I am very happy that I get a opportunity to go to America for further study, but I am lack of the knowledge of American culture. Is there anybody that like to say something about the cultural difference between the eastern Asia and the America?
1 2 3 4 5
there is another topic just about culteral differences. and of course there is a whole bunch of stuff that everyone in the US knows what you won`t know. but i think that this is quite usual and you will learn a lot when you get there. this is supposed to be the best way to learn about another cultur: by experience it.
it is no condition to know everything about a country before you can visit it Emotion: wink
Unfortunately I do not know enough about East Asian culture to give anything more than general impressions of the cultural differences between there and America. If you have any specific questions though, I'd be happy to answer them as best I can.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Hi, YoungCalifornian. I want to know something about the University. I am from China. Here a large part of the students try their best to get a good grade and have a deep background of the academic knowledge. Maybe in the US, they can be called grinds. And there is also another kind of the students. They have a relatively bad grade, but they use their time to take part in some orgnizations like student union, so they have a strong social skill such as the ability of organizing and communicating. And of course, there are some students who like neither studying nor joining in the doings and don't do their homework and get a low GPA, but that is only a very small part. I wonder if the situation in American is the same. I want to know whether you focus on the academic knowledge or something else. Are most of the American students hardworking?
I think that every school everywhere has at least some of each kind of student you described, Nereus. However, because one must apply and be accepted to a university or college in order to attend, I think that you will find that most students at American universities take their studies very seriously (at least compared to high school students). In order to be admitted to the best American schools an applicant must have a high GPA, high test scores, and at least a moderate amount of extracurricular activities (including sports, student government, clubs, et cetera) on their resume. In other words, they have to be good, well-rounded students simply to be allowed to attend a university. Of course, the more prestigious the university, the more intelligent and hardworking the student body is likely to be.

Now, I still really can't say how hardworking American students are compared to their East Asian counterparts as I have not had enough direct contact with Asian students to establish an informed opinion. I will say that Asian-Americans are generally thought to stress the importance of education more than the rest of the American populace, and while that's a generalization, it is a fact that Asian-Americans test higher as a group in math and science than the rest of the country. So you can take that for whatever you think it's worth.

Lastly, I've often heard that teaching in East Asian countries largely centers around rote memorization. That is, the focus of education is on the ability to recall facts. Perhaps this is what you meant by "focus[ing] on the academic knowledge"? Anyway, while the ability to retain knowledge is certainly considered an important part of American education, it's definitely not the primary focus. Rather, the focus of American education (especially in universities) is on problem-solving and creative thinking. For instance, most tests are given in the form of a few essay questions rather than lots of multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank questions. Instead of listing everything they know on a given topic, professors expect students to apply their knowledge and use it to reach unique conclusions regarding problems or questions they're not immediately familiar with.
Thank you very much, YoungCalifornian.

What you said remind me of my maths teacher. He is from Germany but work for an American university and he is my first foreign maths teacher. From his homework for us, we can tell something different. His homework often involves some new knowledge, either some classical problems or some new concepts and really need our own exploration. Sometimes through our own adventure we can learn more. I think maybe the western style emphasize more on the ability of exploring something creative and achieving the results by one's own. Is that right? But it is different in China. We also focus on problem-solving, but in a different way. For example, Chinese maths teachers may teach you whatever you need during the class and then give you some very very difficult and not novel problems for homework. The difficulty doesn't rest with the system of the knowledge itself or some new concepts, but on how to find the path to solve it, just for it. (Always it can make you very disappointed, because you even don't know where to start.) So we can just solve some problems, but we are not creative enough. Maybe it can explain something to why Chinese students can get a perfect scores in math Olimpic, but we just have 2 people who get Fields or Wolf maths prize. We are lack of a sence of exploring new field.

By the way, I want to clarify that we are not rote memmorization. We use logic to solve scientific problems and use analysis to solve social problems.Emotion: smile

By the way, would you like to tell me something about the ranking of American universties? Some rankings really puzzle me. Which unversities can be in top 10 in engineering? And I also want to know which major is hot in US. Thanks in advance.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Sometimes through our own adventure we can learn more. I think maybe the western style emphasize more on the ability of exploring something creative and achieving the results by one's own. Is that right?
That's my impression, but as I've never attended school in an Asian country I can't say for sure. Math is a unique subject, though. Because it relies on universal principles, I can't imagine that cultural differences would affect the manner in which it is taught as much as some other subjects. I suspect that the greater cultural differences lie in the approach to subjects which rely heavily on subjective analysis.
By the way, would you like to tell me something about the ranking of American universties? Some rankings really puzzle me. Which unversities can be in top 10 in engineering? And I also want to know which major is hot in US. Thanks in advance.
Speaking of subjective analysis, university rankings are a prime example of it. As you are obviously aware, there are many different rankings of American universities and each one is based on different criteria. Generally the US News & World Report rankings are the most highly thought of rankings within America itself. According to that publication, the top 10 engineering programs in the U.S. are located at the following schools:

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2. Stanford University

3. University of California, Berkeley

4. Georgia Institute of Technology

5. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

6. Carnegie Mellon University

7. California Institute of Technology

7. University of Southern California*

9. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

10. Cornell University

As for the "hot" majors, I don't know that there are any. While some majors are more popular than others, there's such a wide range of students at most larger universities that it would be difficult for me to pick out any specific area of study as particularly trendy. Generally though, majors such as Business, Education, Communications, Computer Science, Political Science, English and Psychology are always popular.

*This just so happens to be my school, although I'm not an engineering major.
Aha, I just will go to University of Michigan for engineering study next year. If I can go(because I have not been sure that I will get the opportunity), It will be really exciting. Thanks again. Would you like to know something about China? As a matter of fact, I find that Yahoo or some other websites often report the bad news about China. I think we are not that bad.
Hi Nereus,

I was reading the discussion between you and the YoungCalifornian and I'm very interested to know more about China.

I think that we (European) know nothing about your country and the educational system.

Could you help me? Emotion: smile

Thank's.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Show more