American Culture

The following section on American Culture is taken directly from the International Exchange Student Handbook created by the Study Abroad Office at NC State and is used with permission.

As someone who has grown up in another culture, you naturally have your own set of values and beliefs. You will probably meet many Americans who are interested in your culture and will ask you to explain why people from your country behave in certain ways. Similarly, you will find that many American social customs and beliefs seem strange to you. Part of the fun of spending time in another country is learning the way people interact and the unique features of the culture.

Americans, like any group of people, are very diverse, and it is difficult to generalize about an entire nation of nearly 300 million people! Regional differences, racial and ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and individual personalities all affect the way that Americans behave and interact. However, there are a few general values that many international students find to be particularly striking about Americans and America in general.

Attitudes and Beliefs

You will find almost every attitude imaginable in the U.S. However, there are some characteristics that a majority of Americans display in some form or another. Here are a few examples:

The above information is intended only as a brief introduction to American culture.  You will learn a lot more by experiencing this culture for yourself.