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Table of Contents

Please select a chapter below:

1. INTRODUCTION
2. LEARNING ENGLISH
3. RENTAL HOUSING AND UTILITIES
4. THE AUTOMOBILE
5. BANKS AND BANKING SERVICES
6. CREDIT AND CREDIT CARDS
7. EMPLOYMENT
8. INCOME
9. EXPENSES
10. TAXES
11. EDUCATION
13. INSURANCE
14. MEDICAL CARE
15. SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY AND DISABLED
16. CHARITY
17. INFORMATION
18. SHOPPING
19. BUYING AND SELLING A HOME
20. SERVICES
21. AMERICAN HOLIDAYS AND SPECIAL OCCASIONS
22. MISCELLANEOUS
23. ABOUT NUMBERS
AFTERWORD
APPENDICES
2001 NATIONAL OCCUPATIONAL EMPLOYMENT
AND WAGE ESTIMATES
SOURCES
INDEX

 

LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES 22
1. INTRODUCTION 26

1.1. WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS BOOK AND HOW TO USE IT 26
1.2. WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK 30
1.3. IS IT EASY BEING AN IMMIGRANT (EMIGRANT)? 34
1.4. ATTITUDES TOWARD IMMIGRANTS IN THE UNITED STATES 42

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2. LEARNING ENGLISH 48

2.1. WHERE WE STARTED 48
2.2. FIRST STEPS 52
2.3. I UNDERSTAND SOMETHING 56
2.4. LIFE GETS EASIER 60
2.5. STILL A LONG WAY TO GO 64
2.6. PSYCHOLOGICAL DIFFICULTIES 70
2.7. CHILDREN AND LANGUAGE 74
2.8. TEXTBOOKS AND DICTIONARIES 76
2.9. ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS 82

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3. RENTAL HOUSING AND UTILITIES 86

3.1. RENTAL HOUSING MARKET IN THE UNITED STATES 86
3.2. FINDING AN APARTMENT 92
3.3. SIGNING THE LEASE AND PAYING RENT 106
3.4. RENEWING OR BREAKING THE LEASE 108
3.5. PETS 108
3.6. UTILITIES 110
3.6.1. Heat 110
3.6.2. Electricity 112
3.6.3. Telephone 114
3.6.4. Television 122
3.6.5. The Internet 124

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4. THE AUTOMOBILE 128

4.1. THE ROLE OF AUTOMOBILES IN AMERICAN LIFE 128
4.2. THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION (AAA) 130
4.3. TRAFFIC RULES AND REGULATIONS 132
4.4. GETTING A DRIVER’S LICENSE 134
4.5. FINDING THE RIGHT CAR FOR YOU 140
4.6. BUYING A NEW CAR 162
4.7. BUYING A USED CAR 170
4.8. FINANCING 180
4.9. CAR INSURANCE 182
4.10. REGISTRATION AND RE-REGISTRATION 184
4.11. STATE INSPECTION 188
4.12. GAS STATIONS 190
4.13. PARKING 194
4.14. ROADS 196
4.15. CAR ACCIDENTS 200
4.16. CAR MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR 204
4.17. PENALTIES FOR TRAFFIC RULE VIOLATIONS 206

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5. BANKS AND BANKING SERVICES 214

5.1. TYPES OF SERVICES 216
5.2. CHOOSING A BANK 222
5.3. OPENING AN ACCOUNT 228
5.4. CHECKBOOKS 230
5.5. CHECK DEPOSITS AND CASH WITHDRAWALS 240
5.6. ATM CARD, DEBIT CARD 242
5.7. BANK STATEMENT AND BALANCING YOUR CHECKBOOK 246

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6. CREDIT AND CREDIT CARDS 252

6.1. TYPES OF CREDIT CARDS 252
6.2. CREDIT BUREAUS AND CREDIT HISTORY 254
6.3. HOW TO CREATE A CREDIT HISTORY 256
6.4. CREDIT REPORT 262
6.5. GETTING A CREDIT CARD; CREDIT LIMIT 268
6.6. USING CREDIT CARDS FOR PURCHASES 268
6.7. USING CCS TO GET CASH 272
6.8. CREDIT CARD INTEREST 272
6.9. PAYING CURRENT BALANCE 274
6.10. PROBLEMS RELATED TO CREDIT CARD USE 276

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7. EMPLOYMENT 278

7.1. EMPLOYEE STATUS AND TYPES OF EMPLOYERS 282
7.2. TYPES OF JOBS 286
7.3. WAGES AND SALARY 288
7.4. BENEFITS 292
7.5. JOB SEARCH 300
7.6. APPLYING FOR A JOB 318
7.6.1. Application forms 318
7.6.2. Resume 326
7.6.3. Cover Letters 334
7.6.4. References 338
7.7. NECESSARY PAPERWORK 338
7.8. THE INTERVIEW 342
7.8.1. Preparing for the interview 342
7.8.2. The interview 348
7.8.3. Analyzing the results of your interview 354
7.9. JOB OFFERS 356
7.10. CLOTHING, BEHAVIOR, AND SCHEDULE 362
7.10.1. Clothing 362
7.10.2. Work etiquette 366
7.10.3. Company policies 368
7.11. LABOR LAWS 370
7.12. PROMOTION 374
7.13. TERMINATION 376

