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Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:18 pm
by cstegerlewis
graham wrote: Many brits seem to still think there's an empire, they're xenophobic, and extremely arrogant. I don't believe any members of this forum are this way, but then most Americans I know (and many are not in academia) are not particulary 'american'. I reiterate that stereotypes are often not so well suported if you scratch a little beneath the surface.
Graham, it is all down to who you meet. I have spent most of my working life in American Corporations, in Aerospace and Defence, and therefore most people (I empahsise not all) tend to be card carrying republicans who will do anything the defend the good ol' US of A, and generally think Tony Blair is the best politician we have ever had. Many of the plants I have worked in have had several military reservists, and most of the senior staff have a military background. Your description of you friends could not be more different to my experience of americans, who are very arrogant, blinkered, right wing fundamentalists of the christian variety, who really don't know why the world hates them, (but haven't actually been out of state in 20 years).

I spent nearly a year working in LA, which was far more open and cosmopolitan, even if every waiter was a resting actor - yes it is true. But unfortunately the guys I meet at work from the mid west and the sunshine belt are probably more representative of the country as a whole :?

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:00 pm
by Mark1
I could have guessed that this thread might turn out this way.

I think I'll limit my response to simply saying that my overwhelming experience here has been that people - other students and staff - are more friendly and more welcoming than their counterparts here in the UK, especially to the British. Not only that, but they are more engaged in community service and sports.

Obviously, I speak only for one college and town, in the South. I would though say that anyone considering coming to the US for university should ignore everything you have read here above this and seek relevant advice - don't discount US colleges based on crass generalizations referring to a different generation.

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 5:26 pm
by Ajarn Philip
Mark1 wrote:Well, I've hardly been here long enough to comment from personal experience...
... but obviously long enough to dismiss out of hand anyone else's personal experiences! :wink:

That was a bit harsh, Mark. I don't think anyone was saying don't go to university in the US - just commenting on the older generations that run the place.

Good luck with your studies! :)

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:28 pm
by Mark1
With all respect Phil, I've also met obnoxious Americans - but hardly any in a liberal college town such as Chapel Hill. They may run 'the place' - but not here, and I would hope that such fears would never be a reason to avoid considering some part of the USA for university.

Sorry I took such umbrage to your comments - I just have too many friends (from CH especially) who regret not even considering the US for college because of fear of such stereotypes, and I have no desire for there to be many more.
I accept it's your personal experience - but in the politest possible way, I think that it's about as relevant and helpful to one considering the experience of being a foreign student in a Southern liberal (and public) university - which I thought was the purpose of this thread - as it would be to entertain a dislike for Scottish road workers as a serious factor when considering applying for a job in London.

So no offence intended, but I hate the way that any discussion on anything regarding 'America' quickly gets diverted from its intended purpose. I know that most topics on this forum quickly go off topic, in this case it is actively unhelpful, and damaging to the original intent, once everyone starts throwing in their 'two cents'. I guess next time I shouldn't bring it up.

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:07 am
by cstegerlewis
Mark, the whole points of my comments were balance and information.

I would not have continued to work for Americans for 15 years if there wasn't some good in them. In particular you point out friendship and community service as major positives - I agree wholeheartedly that these a very american traits we should applaud, and I probably should have added that myself - HOWEVER - trying to get the bosses to authorise community expenditure in the UK is like trying to get blood out of a stone!

Anywhere close to either coast tends to have a more 'democratic' liberal tendency, which is very pleasant, but there are whole chunks of the middle that are too fundamentalist for my liking.

But one major benefit of a CH education to me that has been of great benefit in my (so far) successful career is a tolerance of new ideas and principles (and cultures), and a willingness to suspend judgement until I have enough of my own facts to justify an opinion - all this is part of supporting fact finding for those considering UNC, UCLA, Yale Harvard.........

:backtotopic: I find Charlotte unbearable hot and humid in June and July, much prefer NC in the spring.

Re: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:48 pm
by Apalacia
Ha, althought this may have now turned political...I have now applied to do an MA at the College of Charleston....South Carolina, so Mark....I'm going even deeper! It can be pretty bizarre outside of the cities (my parents are living in Virginia the middle of nowhere) but Charleston is BOOTIFUL!

Hohum....never mind that I have a feeling the other students will be mildly irritating, its tropical...and aside from the odd rather severe hurricane should be lots of fun!

Amanda Mazur
LHB 1998-2004, GrE 2004-2005