What’s so great about America?

Mike Mozart, CC BY 2.0

I watched a video about a Denmark girl who did a foreign exchange program in America. She liked the time spent in the U.S. but noticed that American have a way different culture than she thought. Some of what she talked about includes:

School spirit

American schools and sports are intertwined. In her country, school and is separate from sport. If a student wants to play sports, he/she has to join a club.

That may be a better proposition for many students. Think about it. Americans put a big emphasis on athletics in school. Sure, schools require a minimum GPA to keep you eligible for the team but how often do the students hover at the minimum and just get by — to focus on sport, instead.

Often, athletes will get a different type of treatment, too. Example: Oh, he’s a football player and is not going to be smart. He’s lucky to get a C. But, could that student do better if he/she applied himself. Of course. But team practice comes first as long as the student maintains the minimum GPA.

I never thought about this until now: Sports require funding, which may eat into the academical side of things, as well.

Perhaps a separate club — outside of school — is a better approach.

However, the exchange student’s point was the school spirit was much higher in America than in her country because of setup.

Cute shirt!

Another difference the student point out was that American students complimented each other, saying “hey, I like that shirt. It looks cute on you.” In the Denmark schools, they apparently don’t do that very often.

Her words: “Sometimes my friends would not even notice if I got a new shirt on.”

You’ve got talent

The exchange student also thought that Americans were very supportive of people that had a special talent. This was a contrast to Denmark she said, where people were not encouraged to showcase their talents because people did not want to feel inferior.


The Denmark student also gave a quip about how she originally thought America was similar to the Hollywood version. But she changed her mind, saying “it’s not like that at all.”

She found that the sheer diversity in the U.S. cool. For instance, there’s the city life, the country life, and a lot in between.

Open to each other

The Hollywood’s portrayal of education in America originally swayed this foreign exchange students version of high school. She originally thought that American students would be very cliquish because that’s how movies portray them.

From my own perspective, I could see how someone would see that. I think of TV shows from the ’90s and see a lot clique like behavior. Think of shows like Saved By the Bell.

After she was in school, she realized that everybody had their own group of friends, but everybody talked to each other as well.

It was kind of cool to watch a video about foreign exchange student’s experience in the American school district for 1 year.

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