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Cultural Differences in the USA

Question:

Discuss about the Identity and Language Learning in Study.

Setting goals for studying in an abroad country because ids makes me clear what I want to get out of my trip in the USA and makes me sure whether I am capable for accomplishing my goals.

  • Advancement for future profession
  • Utilizing scope for studying with preferred subject
  • Facing challenges for living as well as studying in USA
  • Desire for expanding my own horizons
  • Experiencing an exotic place
  • Learning other languages and cultures
  • Keeping up with other students
  • Hoping for the new setting
  • Avoiding uncertainty and pointlessness and finding a new way

My concept about the culture and behaviour of the USA is largely based on the news, movies, TV shows and friend living in the USA. I believe that the country is rich with diverse culture as people from different section of the world visit America. It also has immigrants who stay in the county for profession and research works. Some of them must have loved the culture and could not return back to their native land. Therefore, it seems to be very difficult for defining a typical American. From the American history I came to know that current Americans are largely from European decent therefore, I guess some of the cultural traits will be familiar with my Australian culture.

Most Americans I believe lover of various sports. As they work throughout week, they look forward for entertainment in the weekends. I guess they spend recess watching sports in stadiums or TV.

Until WWII Australian culture was mostly bore the influence from Britain. Most of the population was decent from Britain or born in Britain. After war they came to Australia and started living here. Therefore, many people considered the country to be a British colony and nothing more than that. Our national identity was similar to that of Britain and its effect was far reaching. The Briton culture effected our food, fashion, entertainments, sporting culture including social values as well as attitudes.

After world war, our culture stated to change significantly. As the USA has become the economic power, they also started to dominate cultures all over the world through Television shows, movies and music (Salisbury, An and Pascarella 2013). During post-war era, people of Australia were becoming affluent and taking advantages of technology as well as communications, which enabled transmission of products and ideas from America seamlessly. We even use the American spelling as major computer companies use such changed spellings. American shows, media and movies have also influenced our general knowledge and society.

I believe USA has always been an allure and drawing talents like magnet. Studying in the USA will allow me for valuable academic, personal as well as professional development. It will definitely open up innumerable career opportunities after my completion of studies.

Benefits of Studying at Top Universities in the USA

The country has the reputation for famous higher education programs and half of the world’s best universities are located in the USA. I believe that small size of the classes, highly accredited teachers, advanced technological support and research capabilities will create greater opportunity for me. Completing studies from top universities of USA will encourage me and distinguish me from other peers with same background as well as help in getting ready for career experience.

I believe that I shall be expert in my field when I will get into my kind of profession. This is because study in the USA will provide me with facilities on any subject I want to choose. The country’s international student’s policy will be guiding me for getting scholarships.

The USA is the leader in the fields of technology as well as research. These are benefitted from funding and support to the international students. I will be able to join the research projects in the universities where the students’ works are published and they can apply for patent and even get assistance in starting companies. These universities have research labs as well as campuses.

The university campuses will give not only professional opportunities but also encourage me to socialise with peers. I have heard these campuses also include a lot of facilities for student relaxation and entertainment.

I know that the USA always welcome multicultural environment therefore even if I get small cultural shock in the beginning I will definitely adapt to the situation. This multiculturalism will help me in my career in future. Interacting with diverge people in colleges will build capability of interaction with people from other culture and analysis issues from global perspective. Living far from home I shall be more self-motivated, flexible as well as independent. I shall become outgoing, communicative and confident for any kind of challenge.

From my friends studying in the USA, I have come to that making fun of their culture or derogatory remarks about their country hurt their emotions and background. They also value their privacy and expect etiquette regarding visit to their places.

Life in the US seems to me fast paced. The Americans do not intend to waste time for anything. This is I guess the reason why they invented fast food. To me, they might be impatient yet disciplined otherwise the country would not have been so developed.

I came across some legal and cultural rigidity prevailing in the country while studying about their culture. Racial comments are strictly judged and hurt people’s emotion. Blacks are referred as African American in USA.

Financial Challenges of Studying Abroad

The most important knowledge I gained from popular TV shows that people are not so curious about the background or the culture of the immigrants. This may because they have seen and accustomed with people coming from different corner of the world. Some may be curious and ask about my culture and my country if they come to know my origin.

The USA is the home of top universities and research academies. They offer international student aids that deal with cultural differences and find solutions for academic problems that the international students face during study in the USA.

Cultural challenges: I know that when I shall arrive in the USA I will be facing initial cultural shock that every student from different country face. It is the intense feeling of homesickness and irritability that every student experiences when they travel to new countries and comes across different languages and cultures (Kinginger 2013). In my country, there are various customs and behavioural traits that will be highly irregular if I apply them, in the USA. In the USA, people maintain personal spaces and do not touch in busy areas either by familiar or strangers. Therefore, I need to speed up in understanding the communication style before I stepped in to that country.

