Living abroad adds a lot in someone’s culture, personal life and in the way you see the world. You get to know new and different kind of people, with a different baggage and life experience from yours. You learn a new language, new habits, and you learn how to see the world in a different perspective. When I first arrived in the Usa the culture shock was huge. The differences were at the way people behave, the way the city is organized and also the food.
I used to get lost all the time because for me, all the streets looked like the same one. In Brazil the way the cities are planned is different. Here -at least in Virginia- there is a neighborhood just for houses, another one just for stores, and another one for factories and companies for example. In Brazil everything is kind of together. There is a house, next to a store, which it might be next to a company. Let’s blame the way cities are planned in America, and not the fact that I get lost no matter where.
Another aspect of my culture shock was how beautiful and clean the streets are. Unfortunately in Brazil we can notice a lot of dirty, and even more holes in the streets that we can find here. People throw trash everywhere, the walls have a lot of drawings –not always beautiful ones-, and there is a lot of abandoned dogs walking around (really sad). Besides in America –at least Viriginia- is a safety place to live, and you don’t have to be always worried about being robbed. These last ones were a really good part of the culture shock that I had. Culture shock is not only a bad thing, the shock can be for better or worse. I can say that mine was balanced, and I could find a lot of good surprises in my first moments in America.