All of our students agree that coming to America was an amazing experience. The excitement of a new country, the warm and friendly people and especially all the wonderful opportunities available in the United States really drew them to the country. However, there were some confusing encounters, too. Follow along with them, as they experience culture shock!
“Coming to North America was a very fun experience to me, especially seeing the enormous buildings and the change of language! But I really miss the small-town feel of everyone knowing each other and celebrating the holidays together in the streets that I had back in Colombia. Also, when they call you by your name, it means they are mad at you, where here in the US, people just call you by your name after you meet them. I think the most remarkable difference is in the order and progress that is here in the US.” Veronica Enriquez, Colombia
“I felt so intimidated; did not want to leave my house for the first two months! Also, using public transportation was a difficult adjustment, because the schedules here are fixed. The biggest cultural shock for me was where to shop for food. At home, I never had to worry about what I could eat, but here, I have to take more time to do it.” Sameh Alraye, Jordan
“I did not experience as much culture shock. Here, I am with my brother and we support each other. I still miss everything back home, especially around the holidays. My friends here are great, and VIU has so many activities for us here. I did have to learn to be on time here in the US though!” Sanda Rahanta, Madagascar
“Anybody who has lived in a foreign country may experience differences in what their new culture considers important as well as the different values of that nation. I learned to make my own decisions without being reliant on my parents. Moreover, I made a lot of friends who helped me alleviate homesickness and improved my communication skills.” Nafisa Ismailova, Uzbekistan
“Looking back at that time almost everything that I experienced falls under culture shock! The huge food portions, Americans’ everyday routines, and the wide roads – everything had a very different vibe about it. I was really amazed by the way Americans lived their lives, which was very organized. Punctuality was a huge issue that I had to deal with when I came to University as a freshman. Back in Nepal, we are never expected to be on time no matter what the appointment or the meetings are. Here, it was totally different. I missed my dinner twice in the cafeteria because I was two minutes late. I was amazed by the fact that part of our grades was based on being on time and attending class. It took a while to adjust, but, eventually, it became a norm of life. When I look back, it makes me feel grateful because it has shaped who I am today.” Pooza Bastakoti, Nepal