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BAFF - Baltic-American Freedom Foundation

Living in the U.S.

Cultural Adjustment

Engage fully in your new life. If you need help, it is only a phone call away 1-888-COUNCIL (1-888-268-6245).

Cultural Adjustment

Whether this is your first visit to the U.S. or not, you should be prepared for a period of cultural adjustment. Every exchange visitor has to deal with this. You’ll notice a lot of differences from life at home. Some of these are positive, some are negative. The best way to cope is to engage fully in your new life. If you find that you’re having difficulties managing or adjusting, please call the U.S. Program Manager for assistance.


For the duration of your program, you’ll be subject to all U.S. laws, regardless of the legality of certain behaviors in your home country. It’s not uncommon for participants to experience some degree of uncertainty about U.S. laws, and some may strike you as peculiar or even “unjust.” It’s important for you to familiarize yourself with laws that will directly affect you during your stay in the U.S. These include all major federal laws, as well as the laws of the state in which you’re training, and the town where you’ll be living. Some U.S. laws change from city to city, and state to state. This lack of uniformity may be frustrating, but you should be able to avoid nearly all legal missteps by exercising a bit of common sense, and consulting with your peers, friends and coworkers.

If you do not adhere to all U.S. laws, you risk the withdrawal of CIEE visa sponsorship and BAFF. You do not want to endanger your experience by committing an illegal act.


It’s unlikely that you’ll experience any problems during your stay in the U.S. A little caution, common sense, and some basic street smarts will go a long way in preventing any problems.

Here are some tips for staying safe:

  • You may be approached by people asking for money. You are, of course, entitled to refuse, but please be polite.
  • Avoid deserted streets, subway stops, and bus stops. Always travel where other people are close by.
  • Make sure you know something about the areas and neighborhoods you visit at night.
  • Do not expose large amounts of cash in public.
  • Be especially careful in railway and bus stations. These places tend to attract thieves.
  • Car thieves are common–do not leave any luggage or valuables in a car.
  • Trust your instincts, and always remain cautious.

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Baltic-American Freedom Foundation (BAFF)
Valdemara Centrs
Kr. Valdemara 21
Riga, LV-1010
phone: +371-67035270

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