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8. INCOME 382

8.1. PAY SCALE AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE 384
8.2. INCOME GEOGRAPHY 390
8.3. POVERTY LEVEL 392

8.4. SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS 396
8.5. SOURCES OF INCOME 398
8.6. SAVING AND INVESTING 398

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9. EXPENSES 402

9.1. ALLOCATION OF EXPENSES 404
9.2. FIXED EXPENSES 404
9.3. VARIABLE EXPENSES 406

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10. TAXES 410

10.1. FEDERAL INCOME TAX 410
10.1.1. U.S. Individual Tax Return 412
10.1.2. Who needs to file a tax return? 414
10.1.3. Where do I get forms and instructions, and which ones? 416
10.1.4. What record is necessary to prepare? 416
10.1.5. What is income, and what is not? 418
10.1.6. What are exemptions and deductions? 420
10.1.7. IRS audits 422
10.2. STATE INCOME TAX 426
10.3. SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES 430
10.4. SALES TAX 434
10.5. AUTOMOBILE TAXES 438
10.6. PROPERTY TAX 442

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11. EDUCATION 448

11.1. TYPES OF SCHOOLS 450
11.1.1. Public Schools 450
11.1.2. Magnet schools 450
11.1.3. Charter Schools 450
11.1.4. Private Schools 452
11.1.5. Home Schooling 452
11.2. ELEMENTARY EDUCATION 452
11.2.1. Kindergarten 454
11.2.2. Elementary School 454
11.2.3. Middle School and Junior High School 460
11.3. SECONDARY EDUCATION 462
11.3.1. High School 462
11.3.1.1. Immigrants Teenagers 464
11.3.1.2. Choosing a High School. 474
11.3.2. General Equivalency Diploma (GED) 478
11.4. HIGHER EDUCATION 478
11.4.1. Overview of Higher Education in the U.S. 480
11.4.1.1. Colleges and Universities 480
11.4.1.2. Liberal Arts 480
11.4.2. Choosing a College 484
11.4.2.1. Resources to Help You Choose 484
11.4.2.2. Factors to Consider 486
11.4.2.3. How Many Schools to Apply to? 494
11.4.3. The Application Process 496
11.4.3.1. Application Forms 496
11.4.3.2. Essays 500
11.4.3.3. Academic Transcripts 502
11.4.3.4. Test Scores 502
11.4.4. Making a Final Decision 514
11.4.4.1. Cost of Education 516
11.4.4.2. Financial Aid 518
11.4.5. Choosing a Major 528
11.4.6. Life on Campus 530
11.4.6.1. Leaving Home 532
11.4.6.2. What to Bring 534
11.4.6.3. Housing 536
11.4.6.4. Dining 542
11.4.6.5. Finances 546
11.4.6.6. Student Clubs and Organizations 554
11.4.6.7. Alcohol and Drugs 556
11.4.6.8. Sex and Relationships 560
11.4.6.9. Resources 564
11.4.7. Academics 566
11.4.7.1. You Are Not Alone: Advisors and Advising 566
11.4.7.2. What Do You Want to Study? 568
11.4.7.3. General Education or Core Requirements 574
11.4.7.4. Credit Hours and Credits 584
11.4.7.5. Grades and GPA 586
11.4.7.6. Homework and Exams 588
11.4.7.7. Senior Thesis 592
11.5. GRADUATE/FIRST-PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION 594
11.5.1. Types of Graduate Degrees 596
11.5.2. Advanced Degree-Granting Institutions 598
11.5.3. The application process 602
11.5.4. Financial Aid 604
11.5.5. Student Life 604
11.6. CONTINUING EDUCATION 606

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12. SOCIAL WELFARE AND RETIREMENT PROGRAMS 610

12.1. AID FOR LOW INCOME INDIVIDUALS 612
12.1.1. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 612
12.1.2. Welfare 616
12.1.3. Food Stamps 618
12.1.4. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families 618
12.1.5. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program 620
12.2. PENSIONS, RETIREMENT FUNDS AND ACCOUNTS 620
12.2.1. Social Security Benefits 622

12.2.2. 401(k) and Keogh Retirement Plans 628
12.2.3. IRA and Roth IRA Retirement Accounts 636

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13. INSURANCE 640

13.1. INSURANCE TYPES, TERMINOLOGY, AND BASIC CONCEPTS 640
13.2. AUTO INSURANCE 644
13.3. LIFE INSURANCE 652
13.4. HOMEOWNER'S INSURANCE 660
13.5. HEALTH INSURANCE 666
13.6. DENTAL INSURANCE 678

