An Adventure in American Culture & Values
Studying in the United States of America can be a wonderful learning experience. Both in and out of the classroom you will learn and practice the English language. You will also learn much about American life and its sometimes confusing culture. As you prepare to come to the U.S., it may help to know something about the values that shape U.S. Americans' attitudes and behaviors. As you consider these values it is important to remember that: 1. U.S. society is made up of a diversity of ethnic groups and cultures that have helped shape American values; 2. Some individuals and groups have a set of respected values that are quite different from those of mainstream America; 3. People's attitudes and behavior are based on their values.
Some Major U.S. American Values
Individuality: U.S. Americans are encouraged at an early age to be independent and to develop their own goals in life. They are encouraged to not depend (too much) on others including their friends, teachers and parents. They are rewarded when they try harder to reach their goals. Privacy: U.S. Americans like their privacy and enjoy spending time alone. Foreign visitors will find U.S. American homes and offices open, but what is inside the American mind is considered to be private. To ask the question "What is on your mind?" may be considered by some to be intrusive. Equality: U.S. Americans uphold the ideal that everyone "is created equal" and has the same rights. This includes women as well as men of all ethnic and cultural groups living in the U.S. There are even laws that protect this "right to equality" in its various forms. The general lack of deference to people in authority is one example of equality. Titles, such as "sir" and "madam" are seldom used. Managers, directors, presidents and even university instructors are often addressed by their first or given name. Time: U.S. Americans take pride in making the best use of their time....
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