Living in another country can be both exciting and scary. You might wonder how you're going to meet people or if you'll fit into your host community, but Americans are famously friendly! When asked to share their experiences, our participants regularly give us amazing feedback about how they were embraced by colleagues, neighbors, and new friends.
So what will you experience in the real America?
Our interns and trainees loved the friendly and welcoming nature of Americans they met
People are open, friendly, and genuinely want to help you out. Waldo B. from Belgium
People are very friendly and willing to help you. In shops/supermarkets, the personnel is very friendly and customer oriented. And in the streets people are also friendly and compliment you if you wear something cute for example. I think a lot of cultures can learn from this, including my own. One time, I was eating in a restaurant on my own, and I was sitting at the bar. There was a lady with a friend of hers sitting next to me and they started talking. We had a nice conversation and in the end she insisted to pay for my dinner. That was so kind! I never experienced such a thing before. I think it is very valuable for people to go outside their own country/area in general. But I think the U.S. is a very nice place to do this. It is so different from any country I have been before. The nature is beautiful and the people are very friendly. So I would certainly recommend going to the U.S. to others. Laura V. from the Netherlands
All the people, no matter if they know you or not, say 'hi, how are you?' Tanvir A. from Bangladesh
They also loved the diversity of the country and the acceptance of that diversity
You can witness a gay couple kissing or holding hands in the street. I really like the attitude towards acceptance of diversity, including the sexual diversity. American society is strong enough to accommodate numerous cultures within it and have a sound system to support the idea. Sol L. from South Korea
With diversity comes new traditions, food, and customs. This is something that I only have a smaller spectrum of at home. Shauni B. from the U.K.
In California, what I like the most is the diversity of people from all over the world with their different input and experiences. Never saw something like that anywhere else. Carlo C. from Brazil
I spent most of my time throughout the year with so many different cultures and I enjoyed this diversity. America offers so many possibilities, activities, and choices to experience life … Pierre R. from France
My friend asked me to go to a barbecue in Flatbush. I did not know what to expect but I always love a good barbecue so I took the invitation! Next thing I know I am standing in a yard full of West Indian people, they are playing pan, which is a traditional instrument, and I am having great food and a lot of laughs with everyone. … I definitely think it was a big part for me to understand Brooklyn and its beauty. And it has given me more pleasure of living in the neighborhood. Isabelle G. from the Netherlands
I was in New York during the Gay Pride Parade and I was able to experience first hand how American people (at least New Yorkers) celebrate their freedom. I felt the parade was not only about LGBT rights but more as a way of celebrating their freedom as a whole. Overall I really appreciate having been able to experience this parade. Nicolas D. from Switzerland
The diversity of people I met was incredible, and meant that I could hear stories and experiences from people with very different cultural backgrounds. Louis A. from the U.K.
Finally, they loved the positive and open attitudes that their new American co-workers and friends had
I love how Americans are so respectful to each other on the streets or any other public place. I love how people are always making small conversations to each other and just being polite most of the time. Americans enjoy things and make sure that everything is well done. I feel like they don't care about spending money on something knowing the result is going to be worth it, and usually it is! I also really admire how open minded most of the people are. The respect and work ethics in the workplace are amazing. It is very impressive to see how people with different cultures, religions, etc. can live together in peace and respect (most of the time). I wish Chile was a little bit more like that. Lucia G. from Chile
I like how open everything can be discussed, and how active one should be in pursuing what he/she wants. Hun Kai L. from South Taiwan
I liked the fact that everybody is so open. Don't get me wrong, I know not everybody is nice, but I found that people are generally really open and ready to help, explain, and make you discover their culture. Also, they are very strongly attached to the American culture. Khadidiatou S. from Sengal
So though it may be hard to leave home and embark on a new adventure in a new country, keep in mind that you will not be alone. You will have new friends and colleagues to support you in your journey and you might be surprised at just how welcoming and accepting everyday Americans can be. We hope that you are able to come on one of our programs and experience these things for yourself!
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Kristen started at InterExchange Career Training USA in 2016 after returning from a year-long internship in London. She is thrilled to be able to help InterExchange participants embark on their very own internships abroad in the U.S. Kristen currently lives in New York City, holds a masters degree from the University of Oxford, and is hoping to travel to every corner of the globe.