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14. MEDICAL CARE 682


14.1. HEALTH CARE AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL 682
14.2. HOSPITALS AND CLINICS 684
14.1. DOCTORS IN PRIVATE PRACTICE 690
14.2. EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE 690
14.3. DENTISTRY 692
14.4. CHOOSING A DOCTOR AND MAKING AN APPOINTMENT 696
14.5. PAYING FOR MEDICAL SERVICES 700
14.6. MEDICATIONS AND PHARMACIES 702

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15. SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY AND DISABLED 704

15.1. HOUSING FOR THE ELDERLY 706
15.2. NURSING HOMES 708

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16. CHARITY 716

16.1. CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS 718

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17. INFORMATION 722

17.1. ADVERTISING 724
17.2. NEWSPAPERS 726
17.3. MAGAZINES 730
17.4. RADIO 734
17.5. TV 736
17.6. TELEPHONE BOOK 744
17.7. LIBRARIES 746
17.8. THE INTERNET 746

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18. SHOPPING 754

18.1. THE RETAIL INDUSTRY 754
18.1.1. Supermarkets 754
18.1.2. Malls 756
18.1.3. Department Stores 758
18.1.4. Discount Chains 758
18.1.5. Wholesale Clubs 760
18.1.6. Factory Outlets 760
18.1.7. Pharmacies 762
18.1.8. Convenience stores 762
18.1.9. Bookstores 762
18.1.10. Mail Order Catalogues 764
18.1.11. Consumer Clubs 768
18.1.12. The Internet 772
18.1.13. Distribution Networks 772
18.1.14. Second Hand stores 774
18.1.15. Classified Ads 774
18.1.16. Flea Markets 774
18.1.17. Garage Sales 776
18.2. WHERE AND HOW TO SHOP 778
18.2.1. Sales, Clearances 780
18.2.2. Coupons 784
18.2.3. Groceries 786
18.3. RETURNING AND EXCHANGING MERCHANDISE 788

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19. BUYING AND SELLING A HOME 792

19.1. PROS AND CONS OF THE AMERICAN DREAM 794
19.2. BASIC TERMINOLOGY AND CONCEPTS 796
19.3. WHAT CAN YOU AFFORD? 802
19.4. FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A HOME 818
19.5. SEARCHING FOR AND VIEWING POTENTIAL HOMES 822
19.6. PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT 830
19.7. APPLYING FOR A MORTGAGE LOAN 832
19.7.1. Traditional Mortgages 832
19.7.2. Government-assisted loans and special programs 842
19.7.3. Mortgage refinancing 848
19.8. HOMEOWNERSHIP 848
19.9. HOME EQUITY LOAN OR LINE OF CREDIT 850
19.10. SELLING REAL ESTATE 854

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20. SERVICES 856

20.1. US POSTAL SERVICE 856
20.2. LAUNDRY AND DRY CLEANING 868
20.3. RESTAURANTS 870
20.4. HAIR CARE 874
20.5. RENTALS 876

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21. AMERICAN HOLIDAYS AND SPECIAL OCCASIONS 880

21.1. HOLIDAYS 882
21.2. WEDDINGS 894
21.3. FUNERALS 900
21.4. BIRTH & BIRTHDAYS 910

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22. MISCELLANEOUS 914

22.1. IF YOU GET LOST 914
22.2. PUBLIC RESTROOMS 916
22.3. GAMBLING AND LOTTERIES 916
22.4. PERSONAL HYGIENE 918
22.5. BE CAREFUL WITH CHILDREN 920
22.6. TIPPING 920

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23. ABOUT NUMBERS 924

23.1. NUMERICALS 924
23.2. TIME 928
23.3. MONEY 930
23.4. THE MEASUREMENT SYSTEM 932
23.4.1. Length 936
23.4.2. Area 938
23.4.3. Volume 940
23.4.4. Weight 940
23.4.5. Temperature 944
23.5. CLOTHING AND SHOE SIZES 948
23.5.1. Men’s clothing 948
23.5.1.1. Suits, overcoats, sweaters 950
23.5.1.2. Shirts 950
23.5.1.3. Pants, Jeans 950
23.5.1.4. Hats 952
23.5.2. Women’s clothing 952
23.5.2.1. Overcoats, Dresses, Suits 956
23.5.2.2. Pants, Jeans 956
23.5.2.3. Lingerie 958
23.5.2.4. Hats 958
23.5.3. Children’s clothing 958
23.5.4. Shoes 962

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AFTERWORD 966
APPENDICES
2001 NATIONAL OCCUPATIONAL EMPLOYMENT
AND WAGE ESTIMATES 968
SOURCES 989
INDEX 994

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Welcome to America The Complete Guide for Immigrants

Copyright ViOLa Publishing, LLC                                                 Last update:    June 06, 2015