Reality is different from what we read, listen, or watch on television. It’s all up to you if you accept or decline the facts when you encounter them in person.
Minnesota State University, Mankato is famous for its diversity. You can see many international students on campus everyday. It’s a great experience to get to know their culture by attending different cultural events.
However, even after attending a fun, on-campus event, it’s hard to say that you can fully understand their culture just by attending and engaging in some chit chat.
Dress, food, and living style are all a part of the culture, but amazingly, etiquette is also the part of a culture. Etiquette can be considered common sense, but it’s beyond that.
In my region, you have to stand when your professor enters or leaves the class, but no such rules apply as students here stay seated in their comfort zones.
Here, you have to make an appointment with the professor for a meeting. What is an appointment? Just knock on the door and enter in my culture.
In my culture, students are expected to call their teacher by professor, sir, or madam. You are not supposed to call them by their first or last name only. You can be removed from your institute if anyone heard you called them by their names without using sir or madam.
Here, you can call your professor by whatever they prefer, whether it be first or last name, or their official title. This is very curious for students who know otherwise from different cultures.
Where I grew up, gender discrimination is very common, not only physically but also mentally. The way you behave in society every single thing is seen.
In my culture, you need a male member to approve a female to go outside, be it father, brother, or husband. Meals are served to the male members first. Males are dominant in my culture, and it is very different here.
Here, men and women can dress the same, have equal rights, freedom to speak, go alone outside, etc. Both genders have equal rights to express here, and females can maintain an independent life where they don’t need permission for basic needs from male members. In fact, no gender-based reaction is happening here at all.
Which culture is better than the other, we can’t decide. Each culture has something to teach the other, good and bad. Now it’s up to you to see how quickly you adopt and how passionately you behave. Because it’s your choice to choose if you like what this country has to offer.
Before leaving your country, it’s good to do your homework on culture. With such big yet small differences from food to dress, language to etiquettes, these little things can add up and make you feel disoriented.
Because it is the culture that’ll change you; you cannot change a culture.