Student appreciates differences between countries

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Sabrina Rana

At first, I wanted to discuss the culture shock I experienced coming to the United States from a different country.

When I actually thought about it, however, there were really no negative shocks that I personally experienced. Culture shock means having a certain feeling of discomfort or disorientation due to the change in the way of living. 

I’m a second semester freshman here at Washburn and I’ve come all the way from Kathmandu, Nepal which is approximately 8,000 miles away from here. When I first landed in America, I imagined everything about it would be like the movies – a college life full of parties and fun – but that’s not how it turned out. Though it was not as I expected it would be, I’ve adjusted quite well.

While there are not many major differences, there are a handful of minor ones, which I’m sure other people from my country can relate to and which are completely normal things for people from here.

The very first things that I noticed that were completely different from my country were the traffic rules and how it was completely safe for pedestrians to cross the road. Back in my country crossing the road was probably one of my biggest fears because of the lack of traffic rules.

It used to take me hours to cross the road if I was alone, I would always wait for other people to cross the road with me but when I arrived here I felt like I achieved something great when I was able to cross the road without being so stressed.

The second thing that all the Nepalis will relate to is the abundance of electricity and water in America. In my country there is term called “Load-Shedding” which means they cut electricity for a certain amount of time per day and there was a time when we had load-shedding for almost 16 hours every day.

Having no electricity resulted in a lack of water, too. We had to buy water at a high cost. Because of this, we get kind of bothered when people waste water or electricity. The abundance of water and electricity here is awesome and everybody reading this should be thankful for that.

Another thing that was very new to me was people being super sweet and greeting me while walking on the road or while shopping or any time we had eye contact regardless we knew each other or not. It was new to me because I’ve never really greeted strangers in my hometown, everybody just goes about their own way.

Also back in Nepal, people use cash a lot more than they use cards, so it was a little different for me at first to not carry cash around and use my card for every little purchase.

Also, there are a lot more rules and regulations that we have to follow here in comparison to my country. I can say that things have definitely been a lot more convenient for me now.