Culture Views

Foreign Exchange Students Views on American Culture.

I asked three former foreign exchange students about their thoughts on American culture.

These are the three exchange students:

Alis Reid~ She is from Scotland. She has a you tube channel all about her student exchange. She went at the age of 18 and went to a school in South Carolina. Came to America in the 13-14 school year. She joined lacrosse and an acting class.

Pia Schmitt ~ She is from Germany. She came to America to work on her English. She came at the age of 15 and stayed for half the school year. She was here for the 14-15 school year. Her favorite part was all the nice people. She joined Cross Country, Cheer leading, and Basketball.

Lydia Viberud ~ Lydia is from Sweden. She loves traveling and wanted to come to America to also work on her English. She was here for the 14-15 school year. She came at the age of 17. She joined the Dance Team, Volleyball, Basketball, and Track. She enjoyed her three art classes and loves playing the flute.

They all had different culture shocks...

Pia~ She said that in America we didn't walk a lot. In Germany it was easier to walk everywhere. We lived in the middle of no where so we had to drive everywhere. She also said that our food here is very greasy. One other thing she said was that there was air conditioning everywhere.

Lydia~ Lydia said that America is much more conservative than Sweden; America is much more religious. Like Pia, she said she was used to using public transportation or walking everywhere. Here in America we drive everywhere.

Alis~ She said that football here is super important to us. In Scotland it rains a lot and is cold: and in South Carolina it is sunny and warm. She also said she was surprised how much Americans love accents. Another big culture shock is we have a day called Black Friday completely dedicated to shopping. She thought it was crazy how people go nuts on fighting over certain things on Black Friday. Also another difference was that we have a lot different words for things such as biscuit to them is a cookie to us.

Pictures of Their Biggest Culture Shocks

They also had views on our schools.

Along with culture shock they had many stereotypes about America

Pia~She never expected America to be as friendly as it was. Everyone was expected to say hello, thanks, and please; Americans also ask how someone is feeling. Europeans never did this unless they knew each other. She also never thought America had many sports, but when she arrived, she was definitely wrong!

Lydia~ She said our schools had a lot of restrictions. Such as, we cant leave the building. Along with this she said she has a lot of free time because school was very easy for her. Back in Sweden all she did when she got home was study. She was also surprised that we had school sports. In Sweden they had club sports. In America we make a big deal about sports.

Alis~ She has all her stereotypes in the video below.

American High School - Movies vs. Reality


Overall of the three foreign exchange students had some of the same responses about America. The also had many differences, which were interesting to learn about. I always thought that America was normal, but in reality we are different just like we think of other countries cultures.