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What misconceptions about your home country have you encountered while living in the USA?

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Misconceptions about China

Chinese People Only Eat Raw Animals: 40% encountered misconceptions about Chinese people only eating raw animals. They clarified that Chinese cuisine is diverse and includes a wide range of cooked dishes, reflecting regional flavours and culinary traditions.

No Ethnic Diversity: 25% students encountered misconceptions about China being home to only one ethnic group, with little recognition of its diverse population. They emphasized the rich tapestry of ethnicities and cultures within China, including Han Chinese as the majority but also numerous minority groups.

Subpar Education System: 24% students encountered misconceptions about China having a subpar education system, with assumptions of lower academic standards and limited opportunities for intellectual growth. They emphasized the rigorous nature of education in China and the emphasis on academic excellence.

High Crime Rates: 11% students encountered misconceptions about crime rates in China, with assumptions of high levels of criminal activity and insecurity. They highlighted China’s efforts in maintaining public safety and low crime rates in many areas.

Misconceptions about India

All Indians are Hindu: 31% students felt Many Americans wrongly assume that all Indians practice Hinduism, overlooking the religious diversity present in India, which includes significant populations of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and others.

Indians are all IT professionals: 30% students felt that there’s a stereotype that all Indians are IT professionals or work in the tech industry. They clarified that while India has a significant presence in the global IT sector, its workforce is diverse, spanning various industries such as Agriculture, healthcare, finance, entertainment, and more.

India is a land of poverty and slums: 24% students felt that there’s a misconception that India is uniformly impoverished and characterized by widespread slums. They highlighted that while poverty exists in India, there are also thriving urban centers, a growing middle class, and areas of affluence.

Indians only eat spicy food: 15% students felt that another common stereotype in USA about India is that all Indian cuisine is excessively spicy. They said while Indian cuisine is known for its flavorful spices, there’s a wide variety of dishes with varying levels of spiciness, and not all Indian food is intensely spicy.

Misconceptions about South Korea

South Korea is Dangerous Due to North Korea: 34% students mentioned that Americans often confuse South Korea with North Korea, assuming that South Korea is a dangerous place due to its proximity and tense relationship with North Korea. This misconception overlooks the fact that South Korea is a developed, stable, and safe country.

Pop Culture is All There Is: 25%  students encountered the stereotype that South Korean culture is solely defined by K-pop, K-dramas, and other entertainment exports. While these are significant aspects of modern South Korean culture, they don’t encompass the country’s rich history, diverse traditions, and multifaceted society.

Koreans are Overworked: 22% students noted that Americans often perceive South Koreans as being academically obsessed, and overworked. While the education system and work culture in South Korea are rigorous, this stereotype can overlook the balanced and fulfilling lives many South Koreans lead.

Korea is Conservative: 13% highlighted the misconception that while South Korea is technologically advanced, its daily life remains overly conservative. Students pointed out that South Korea is a dynamic country where modernity and tradition coexist, and many aspects of daily life are quite progressive.

Every Meal has Kimchi: 6% students mentioned that many Americans believe kimchi is a constant and mandatory part of every meal in South Korea. While kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine, it is not the only food Koreans eat, and the cuisine is diverse and varied.

Experiences & Aspirations of Foreign Students in the USA