What is American Culture Shock?

Educatius Student Ambassador and her friends after school
by Rena from South Korea

The first topic I would want to talk about would be the culture shocks that you might experience during your  study abroad in America. If you are not living in America, you might be interested in some and might want to come to study America, right? You never know!

Let’s get into this!

1. Tan skin

A lot of Americans have a stereotype that all Asians have clear and good skin. Also, they want their skin to be tan instead of pale, like Koreans.

In Korea, they use lighter foundation and even lightening skincare products to make our skin look more pale. Americans, on the other hand, even has a tanning machine in their house and if they don’t, they go to a tanning shop at least once a week to tan themselves. Also, on a special day, or like an event such as homecoming or prom, they spray tan themselves for the event. For me, it was quite surprising because for my whole life, I wanted my skin to be lighter and more pale.

2. Driver’s License

In Korea, we have to be over 20 years old to get driver’s license.

How about America?

There might be a slight difference between the states, but when you turn 15, they can get something called “Permit.” This “Permit,” allows them to drive with an adult in the car with them. And in the age of 16, they can get the official driver’s license.

Most of the high schoolers in America drive to school because they can get their license early. So one of the differences in American schools is that they have a big parking place for the students.

3. Use of Peanut Butter

In Korea, we don’t really eat peanut butter. In America, they eat a lot of them. By a lot, I mean a lot. If you go to the market in America, you can see many kinds of peanut butter. I eat the Skippy peanut butter; it’s one of the brands. This peanut butter, is used a lot in foods in America.

First of all, peanut butter and jelly, as known as pb & j, is one of the most typical American food items. You have one slice of bread with peanut butter on one side, and another slice with jelly on one side and put those together.

Next, is a combination of peanut butter and apple. Can you believe that? I was so shocked at first. At lunch, they would get out some pieces of apple and a zip log bag of peanut butter. Then what they would do is make a whole on the bottom corner of the zip log bag and squeeze the peanut butter on the apple then eat it. It looked as if they were squeezing whipped cream on a cake or something, which really looked weird to me at first but I happened to love peanut butter so I’m used to it😊.

However, it wasn’t only apples. Some would even eat it with other vegetables like cucumbers and carrots. I’m used to it anyways so…😊.

4. Ranch

Do you know what ranch is?

I believe salad-lovers would know what it is. Americans, eat pizza with ranch. They dip it in ranch and eat it. I thought it was really weird but after I tried it once, I couldn’t eat it without ranch anymore. Korean pizza tastes different from American pizza so you should really try this combination when you come to America. There’s a taste that you could never experience in Korea.

5. Root beer

It’s about food again😊.

There’s a drink called “root beer” and at first I thought it was some kind of a beer but I saw some kids drinking this and was so shocked. “These kids drink beer and their parents are not saying anything about it?” was what I thought. However, I found out that root beer is non-alcoholic and that it’s just like a soda. That made me try it and I really didn’t like it. It wasn’t my thing. What was more surprising, is that there were root beer flavored ice cream, gummies, and candies too.

6. Variety of cereals

There are tons of cereals that you can see in the store in America. Looking at the aisle just makes me feel good. America is different from Korea because they don’t have rice as their staple food, so they eat cereals for breakfast. It’s really good if you eat it with milk and some fruits!!

7. Twizzlers and Licorice

This is also a food, which some people might know while some don’t. They are known for their awful taste. However, there are some people that likes it too, but it’s unusual. I don’t understand them but…😊. There are strawberry and cherry flavor of them but I would not recommend you to try them...😊.

8. The use of butter

I love butter sooooooooo much.

Butter is my life😊

Butter is used a lot in American dishes that it would be hard to find one without it.

A couple of the dishes that I like are boiled potato and boiled sweet potato. In Korea, it would be so weird to do that but in America, they eat them with butter.

Also, I love the American sweet potatoes. Korean sweet potatoes has yellowish color but American is orange. The color is more pretty and it’s sweeter. I cut it in half and put butter in and let it melt. Then, I would eat it together. It tastes fantastic, really.


I think I’m going to wrap up right here. I hope this will help your curiosity about America and that it was interesting for you to read this. Bye~

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