Differences between the United States and Jordan: From a Jordanian student's perspective

Spending 14 days in the US has been a totally new adventure! Staying away from my family, living with a new family, and knowing that I will stay at this "foreign" country for 10 months. It isn't fear; it is just all new, or maybe I shouldn't say ALL new. You can ask my amazing host family about their struggle to find me something we don't have in Jordan, it is a struggle!

As a currently developing country Jordan is trying to expand its limits and get its people to a better level: McDonald's, Starbucks, Lay's, Reeboks etc. We have all of that back in Jordan - I don't know if to say fortunately or unfortunately- but it is much easier to over come a culture shock if you can recognize what's around you. Back in Jordan We do have cars, houses, and traffic lights! ... And we don't ride camels to school.

I want this story to be much more of a fun story than for it to be a documentary.

Unfortunately, differences are strictly connected to nature and culture.

The nature is really different! With Jordan being a small country the climate is generally hot and dry. Summer is long and winter has a little amount of snow and rain, but the U.S. is quite huge!

Therefore, one difference is the climate.

The difference exists not only comparing Ohio and my home country, but also comparing states with each other; like desert hot states like Arizona and northwest pacific cold states like Alaska.

If you visit Jordan, you will also notice that trees back there are really shorter than here, because of the low amount of rain it gets. You can also see that the houses are built of concrete and bricks--not wood--because of the huge temperature difference between the summer and winter. Or to simplify that… we don't melt in the summer, nor freeze in the winter.

Queen Rania (left) and King Abdullah II (right).

Jordan doesn’t really experience sand storms, tornados, or floods that much. A cultural difference I have noticed is that in the U.S. there are many different nationalities; while in Jordan it is mostly Jordanians (you can find little communities of other nationalities but rarely). Back in Jordan, a child can stay at his family's house as long as he wants but here children mostly leave at 18 and start their independent life.

Both people have a lot of differences in mentality, values, ways of looking and interpreting issues. The last difference is in the U.S. you have a president while Jordan have a king and a royal family that have been ruling since the start of the country.

My stay here at the plains of Ohio will never be like the mountains in Amman, and looking at grass all year long isn't like having it for two weeks maximum. Those are the little differences I might ever face because I have been placed with the best host family any exchange student could ever live with!


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