Dr. Frank Sprachen & Reisen

Ausland macht schlau!

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Lucca in den USA

American Stereotypes

Before going to the US, you will have a picture in your head. A picture about how people live, what it looks like, how your school is going to look like and about the cultural differences. This is most likely based on movies and maybe books you’ve seen. When people think about the United States, they often talk about hallways full of lockers, fast food, obese people, and a lot of people think Americans are generally more stupid than other nations.

During your year in the US you will find out how much of what you think is true really is. At school you will see the groups you know from typical high school movies. There will be the Football players, the Cheerleaders and many other groups. But you don’t have to worry about not fitting in. You’re neither forced to be in one of those groups nor is everybody part of them. Everybody in the US is very friendly. Especially compared to people in countries like Germany. In America, people will try to help you when they see you’re lost or you ask them kindly. You will most likely first really realize and appreciate it when you are back home.

Now to the cliché about fast food and obesity. Generally said, it is very true that there are a lot more fast food restaurants than what you are used to. Nevertheless, that does not mean that everybody eats there everyday and there is no healthy food in the US. If you want to live healthy, you can of course always do so, even though the temptations are bigger for sure. Before my exchange, I was told to be ready for the fact that I would for sure gain weight in the US. Looking back, that was not completely true. My year was one of my most active years ever. I did gain weight, but that was because I lost a lot of fat and gained muscles. That is actually one of the things I miss the most. Back in Germany, I am fully concentrated on school and cannot find the same motivation anymore that I had with my host brother. I have friends in the US, who run long distances everyday to stay fit and many people are very conscious about their health. I would say, that there are not way more obese people in the United States than in European countries. You will probably eat fast food more often, since also a lot of families like to make burgers or pizza for dinner, but that doesn’t mean you will live unhealthy.

Also, Americans are not stupid. It is very likely that school will seem easier than what you are used to. I recommend using that to your advantage. Firstly, still always concentrate. You will learn a lot of useful things during your year. Secondly, use your free time to explore the American culture, try new free time activities or go on some fun trips with your friends to see the best spots around where you live. Use every last second of your exchange year because you will regret it later if you do not. But that is enough from me. You should get excited and try to find out for yourself how much of what you think is actually true.