If I was a twenty-year-old Argentine I would be very disappointed if I studied abroad in the United States …..
College students in the United States have a lot more homework and time in class than I do at home. At the most universities in the Unite States students do not go out during the week. I guess I could understand that because you cannot drink until you are 21 and most clubs require you to be 21 to get in. When you are able to go to a club you go so early at 10pm. At home I would still be eating dinner at 10pm! I guess Americans get tired quickly because they only stay out until 2am…3 am the latest! At home my friends and I would leave at 3am. We finish dinner around 23:30 pm and 24pm, relax with our family and friends and then get ready to go out to the boliches or ‘clubs’ in the states there is no way we leave before 2:30 am. Does that mean American’s eat dinner around 5 or 6? That’s teatime for me. I like to get a coffee and medialunas or what Americans call croissants.
So when I do get to the boliches at 10pm! I realize that the people are not friendly at all. Many of the boys pay very little attention to me. At home men would introduce themselves to me and offer me a kiss. The Americans seem offended by this type of behavior. For example, many girls are not interested in kissing boys unless they were taken on a date or two. Why so formal? If you like someone you express it!
So ok, you go on a couple of dates and you have a novio or a “boyfriend” now. The couples in the United States are more rigid and cold. At home it is very common to show how in love you and your boyfriend are. We kiss each other all the time at the mall, in a restaurant, on the street and cuddle with each other in the park. In the U.S., I barely see couples kiss and they will occasionally hold hands. Do people love each other less in the United States?
Everyone in the United States is obsessed with time. Everything must be done and must be done now. Even in restaurants the waitresses and waiters constantly as you if you are enjoying everything almost as if they want you to leave. I find this very rude. How are you supposed to enjoy a meal with your friends or family? Americans are so obsessed with food on the go and eating quickly. Where is everyone going all of the time?
The stores here operate on business hours. I can understand this for a very large company or corporation because this does exist at home. But why do the beauty salon, nail salons and spas have such fixed hours? What if the beautician has a doctor’s appointment or would just like to stay home and enjoy herself for the day? He or she cannot because they are a bound by such rigid business hours. If it is about customer convenience, then they should do what we do at home. If you want to get your hair done, you should call ahead of time to see if your beautician is available. I do not think it is right or necessary to frame your life around a business, because then your business begins to control your life.
Also, barely anyone here speaks another language. At home, most people old and young at least know a little English. I cannot understand how a country so rich and resources and with such intense academic requirements does not teach its students foreign languages. They treat foreign language here like an elective course like art or music. I would think Americans would be interested in communicating with other people since their culture and companies are omnipresent.
Speaking of Speaking. Americans are so quite and formal in conversation. At home we talk and laugh loudly even at work. Americans have very little expression and are obsessed with formal manners. One would think that since they spend so much time working that they would feel even more comfortable in their workplace but it is quite the opposite.
Americans are about rules, laws, regulations, efficiency. I guess that is why their country is much richer than mine. However, I miss empathy, compassion, humility and affection.