book about the United States. These can help you learn more about the culture. Make sure you’re reading an up-to-date version.
  • Ask your friends and family for contacts in the U.S. They might know someone who’s lived or worked in the United States and would be willing to talk with you about their experiences.
  • Contact your future installation’s Military and Family Support Center, for resources to help with your transition. To find your local support center, go to MilitaryINSTALLATIONS and select your installation. The link for your Military and Family Support Center is at the bottom of the installation page.
  • For document translation or language interpretation services, contact Military OneSource.

Once you arrive

  • Get involved with your new military community. Your peers can be a source of support. Get advice from other service members and their spouses who’ve been through a similar transition.
  • Be prepared for cultural differences at work. Don’t be surprised if the U.S. work culture is much different than what you’re used to. Try to be open-minded, and learn from the example set by your managers and co-workers.
  • Do your best to build strong working relationships. Being able to work well with your supervisors and co-workers is an important skill.
  • Know who you can turn to for help. Figure out who can answer your questions or give you support if you need it — whether it’s your supervisor or a helpful co-worker.

Above all, remember to give your transition time. By doing a little preparation and following these guidelines, you’ll be feeling comfortable in your new home in no time at all. Visit your Military and Family Support Center to learn more about your military resources.

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