After reading the blog post from Benny Lewis, a native Irishman, and hearing from various international students here on campus, it was interesting to see how American culture is different from their native culture. The blog post was seemingly more harsh than the students we interacted with but that is actually a cultural difference. In Irish culture, people are much more blunt than Americans tend to be, so it comes off as harsh because nothing is sugarcoated. Some of Lewis’s points also appeared to be more of a generalization of America as a whole even though he only lived and spent time in major cities. I feel like his opinion would shift some if he spent time in smaller communities. (I would also like to add that him calling out Americans for stereotyping people from other countries was not a fair point because he was doing the exact same thing).
I honestly did not know what to expect when we had the panel of international students come in to class. I was surprised that most of them lived in the U.S. for some time or had visited multiple times before residing here at OU. One noticeable difference between the panel and Lewis was the cultural differences weren’t aboslutely huge. Now, there were some larger noticeable differences from Chinese culture to American culture but for the most part the differences were in smaller mannerisms, such as eye contract and smiling at strangers.
Having international students straight up tell us what is different from their culture to American culture made it very easy to adapt to another culture when abroad. It also made me think that before going abroad, talk to an international student and ask them what is normal everyday behavior in their culture.