Cultural Adjustment to Written and Spoken Language

To apply for official documents and forms of identification in the United States you must have a full legal name. A legal name consists of a first name and a last name. If you do not have a first name or if you were never given a last name and you are getting ready to travel abroad to study in the USA it is a good idea to apply for a passport that contains your full name arranged so that you have both a first and last name. Students who travel here missing either a first or last name on their passport are guaranteed to run into issues with name irregularities and inconsistency among their official documents. It’s best to come with the passport already in good order than to find out that you must amend the passport in order to fix all other documentation in the U.S. Questions regarding this? Please contact our office at

Students come from all over the world and they sign their name using different alphabets and scripts. If you sign your name using an alphabet other than the Roman Alphabet for documents back at home be consistent with documents overseas as well.  In addition, include the pronunciation of your name with the Roman Alphabet for English language readers.

You may be used to dating your documents as Day/Month/Year or as Year/Month/Day. Be aware that official U.S. documents may or may not indicate the order of the date for you to use. If the order is indicated, use it as shown. If not, the default for all documents is Month/Day/Year.

Several examples someone from the U.S. will write are: November 1, 2016; 11/01/2016; or even 11/1/16.  

A local U.S. address can be detailed or simple and it depends on your location. For example, city addresses tend to have more information. To take a look at a sample address form check out our Practical Matters page and review the answer to “How do I write my U.S. address when filling out a form?”

Interested in clubs and after class activities?

Prefer to speak one-on-one?

Do you like big gatherings and sampling new foods?

Or how about immersion in a family home for an afternoon to celebrate a national holiday?

Perhaps you like to take day trips and learn about a place or activity.

At the University of Bridgeport we offer a variety of language learning opportunities. The key to learn and enhance your language skills is by pro-active involvement and communication with native English speakers. The university has a Writing Center, Tutoring and Learning Center (TLC), and Academic Resource Center (ARC) for guidance to better academic performance both inside and outside of the classroom. To hear about activities at our office, visit us or email

Note: You can learn about more activities by asking staff at Campus Activities, your Student Government, and the English Language Institute.

Do you want to learn more about academic performance? Check it out on our academics page under Cultural Adjustment and at our Academics Corner Updates!