Adam is an exchange student attending Plymouth State from Plymouth University in England. Adam and I had a fantastic chat about any and all the things regarding American vs British culture/society and all the moving parts associated with each of those terms. Many differences, similarities and SO much to learn.
Adam says he was inspired to go abroad from a decision he made while at an exchange student fair while still living in England.
He’s a history and english guy who also really likes music and takes a few music classes from Plymouth State. He doesn’t like coffee or tea which I thought to be very strange because while living in Edinburgh, tea was a religion!
Adam says one of the first things he noticed about the American culture was that American’s are so overtly social. He wasn’t used to this type of excessive social interaction, as in England it is less common for someone to strike up a whole blown conversation in the bread isle at the market. I found this very interesting as while traveling I did notice how quiet stores were and many other public spaces. American’s are undoubtably more boisterous.
Regardless of the social interaction level needed for American life, Adam says he really likes it at PSU and appreciates the quaint size of Plymouth. He says he finds more community here than at his rather large 25,000 person university. Adam thinks that the freedom he experienced while picking classes was great because that liberty doesn’t exist for students in England really. I remember in Scotland the process in trying to get a course changed was maddening, and much more difficult than the process here in the United States. Although the freedom to choose his classes was a treat, Adam finds Plymouth State’s classes to be actually more challenging than his courses back in England. But also finds that cheating is far more prevalent in the United States, and the reason really surprised me. Adam says that in England the citations attached to work are taken to strictly its practically unheard of someone plagiarizing in comparison to the cheating scandals of the United States. Nevertheless, “American students work harder, that’s something I’ve noticed. Like hard core.” Adam says, and I couldn’t agree with him more. Of course there will be diligent and dedicated students all over the world, but as a a whole American students are more stressed out and depressed than other countries student populations. Adam thinks that students in the U.K. are mostly just get stressed around finals when lot’s of work needs to be done while American students are stressed for reasons other than just getting their work done for school. Jobs, family issues, hidden mental illness, and piling debt are all adding up to fuel the high anxiety and stressful environment.
He feels sour toward both Brexit and Trump, but feels that the political climate in the United States is considerably limiting. Britain has at least 5 substantial political parties, as American’s have a selection of one or the other, or neither. Having a real voice through voting is true democracy. Is America really a free country if a huge portion of the population considers their vote unimportant. Theres undoubtably more talk in and around America in the media but the the say the average American has in their own politics fall silent. Adam thinks the healthcare and prison system are a disgrace and I really appreciated to hear his perspective as a person not born in this country.
We also talk about the American war on drugs and the party scene between both countries and their student populations. Adam thinks that my claim is true that other countries prepare their kids better for the college scene than in the United States. Drinking ages should be lowered says Adam, and he thinks we are doing partying all wrong.
He loves the mountains and is looking forward to his next year at Plymouth State University in the fall after he returns home to England for the summer.
Adam was a fascinating person to talk to and I would love to chat with him endlessly longer!!! Please have yourself a listen and leave a comment if it calls to you. The American and English student certainly have their disparities but it’s not uncommon to find at a personal level, everyone is a friend and an interesting story to listen to.