Personal Experience in America
International students encounter different experiences in America. These can be good or bad. Cultural differences play the role of shaping these experiences. These students receive varying treatments. Depending on their expectations, they are affected negatively or positively, thereby determining if their experience is pleasant or unpleasant. In this paper, I will address my personal experiences as an international student in the United States of America, basing on the aspects of politeness, equality, individualism, and openness in the USA.
I still remember nostalgically, walking into a Korean airport, and boarding a plane to America. I had mixed feelings, since my expectations of the USA were not clearly defined. Nonetheless, I knew the years that lay ahead were going to be the most wonderful years of my life. The early days in America were memorable and life changing. Experiencing America in person was thrilling. This remains my best experience. The cultural diversity in America gave me a chance to meet new people from different parts of the world. I missed home, especially my family, and occasionally, I experienced loneliness. However, this had made me break away from my comfort zone and lead an independent life, adapting to a new culture.
While in America, I received different treatment from different people. The level of politeness among students varied. Most students were polite to me; they offered to orientate me in my new school. However, a few were impolite. One of my worst experiences was when one student deliberately talked negatively about Koreans, to make me feel bad. This taught me that not all people are going to treat you in the same way. In addition, the level of politeness of a person depends on their personality. Therefore, this personality trait is not existent in every person, so I learnt to understand those who treated me in an impolite way.
I experienced the aspect of equality in America in different measures. In terms of education, equal opportunities are provided to both native and international students. However, in few cases, international students had trouble securing jobs in America. However, equality in all aspects is highly upheld in America, as the constitution demands, and this is rarely breached.
American culture portrays more openness than Korean culture, which is largely conservative. Here, there is less discrimination on grounds of gender and sex, and there is more freedom of expression. It is normal for expectant students to come to school, and students freely express their opinions on different topics, including sexual matters, which most cultures consider sensitive.
Establishing meaningful social relations was quite a challenge to me. First, the language barrier deterred me from making many friends due to lack of effective communication. Secondly, I found Americans to be more individualistic than Koreans back home. Most American students were not fast to establish close relations with new students. However, I capitalized on the few who portrayed less individualism, and I made friends with them.
Generally, experiencing the new American culture has taught me to be more independent as this was not initially my comfort zone. Adapting to this culture with each passing day brought out my level of adaptability, which encouraged me. Looking back, it is hard to believe how I have adapted. My experience in America may not be perfect, but has taught me abundant important life lessons. Daily, I feel a force of transformation, changing me into a more responsible adult.
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