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India to America… so many differences!

FIU Global student from India posing with indian food made by her

Global First Year student, Shivani Patel explains some of the cultural differences she noticed since moving to the USA from India to attend University.

“Residing and studying in the USA is completely unique. My first week at FIU, I noticed people addressing professors and faculty here by their names. In India, addressing our elders, professors and teachers by name is believed to be disrespectful. In the beginning I had a problem calling out these people by their names, but as days passed, I got used to it.

Global First Year student, Shivani Patel holding food

The way classes are conducted in America is also very different than India. In India, students with the same major and in the same year of college take the same classes together all year. They are all assigned a room and a few professors who conduct their class throughout the year. In the USA, students choose their own classes and professors. In America, unlike India, you have the options to change or drop a class, or even completely change your major.

The food here is also very different. Having a sandwich in America for the first was a very embarrassing experience for me. I went to a counter and asked for a veggie sandwich. The lady asked me what type of bread I would like and I was thinking, “how many type of breads do they have?!” I was so confused so I just kept mumbling. Its was the same with beans and sauces. In India, we have one type of bread and two types of chutney (made from either mint, coconut or tamarin) for making sandwiches. In America, everything has many different kinds. From milk and cheese to meats and sauces.

As America is a very developed country, there are many supermarkets and shopping malls. In India, we have a few supermarkets and malls, but mostly we have big open markets and individually  unique stores like a medical store, a different shop for clothes and different shop for shoes. Everything is sold in different places. Not here! You can find giant stores that sell everything you would need all on one place – from food, to clothes, to medicines, to makeup.”

By: Shivani Patel, Global First Year student from India


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