By Charlotte G. Francoli, Summer Times Staff Writer
Have you ever asked yourself how people from different countries view America and especially after the governmental change following the 2016 election? Here are some of their opinions:
Have you noticed any cultural differences when you came to the U.S. ?
“Yes, many. For example in Italy we are pretty open-minded and here in America, it depends on in which state you are, but being open-minded is not very common here. Also from a racial point of view, religious point of view and even when it comes to the sexual orientation we are more open minded.I have met many different people that have different opinions than me, which I am fine with but these thoughts seem just very primitive for me. I have heard from some people that they believe that the black race is inferior to the white people.I can sadly see some similarities because our government changed but I hope this will change in the future.”
What have you noticed in terms of American behavior?
“I don’t think they act any different from us, but everything is bigger than in Europe. For example in the supermarkets. How am I supposed to carry 5 gallons of milk?
What did you expect the people here to be like?
“In New Hampshire I expected the people to be very closed-minded and pretty nationalist and that’s actually partly true.”
What surprised you in a good or bad way?
“Here in Exeter it surprised me how the people are, the people in town seem to be very conservative but if we talk about the students, including the American students they are not even close to that. In my opinion Exeter creates an environment to become more open-minded to everything and everyone.”
In your opinion what is typical American?
“The cliche is that the typical American person doesn’t care about what he is eating, is driving a truck and lives with his family in the countryside; he is Protestant and goes often to church”
Is this your first time in America?
“Yes, it is. I have noticed that everything is bigger here, for example the buildings, cities and even the food is more than in Europe.”
Have you seen anything weird since coming here?
“The people here are very nice and polite. You can do small talk with everyone you meet. Also very positive is that everyone greets each other for example in the supermarkets. In Germany sadly this isn’t very common it doesn’t happen very often.
What did you expect America and its people to be like?
“ I actually expected the people to be very polite because my mother told me that their mentality is very different. For example if you sit next to a person in the bus you can just start talking to them and it evolves into a nice conversation, that would never happen where I live. You just sit quietly next to each other and everyone listens to their own music or is on their phone.”
What surprised you here?
“Talking about the school, people come from everywhere, and it is very interesting to hear about their country and culture. I have already learned so much in these few weeks and met so many people, it’s incredible. They are all super nice here and I really like the school system. We definitely get more homework than I expected it to be but at the same time it is also more effective. You do more by yourself but that contributes to the learning. One bad thing I have noticed is the excessive use of plastic here for example in the dining halls.
Have you noticed any differences after the governmental change?
“Yes I have, there has been a lot of fear and not being able to trust people, between neighbors and friends, and lately it has just been judging based on your background.”
Have you noticed differences in the food and culture?
“Regarding culture not really, because it is more or less both western culture in Germany and America. Regarding the food there are definitely differences. In Germany we eat more potatoes and bread. The bread is much better where I am from, no offense. But I believe that there are many more different kinds here and many different cultural foods. People come from many different countries .