Post Cards from the East: Differences Between Korea and the United States

Byline: by Jisoo Kim

Posted: April 20, 2013

One of the culture shock that I have experienced here, in the United States, revolves around the holidays.

The first holiday when I came here took place during Fall Break. I found myself very surprised because universities in Korea don’t have fall break. I stayed at my friend’s house in Maryland and took a rest, caught up on homework, and visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md. and Washington D.C.

The next holiday I experienced occurred on Halloween. It was the first Halloween I experienced in America and I saw many costumes and cultures in person.

One of my happiest memories took place on Thanksgiving break. Of course we have the same holiday in Korea, but the cultures prove totally different. For example, we don’t enjoy turkey but Korean traditional foods.

Something that surprised me was the short winter break in the United States. Many universities in Korea have at least two months as a winter break. It begins at the end of December and lasts to the end of February. However, we don’t have Spring Break at universities in Korea.

In my opinion, Spring and Fall Break motivate students to keep up with their studies or traveling. I just experienced Good Friday and Easter for the first time. I was so happy that I didn’t know what to do. Actually, I’ve never heard about the Easter Bunny. However, I received many gifts from the Easter Bunny and did Eggstravaganza, decorating eggs with a pen, markers and stickers.

Another difference between Korea and the United States is that we have just two months of summer vacation from the end of June to the end of August. However, American students can enjoy their summer vacations for more than three months. I hope I remain a student at an American university. I’m going to recommend Spring Break and Fall Break to many Korean universities.

Last Updated: April 20, 2013

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