What I Learned in the United States

By: Crystal Du, Greenheart Exchange Marketing and Outreach Intern

Hi, I am Crystal. Welcome to my Crystal Clear Tips blog post series! I was a J-1 high school student when I first came to the U.S. from China. I have since grown from a teenager to an independent adult; I have grown from being unexposed to being multi-cultural and mature. There is so much to learn about the world and myself throughout my time in the U.S.

I have made great friends, learned about new cultures, tried new cuisines, and have become a better person since I started living here. With my understanding of American culture and Chinese culture, I have been able to recognize the beauty of diversity; it has become apparent that this is the key to being a worldlier and well-traveled person.

As you may be going through something similar, I wanted to share some tips that might be helpful on your personal journey:

  1. Become more open-minded. Talk to more people and be more open toward ideas. The United States teaches me how to be open-minded, and I am still learning about new things every day.
  2. American culture is very diverse. You might be shocked and overwhelmed when you see so many different things at the same time, but don’t worry! Understanding American culture is like adopting another way of life, it is hard at first but you will soon get adjusted to your new lifestyle and rock with it! For me, coming from an Asian country, I was not used to seeing people around me looking different. It took me some time to realize that it is okay to be the unique, different one in the crowd. It is fun to embrace some changes, and fully immerse yourself in diversity.
  3. Don’t get too self-conscious about your accent. Americans love when you are trying hard to share your culture. Don’t forget— the United States was built on different cultures and people who have different cultural backgrounds. Your awesome accent shows that you are a hard worker and a world traveler that is not afraid of change and adventure!
  4. Ask, ask, and ask. Of course, you are going to run into a lot of problems and questions as you land in the United States. However, asking questions instead of figuring everything out on your own is so efficient and easy. Also, asking questions is a great icebreaker for making friends.
  5. There are a million ways to explore the United States. You can go beyond your limit in so many ways. Movies, TV shows, and books are great ways to get to know the culture. Make good use of the resources and people around you. You will see my recommendations for movies in future posts!

Continue reading more tips here!