What Surprised You Coming to America?

america-states-stereotypes international student voice magazine
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There are some things international students don’t believe exist until they arrive in the United States. What things surprised you?

Here are some things international students have shared. Do you agree? What would you add to the list?

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ATM drive thru international student voice magazineDrive-thru ATM’s and stores: it left me speechless. And then to think that most purchases in the U.S. are on credit ;). You can even do drive-thru shopping, drive-thru oil-change, drive-thru massage(?). Everything is drive-thru!

Cars, cars, cars: It’s a big country and public transport is lacking. Hence, most people own at least one car and use it for the shortest distances. You would almost think people forgot how to walk or bike. Although I saw many people bike, it was for sports, not for day-to-day transportation.

Use of slang OMG! NO WAY!!: So, apparently people really do say O.M.G. a lot (in California that is) and other slang you hear on T.V. I thought that was simply T.V. stuff.

Extreme sensitivity towards race and religion.: People tend to be very sensitive about racial and religious topics. I was embarrassed to ask a Costco employee where the white chocolate was because I was afraid she would tell me I was a racist.

Huge serving portions: I’m a big guy and love eating, but 50% of the time I could only finish half the food on my plate (how do you guys do it?!).average-dinner-plate-size international student voice magazine

Gigantic cars: I thought a Land Rover was big until I saw the average pickup truck in the U.S.

Many payment options: You can pay with check, credit, debit, cash, or anything else of value. Unbelievable. I’m used to either paying in cash or with my debit card. It’s really smart business wise – you simply cannot argue you don’t have the money, because even if you don’t.. you can still pay on credit.

Widespread obesity:  I was shocked to see the amount of obese people in the U.S. I can fully understand it though: the portions are big, everything has cheese in it, refills are free, purchases in bulk are cheaper, etc.

Franchise, Franchise, Franchise: In California it’s hard to avoid franchise restaurants or stores. Although I’ve heard that in many other parts of the country this is absolutely not the case (e.g. Texas).Amazing presentation skills: A 7 year old kid from the U.S. would beat any European in a sales pitch. I find the average American amazing in presenting themselves, doing sales, explaining how things work, etc. I’m jealous.The U.S. preserves its nature: I was thrilled to see how far ahead America is in preserving its beautiful nature. Absolutely terrific, kudos to you guys.
This post and quotes courtesy of Quora

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