Should I learn traditional or simplified characters?

I am learning Mandarin Chinese. I will eventually be studying abroad to Xiamen, China. I want to order the Ni Hao Textbooks but can’t decide to get the Traditional or Simplified book. I want to learn so I can talk to the people in China and to Chinese-Americans. Which version will be of better use to me? Are signs, building names etc…in traditional or simplified? Which do Chinese-Americans use more?

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