United States and Hong Kong Essay

Submitted By tpeter21
Words: 2678
Pages: 11

Analysis on the Spending Habits of International Students To me, one of the greatest parts of traveling to other countries is the opportunity to compare and contrast different parts of one country’s culture to our way of life here in the United States. I love the diversity we have in the world. For example, when I worked in St. Louis Du Nord, Haiti for a few weeks last summer, I was amazed at how different the people there lived compared to us Americans. In my opinion Haitians are much more open and friendly then most Americans and the neighborhoods were more “communal” than the ones here. Families shared meals and food with one another and invited complete strangers like myself to share a mid-day snack of fresh mangos with them! When I meet students in my classes from different countries, I use the opportunity to learn as much as I can about where they are from because I think it is so interesting. Since I grew up in a rural part of Colorado, I did not have a whole lot of experience with people of different races, colors, or national origins. Coming here to college really was a great experience for me because my appreciation for diversity has made me curious about people from different countries. Because of this, I have made a few friends from around the world! For this project, I interviewed my friends Ahjmed from Iraq, Blanca from Mexico, and Leung from Hong Kong. I asked them six questions regarding their consumption here in Laramie and also where they are from: where do you shop here in Laramie regularly? , are you on a budget with your money? , what do you buy? , can you buy the same items here as you can back home? , how is shopping in the United States different than where you are from? , and how are your spending habits on commodities related to where you grew up and the values your family had? From asking these questions, my goal is to be able to understand the context in which international students consume while they are here in Laramie, if what they consume is related to where they are from, and basically learn about the economic life international students have while studying here in Laramie, Wyoming. I would like to start my essay off by talking about what my first assumptions about my friend’s living atmosphere in their home country was like before I interviewed them and what I thought my results would be like. A country’s living atmosphere (state of the economy, violence, and availability of commodities) in my opinion could tell a person a lot about what people in that country need to buy and also what their priorities are like because of the influences of where they grew up.
In regards to my friend Ahjmed from Iraq, I had no trouble picturing what I read about in the New York Times. I assumed that suicide bombs were probably going off everywhere which would make commerce pretty difficult. My mental picture of Iraq was that it was a country still in chaos with a lack of infrastructure and because of this also a lack of commodities for sale. After talking with Ahjmed and asking him questions about his life in Iraq, I was pleasantly surprised that many of my assumptions were false. According to Ahjmed, where his family lives in Erbil (a north suburb of Baghdad,) the atmosphere is very friendly and very safe compared to Baghdad. There are many new retail stores and foreign investment is helping this developing and recovering country greatly. He also talked about how the middle class in Iraq is expanding and because of this his family was able to send him to the United States (with help from extended family and scholarships,) so he could get a good education and return someday to help the people of Iraq. Of course, Iraq is still an unstable country but is certainly heading in the right direction.
When I think of Mexico, stereotypical pictures of drug lords and loud, crowed street markets come to mind. Images of little trinkets being sold on cheap wooden stands such as maracas, key chains, or other things