When I first decided to move to United States from Tanzania, my first concern was how I will be able to communicate with the people there. I was concerned about the culture differences which I was going to face. Even though I was born and raised in Tanzania, my culture and roots came from a very authentic Indian culture. I was raised in an extended family which means the world to me; I was astonished by the feeling of leaving my family behind. My parents agreed with the India of me to move to US to pursue my career, because I have my direct family here, which made my move little easier than I had first thought. I think I would have not been able to just move on my own to a country which is totally different from Tanzania. The idea of collectivism is rooted into me, especially being raised in an extended family. I first thought about how it would be hard for me without my family, and then I thought about the opportunities I would get by having a chance to come to US. As time went on, I was looking forward to come to US and battle my combats of intercultural communication. I was excited for a change I was about to take in my life. Coming for a high context culture, I took it positively and went with the flow of life. I told myself, if my family is supporting me and their blessings are with me, I will be fine. Trust played a very important role, I promised my parents that I would never let them down, and would focus on my goals first. On the other hand, during college when I use to tell my American friends how I missed my parents, and that I was very dependent on them, they would get shocked because once you’re 18 here, you’re on your own. Whereas, in our culture we live with our families till we get married and our parents are responsible for us. My friends were shocked when I told them about all this, especially when I told them that my parents pay for my college too.
Another shock I faced when I first came here was how everyone is in hurry and always doing something or the other. As we mentioned in class, people in America value time as money, they don’t want to waste any minute or second of their day. For example, when a person calls, he or she would first ask if it we had the time to talk and also if it was the right time. Everyone is very busy into their own life; that it feels that we should create a schedule for the entire day. However, it was different for me because if someone calls me I would make sure he/she felt I gave full attention to their time. I was taught the procedure to being more people orientated than myself. In addition to time, personal space and having one’s own bubble is very vital to an American. If we were to visit someone’s house back home, we would just drive to their house and knock on the door. However, in the US I learnt that calling the person who you are going to visit would be a good idea than just knocking on the door. The idea of privacy and