Submit a question for Dear America!

dear america final
Print Friendly

As an international student studying and living in the United States, are there some things you just don’t understand?

If a dime is worth 10 cents and a nickel is worth five cents, then why is a dime smaller than the nickel?

Why is 21 the legal age to drink alcohol?

What’s the best way to make American friends?

These are just some examples. Only International Student Voice Magazine can get the actual country of America to answer your questions!

America will write up the answer and post it on our homepage. All questions are anonymous, just put your home country.


Here is an example of a question from an international student from China:

Dear America,

I paid my bill at the restaurant, but the waiter kept glaring at me. Why did this



Sincerely, China


My response:


Dear China,

In America it is customary to leave a tip. The wages for restaurant workers are

typically reduced to below minimum wage with the expectation of added income

from tip money. If you received satisfactory service, it is polite to leave a 15% tip.

If you are with more than 6 people it is also common to have the tip (also called

gratuity) to be included into the bill, in which case you don’t have to leave an

additional tip–make sure to check your receipt! With exceptional service you could

leave more (up to 20%), and with poor service around 10% or none at all, but know

that generally it is considered rude to not leave a tip. Different industries have different

tipping customs, but restaurants usually have a higher gratuity than other services.

Taxi cab services for example the tip is usually around 5-10%. Hope this helps!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.