Financial challenges: I know that the colleges and universities in the USA is expensive. out-of-state tuition in the public university is difficult and private schools are more expensive. Therefore, I need to plan how will I pay tuitions and other expenses before reaching there. The most important financial challenge that all my friends studying in the USA faced was the cost of health insurance. It is a problem that international students do not get opportunity for automatic and universal healthcare facilities so I have ensured that my university provide good insurance. I can also access the international student health care insurance for avoiding huge medical bills.


Social challenges: students and teachers interact differently in the USA. They are more personal yet maintain personal spaces. They also interact differently in the social situations. For me starting as a new student in abroad may be lonely and irritating. Getting known to other students and involvement may be a big question foe me like all the international students but I am fortunate that I have some friends living there and studying in the same college.

Academic challenges: the academic background is the most important component in my visiting t the USA. Therefore, it will be easier for me to focus on my study. It is a challenge for the international students that they find US language difficult to decipher initially (Tarrant, Rubin and Stoner 2014). The classroom expectations are also different from that of Australia. Therefore, collaborative studies and interaction with the professors will help me to understand the traits easily.

Social Challenges of Studying Abroad

Being and energetic Australian I am looking forward new adventures in my life. in Australia I am not able to pursue my study on my own preferred subject. I will be taking advantages of studying in one of the top colleges in the USA only because of my good academic background. The study abroad programs will be helping me to learn all the features that will help me in my future job. I believe it is the best time to explore the most diverse place where I will be connecting with new people, understand their language, culture, values and perspectives. On the other hand, I can also be a representative of Australian culture and ethnicity. I can make others interested about my history and native art, music, and literature.

As we live in an age of globalization, it is important for us to build an inclusive worldview instead of thinking about my own ethos. A student whether study politics, literature or science, need to be capable of thinking from the multi-national perspectives. I believe this will help me facing modern challenges and forming creative solutions. This will teach me to to view things from different point of view, therefore, I shall also learn new things about my own culture.

For many international students, it is not about visiting USA for few days and coming back home but it is living there and fitting in the country’s culture. I will be staying there for several months and years among locals, eating cuisines, riding public transport. The foreign will be soon become familiar to me. I will be reaping all the benefits of the scholarships and international student programs and representing my culture. These stories of studying abroad will be there in my memory lane.

Among many expectations, I want get an experience of a new and different education system. Depending on my program, my classes will obviously be different that I am used to in Australia. I want to embrace that difference once I am there and take advantages of the strength and resources of the university.

My study abroad will expand my perspectives. First of all, I want to know the place where I shall live from a residents’ point of view. I shall visit all tourist sites and eventually go beyond them. Exploring new town will make me more comfortable in the foreign land. Tasting the local food has always been attractive to me. I believe every place or town has its own delicacy. the culture approves the food habits as well as cuisines. Therefore, to know the culture, I need to be open minded and I believe I shall return home with a new favourite dish. Studying in USA will give me opportunities to know new culture, history, customs, language and ideas that I shall be surrounded by and immerse myself in a new way of life.

Academic Challenges of Studying Abroad

Now America is the dominant superpower of the world. They have both hard power as well as soft power the soft power is the dominance of its culture that are transmitted through their music, literature, media, films art and television shows. In Australia we have popular music that are sourced heavily from America and our youth fell under the spell of American music, movies and dance style. We, the young generation of Australia are hugely influenced with the language whether it is choosing the words and phrases or style of speaking. The term Hollywood conjures up visions of movie stars and Oscar nights and Western gunslingers getting ready for the shootout. Therefore, most of the concept that we form about the country is purely based on their movies and TV shows.

As an international student studying in a foreign university I guess by perspective will change largely. It will create opportunity for me to use my skills as well as abilities that I have learnt in my native country. It will help me in learning variety of language and culture, challenges and benefits and how to be a leader from a commoner. Among diversity I shall start to think big far from my comfort zone. Meeting and overcoming challenges will develop confidence and boost my future chances in job market. Getting a new perspective is different from our preconceived notions and teaches to be open minded.

Study says that international students are each other’s advocate. Becoming an ambassador will provide a valuable work experience in my C.V as well as give opportunity to meet and work with people from various backgrounds. I will be able to share my experiences to other prospective students. The international students coming from Australia as well as other countries for studying in the USA will connect with me. Prospective international students can ask me about university life or about housing. I will be providing them practical tips about the problems I faced. Advising them to plan properly and expand social circles will keep the away from gravitate towards the native peers. My job will also include in identifying and reflecting on the skills and strength and provide employers evidence of my learning as well as experience.

References:

Kinginger, C., 2013. Identity and language learning in study abroad. Foreign Language Annals, 46(3), pp.339-358.

Salisbury, M.H., An, B.P. and Pascarella, E.T., 2013. The effect of study abroad on intercultural competence among undergraduate college students. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 50(1), pp.1-20.

Tarrant, M.A., Rubin, D.L. and Stoner, L., 2014. The added value of study abroad: Fostering a global citizenry. Journal of Studies in International Education, 18(2), pp.141-161.

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