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Differences Between USA & Chile-Community
10-25-07, 7:20 pm
Filed under: Culture, Home, hosting | Tags: , ,

  Living Differences Between USA and Chile-In the Community
Time-Time is money, we say in the states. We expect people to be on time, not waste time, and respect other people’s time. Time in Chile is more relaxed. In the states, ‘a few minutes’ means less than 5 minutes. I think in Chile ‘a few minutes’ is anything less than an hour. In my state ‘after lunch’ means after you’re done eating, we’ll leave. In Chile ‘after lunch’ can be anytime before dinner. In the states, morning is until noon, afternoon is between 12:00 and 6:00, and evening is after 6:00pm. be on time for school, work, and dr. appointments. The being late thing is for friends and casual plans. Chileans are on time for appointments. It is a formal society. Be respectful.
School-You’ll all attend public school in the states. Most communities have one high school, and all local teens attend. In Chile, most of you will attend a private school. School is a privilege in Chile, and it is up to you to take advantage of the teacher’s lessons and attend daily. In Chile, you’ll have a uniform. In America, you wear casual clothing. You may not wear whatever you wish, there is a dress code. You might go to a school in chile and the school won’t be closed. like its open. kind of like a motel set up. and its very very cold in the morning, and bring a few extra layers wouldn’t be a bad idea at all. (In Chile, the teachers change classrooms, not the students. You’ll be with the same kids all day, all year.) also lunch in Chile during the school year is usually eaten after school when you get home.
Sports– The schools in the US sponsor sports. Sports are an important part of high school in the US Sports participation in Chile is done on your own time, usually with a club or group.
Evening activities -In the states, you’ll have a curfew of between 10:00pm-1:00am depending on if it’s a school night or not. Families are free to set the curfews for you. In Chile, teens stay out much later, you may not leave your house until 9 or 10 at night.
Greeting/good-byes -When you walk into a room in Chile, you greet each person individually with a hug or cheek kiss. You do the same when you leave. In America, a group ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’ is sufficient. I don’t think we Americans are colder than Chileans, we are more reserved. It’s uncomfortable for us to touch people we don’t know well.
Transportation-American teens rely on cars for transportation. Many students have their own cars. You can’t drive, so you’ll need friends with cars, or ask your host parents for a ride. Don’t hesitate to ask for a ride, host parents are used to driving kids around, it’s not a problem. In Chile, students rely on public transportation. Most of our communities in this area do not have public transportation.
Grocery stores-In Chile, Jumbo is the best! Everyone makes fun of me about my love for Jumbo. I love Jumbo the way other people love Wal-Mart. The Jumbo chain carries just about everything you’d find in a grocery store here. They even carry items from small companies from Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. I couldn’t find Rice Krispies, but they had Cocoa Krispies. You will find Mountain Dew in a few grocery stores finally. The produce selection is huge, they have fruits and veggies we don’t have. In the US, the Chileans will just die at the price of fruits and vegetables. If your hostmom asks what you prefer, please tell her. We are used to these prices. Most of us don’t realize that you can buy a kilo of avocados for less than we pay for one avocado/palta.
Ice creamIce Cream in Chile is almost always gelato. (Jumbo carries Breyer’s.) Gelato is low-fat and tastes better than ice cream from  Ben & Jerry. You’ll fall in love with it. In my area, gelato is 2 or 3 times as expensive as ice cream. It’s not easy to locate, and we don’t have nearly the selection of flavors as in Chile
Other Stores -When you purchase something in the states, you pick it up, take it to the clerk at the register, the clerk rings it up, you pay the clerk, they put it in a bag, and you leave. Or you tell the clerk what kind of ice cream cone you want, the clerk makes it, hands it to you, then you pay. In Chile, you go to the clerk at the register, pay that person, take the receipt to the ice cream counter, give it to the clerk there who will make your cone and hand it to you. Chilean stores seem to have more people working in them than in America stores.
Money-Many US students work, and have their own money to spend as they wish. You all will have program stipends and money from your parents this year. In Chile, going to school is a student’s job and high school students don’t have much spending money. This affects manners as well as other aspects of life. For example, in my area, if you are out with friends and are thirsty, you buy a bottle of Coke and drink it. You assume if anyone else wanted a drink, they’d also purchase a bottle. Many people in the states don’t like to drink after other people. In Chile, when you buy ‘una bebida’ you individually ask each person in the group if they’d like a drink before you drink. You share the entire bottle.
Dogs-It’s rare in my state to see stray dogs. There are ‘street dogs’ all over Chile. Talk to your host families about how to treat the pets-if they’re permitted in your room or bed, if you can feed them people food, etc.
Parking -In Chile, you often give a few coins to a man or boy to help guide you into a parking place and to watch your car while you are gone. We don’t have that in our country.
“American”-We live in The United States of America. We call ourselves ‘Americans’. We call the people who live in Estados Unidos Mexicanos, Mexicans. Chileans live in the Republic of Chile. People from the states don’t mean North America when we say ‘Americans.’ We know Chileans are Americans, the same as people living in Europe are Europeans. We are using the word ‘American’ in a different way. We mean no disrespect to the people of other American countries.


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Pingback by fall out boy » Living Differences Between USA & Chile-Community

Thanks for this, I plan to go to visit Chile some day and this is very helpful.

Comment by leo


Comment by Anonymous

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