How Americans View Friendship

Relationships are a funny thing when you’re crossing cultures and learning to live in another country, let alone make new friends.The key to friendships in the U.S. is being aware of how three American cultural values affect the relationship.

Americans tend to value individualism and self-reliance.
Many other cultures find their value in being like others in their community. It’s a shared identity. Americans value being set apart from other individuals. For example, in the workplace, an American’s personal success is very important. Most would say that their job and family are the two most important things. Because of these values, they may not prioritize other relationships.

Americans like their privacy.
When you ask someone “how are you doing?” a typical response is “well”, “good”, or “I’m fine.” “How are you?” is a greeting more than an honest question. That person may be going through a difficult time within their nuclear family, or extended family. They may actually be sick or

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Goodbyes Stink!

Last week, we began talking about transition. Specifically for those of you who will be leaving a place you have started to call “home” and moving on to another. One common process to prepare for a transition like this is to “build a RAFT”. If you missed last week’s post be sure to check it out HERE first. Today we will look at the final two steps for building your RAFT.

F: Farewell

This step in the process is rather straightforward: say goodbye.

Yes, goodbyes are hard. In fact, goodbyes stink. You may be thinking, “Wouldn’t it be easier to skip this part?” Yeah, it would.

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Transitioning to a New “Home”

For many, the end of the semester signals a long, sigh of relief. Finally— the end of exams, the end of studying, the end of your exhausting internship.
But for some of you, the end of this semester will be a significant transition. It may mean leaving the campus, city, or even the country that you’ve begun to call home. It may mean returning to your country of origin or starting over in another new place. It may mean saying goodbye to loved ones as you close out a chapter of your life.

Whatever your situation, transition can be challenging. I hope we can help you prepare for it.

The late Dr. David C. Pollock researched and wrote extensively on cross-cultural transition. One of his transition strategies is something he called “Building a RAFT”. Here’s an overview of the first half of the RAFT transition process and how you may be able to use it. We will look at the second half next week.

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Got Joy?

Does joy sometime seem elusive?

Sure, we experience moments of happiness between the chaos of daily life. A particularly good scoop of ice cream might boost our mood after a busy day of attending office hours, labs, lectures, and study groups. But, is it possible to have that mood boost all the time, even in the midst of stress and sorrow? Don’t you crave something less fleeting than momentary happiness?

Life seems like an endless roller coaster ride of ups and downs, twists and turns. I’m getting a little motion sick because it all seems to be happening too fast.

The writer of one of my favorite songs had a life like this, a life of turbulent change, sorrow, and distress. Yet, his life yielded words that millions of people still sing today.

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Finally…Finals…

“So close and yet so far.” I’m convinced there’s no better way of describing finals week than this. Every May of college, I remember staring longingly at the calendar as summer break crawled closer and closer. With great anticipation, I looked forward to the day the...

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What does your personality say about you?

Do you know the real you?
Take a moment to think about yourself. What would you say is true about you?
Do you prefer to study alone in the library? Or do you want to study with friends in a coffee shop?
Have you settled on major and career? Or have you tried several majors and keep open all career options?
Do you seek to finish your work before you have fun? Or do seek to have fun while you work?

Your answers to these questions likely reflect your personality. Your personal preferences reveal the “real you”. Most psychologists agree that everyone has a unique set of characteristics, traits, and preferences. Your personality influences how and why you think, feel and behave the way you do. Your personality motivates the choices and decisions you make at school, work and home.

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