When I first started taking this course, I thought that it was just going to be about how schools are different in other parts of the world, but I was wrong. We first discussed the culture as dynamic and contested. This is where we discussed accepting that everyone is different and that people should respect each others differences. Also, this made me see that not everyone is like there stereotypes to keep an open mind to others and hope that they will do the same. Since, I would with others that are from other countries, I have learned to be paition and work with them and help them learn aboutAmericaand our culture. I think that taking this class and working in the kind environment that I did help me apply what I have learned in this course to my real life. Like, stated in Comparative and International Education: An Introduction to Theory, Method and Practice “All cultures are shaped by events of the past (pg.92)”. Since the men working at the Restaurant with me hated Americans for something they did in the past. It was hard for them to respect me in the beginning. We finally sat down and agreed that I was American, but wasn’t alive for these past events and that they shouldn’t hate all Americans. I think this changed there out look on me as a person. This also allowed them to be friends with Americans. This event also, reminded me of this movie, The Color of Friendship, when Piper is trying to get Marie to like her. Marie didn’t like Piper because she was black and in Marie Countries Blacks were the lower class, it was against the government to befriend them. Marie later let the color of Pipers skin by and this allowed them to be great friends. The reason Marie was against befriending because in her country they were going through a apartheid which is when blacks and Whites are separated. I think that coming toAmericawas the best thing for Marie she learned that blacks is the same as whites. She saw that blacks can have the same job, houses, and even drive cars. If she didn’t change her mind and open up to Piper’s family she wouldn’t have ever known about equal rights; that all people can be equal no matter whom they are.
There are many cultures around the world, being American it is interesting to see how culture are is different. I decided to compare toEuropebecause both countries have a large economy, political stability, and strong military. The only big differences are the lifestyles. In the paragraphs following I will discuss how Americans are different than Europeans culture which gives an idea how people see each other and how cultures vary in different countries. The reason I picked Europe and America was because they are a lot alike with size, economy, and military , that the only really difference they have is their culture. I think that reading about this helps the understanding of different cultures. I learned this while taking this class that it’s important to understand their will be differences in culture. I learned the most about this goal by doing the different discussion groups. Hearing others stories and sharing ideas helped me see how others felt and see if I agreed with them of not. I believe that this also, covers the third goal of this course, analyze variability and heterogeneity within and across cultures. Though, I only comparedAmericatoEuropethrough out my discussions and others papers I have taken my travel experience and research to expanding my horizons with other cultures differences.
Americans healthcare is lacking compared toEurope. Hospitals will refuse patients treatment if they don’t have insurance or not US citizens. Europeans will treat anyone, no matter of citizenship or insurance. Doctor’s in theUSwill not treat patient if it is outside of their religious beliefs like, treating homosexuals, abortion, and birth control. While if Europeans did this they would loose their doctor’s license to practice for violation of the Hippocratic Oath. When traveling throughEuropethere are so many different languages, art, and food. While in theUnited Statesthere is only one language. Our food doesn’t really change as much as state by state. “ a person visiting New Jersey and Virginia as a tourist would have almost feel both are the same state (except the difference in street crime)” (Hickman 4). Americans have always seen as rushing around, while people inEuropeare more relaxed. Europeans will take time off of work to go home and nap. During the day, Europeans have almost 2 hours to sit down and enjoy there lunch. While Americans are seen as fast food eaters and running around everywhere. Europeans take their time to eat a little more seriously. When Europeans eat meals they have multiple course and use this time as a social activity with there families. This gives them time to discuss their day as a family. Also, when Europeans buy food they do it based on what they need for that day. Many places inEuropedo not have supermarkets; they have small personal owned places. While Americans are known for having a specific day that they go grocery shopping and we really only have Supermarkets. When going to Europe it is very unusual to find a strip mall or big malls like we have inAmerica. They are big at family owned businesses. For example, when you need meat a European would go to the Butcher. It very common for their meals to last for hours. When reading an article called American Vs European they said that the quality of education in theUnited Statesis much lower thanEurope, and lower than must third world countries. In theUnited Statesthey have a lower knowledge of “world history and politics, lower math, and scientific skills”.United StatesCollegeare expensive, and the better the University the more expensive they are. While aEuropeanUniversityis about the fraction of the price or in some case free likeGermany. These are just a few differences between Europe andAmerica.
When, Reading all these articles it was hard for me to understand when Europe sounds so much better thanAmerica. I feel that their culture is so much more enriched than Americans. When I livedItalyI remembered that being there was more relax thanAmerica. I also, felt that food their was more appreciated, while here people are just seeing to grab a sandwich as fast as we can. We don’t see the value in sitting down and enjoying that meal. The life they is more slow paced like around twelve it is very hard to find a clothing store that is open because people close down to have lunch and sometimes don’t open back up till like three. It just different than anything Americans have seen or done. Even though we are all different it is important to see that and when visiting others countries we should respect each others culture and lifestyle.
The last goal of this course, I think is to be experienced after this course is over. It is taking what we learned in this course and applying it the rest of our life. I have already started expanding my friendships with other countries, but I feel that it isn’t ever the end. There is always something new to learn about my culture and those of my friend. I took a class last semester that we talked to kids from other countries. Started my adventures with other cultures, which widened my horizons about different cultures. Then this summer, I started working with kids my age from other countries, I learned about there language and culture. They try to teach me a new word everyday. I feel that this isn’t the end and that spending out to be friends with others can help people learn about each other, instead of just the stereotypes of each other.
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Philips, D. and Schweisfurth, M. (2008). Comparative and International Education: An Introduction to Theory, Method and Practice. London: Continuum.
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