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An Exchange Student from Taiwan Writes About Cultural Differences Between Her Country and the U.S.

posted by Vicky Hung

As an exchange student, culture differences are the biggest challenge. There are huge differences between eastern culture and western. Here are some interesting facts that I found out while studying at LIM College.

1. Bless you!

Whenever someone sneezes, people will say "Bless you!" in the U.S. However, we don’t do that in Taiwan. There's an old saying in my country that if you sneeze, that means someone else is missing you. Also, if your eyes are twitching that means something bad is going to happen.


2. Water

I was looking for a hot water dispenser at the College because we drink a lot of hot water in Taiwan, which we think is good for our health. However, I found out that in the U.S., in most places, there are only drinking fountains Also, you actually can drink water that come from the a sink faucet. This would never happen in my country!


             Water-1.jpg    WaterFountain.jpg










3. Dorms

In Taiwan, girls and boys are separated in different floors or even in different buildings. Boys can't enter the girl's floor and vice versa. Also, we have curfews. Normally we should be back by 12 am, but this varies according to the school's policy.

4. Texting

In Taiwan, most people have unlimited internet, so we keep in contact with our friends through Facebook or LINE  (a communication app). However, in the U.S. people seem to text a lot more. 

EasyReturns.jpg5. Return policies

In America, you basically can return everything that you buy if you have your receipt and tags on what you purchase. What surprise me is that sometimes you don’t even need a reason to return things back. In Taiwan, if you want to return something, it will happen only if there is defect on the products.

6. Laundry

We handwash our underwear, socks, and bras in Taiwan because we think these are more personal clothes which shouldn’t be mixed with other people’s clothes in the washing machine. Also, we don’t really use clothes dryers. We hang out clothes outdoor instead since Taiwan is a subtropical country we have enough sunlight to dry our clothes. 

Topics: study abroad, Taiwan