The Strange Things About Americans

NYU has a “Getting To Know Americans” page on their website, which has suggestions from international students on how to befriend the Western devil. It’s very interesting insight into the way outsiders view Americans. Among the highlights:

  • Because Americans are self-reliant, they have superficial relationships: don’t let this frustrate you
  • “Americans see themselves as separate individuals, not as representatives of a family, community or other group”
  • Due to the belief in universal equality, Americans “treat each other in very informal ways, even in the presence of great differences in age or social standing”, like not letting people of greater social standing cut in line
  • Americans are punctual, so arrive within 5 minutes of the set time for professional appointments, within 10 minutes for social appointments, and within an hour for parties.
  • “If a person accumulated money and goods by means of hard work, cleverness, and persistence, s/he is admired.”
  • “The United States is a culture that tends to view change as good, as an improvement”, for example “purchasing a new car, not because the old one is in disrepair, but in order to have the latest model”
  • “Americans often think that other countries should use their example and adopt their ways of doing things.”
  • “Rather than simply getting together with friends to spend time together, Americans will frequently plan an activity – any activity – and will tend not to get together without some focus to the time spent with friends.”

Via Neatorama

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