Lifestyle Disparities between American and International Students
The disparities being experienced by university students are attributed to different sources stemming from the different lifestyles of both the international and American students. Based on the research, three key factors were identified as being responsible for explaining the differences in lifestyles between these two varying, yet similar groups. These were educational background, religion, and economic factors. The American students surveyed chose religion and educational background as being overwhelmingly responsible for these lifestyle differences. In the American culture, majority of the population socializes and relates with each other using a common language and culture that is devoid of any influence of a divine nature, but rather by one’s own beliefs and personality.
This analogy is contrast with international students whose religious backgrounds are partially responsible for determining their culture and behavioral attributes. For instance, the African students surveyed considered morality in behaviors, attitudes, and mannerisms as being a key determinant of their social welfare. Consequently, it is common to see African students dressed in conservative manners since their cultures identify morality with spirituality, and hence skimpy or revealing dress codes are in contrast with their religious beliefs. This analogy is almost similar to the culture of the American society during the period prior to the 1960s where our culture defined morality among women as being paramount to their acceptance to the society. Therefore, religion plays a significant role in determining the lifestyles of the international students, which is different from the culture and mannerisms of the American students.
The educational background is another key determinant for the varying lifestyle disparities between the international and American students. Majority of the American students are usually exposed to an environment that is tech savvy from the onset of their childbirth. Therefore, they grow up completely dependent on technology to accomplish their daily tasks, and have converted it to become an effective lifestyle tool used for communication. Social media, Internet, smart phones, video games, and the mainstream media are responsible for influencing the mannerisms of the American culture. Contrastingly, majority of the international students are from developing countries that are less exposed to these kinds of technology. Therefore, their education and knowledge is limited to the meager resources available in their host countries and will thus be less likely to use technology as a communication and education tool. This will result in their feeling and acting different among their peers due to their technological inferiority and will influence their lifestyle as being dissimilar as compared to the American students.
Among the international students, the majority consider economic factors as the primary for the disparity in lifestyles between these two groups. The international students are mostly from developing countries where the per capita GDP is lesser as compared to the US. This means that commodities and services are cheaper in their countries, and hence the income levels are lesser that the Americans. Therefore, majority of the international students being supported by their parents or sponsors from their host countries consider the American education expensive and only send very little money. This means that the students have just enough to service their basic needs. This is unlike their American counterparts that have more money and can thus indulge in lavish and luxurious lifestyles that are indifferent as compared to the lives of the international students.