Spotlight on the Global UGRAD OPAL Course: Interview an American

Throughout their time in the United States, and before their departure, Global UGRAD participants complete our custom-made Online Professional and Academic Learning Course (OPAL). This course is designed to help Global UGRAD students transition into the American university system. Students go on to complete a series of modules with distinct themes. For the second OPAL module , we asked students to interview an American student on their campus to learn a bit more about U.S. culture and values. Please continue reading to discover some of the responses received by Global UGRAD students!

Q: What does being an American mean to you?

A: I would say being “free” and the equal treatment you get from others who live here.

A: You have a lot of opportunities that are not available to others, women are more empowered and lots of people have access to education.

A: America means freedom. Many lives have been lost for the freedom and people really appreciate their independence.

A: It means that I can pursue my goals and dreams within the confines of the law and to be able to live my best life here in the U.S.

A: It means that I have to work to defend my country from those that would exploit it for their own gain. It is the country I was born in, so I need to do my part to protect it from corruption.

A: I am proud to be an American most of the time. However, sometimes things make me shake my head. I also find a lot of opportunities in this country. I do my part as a citizen – vote, help in a community.

Q: What do you like most about the U.S.?

A: The diversity. I am African American, there are also other ethnic groups you can see: Chinese, Korean, Hispanics, etc. Not only our demographic pattern is diverse, but also our culture.

Q: If you were going to present America to someone who hasn’t experienced it, what would you show them?

A: Visiting national parks, Disneyland, New York City, and Los Angeles.

A: America’s culture in my point of view is a big ball of diversity with different traditions and religion. The first place I would take someone who has not experienced American culture is a family reunion in Texas. A family reunion is a gathering that lasts a day or week where family members from each state come together. We would eat southern food, play games, dance, and enjoy each other’s company. This is an event where we see family members that we have not seen in a while or have not met and love each person.

A: I would take them to a public park and show them how any and all people come here to enjoy their time without having to worry about discrimination. Everyone’s welcome!

A: There are many cultures and traditions practiced in America because of how different and unique the people are. If I were to present American culture to someone, I would introduce them to all the different kinds of nice people from America. I would also show them certain traditions that we have (like Thanksgiving).

Q: What is a normal day like in your life at home?

A: A normal day for me would be eating three meals (at least one or two with my family), spending time with my brother watching TV, playing music, etc. I might complete some chores or homework as well. I also play games and watch movies.

A: I usually find the support of my family on everyday basis. We do not travel often, but usually do things at home together. We like watching hockey; it is our family tradition. I also help my family with gardening and farming.