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Maria, Marino, Reina, Yukika and Yoshino tell about their culture bump while auditing a political science class at the University of Houston.

We had a culture bump with American students in the political science class we observed. When we took a class at the University of Houston, we noticed that a male and a female student put their feet up on the furniture. We felt that was so rude to the professor. In Okinawa, we show our respect to our teachers by keeping our feet on the ground, concentrating, taking notes, sitting up straight and having eye contact with teachers. We discovered that Japanese show their respect for their teachers in the classroom in different ways than Americans. American students show their consideration at school by getting good grades on a test. Anyway, students everywhere want to relax during the class. When the teacher doesn’t see us, sometimes we take off our shoes and stretch our bodies. So, that is a big universal situation that in all cultures students feel the need to relax during class. How they actually do that differs from culture to culture.

So while there are many differences between American and Japanese students, the reason for these differences is culture. Our customs are sometimes weird to each other. We should explain our customs to Americans (and others) as global leaders. When we meet some differences between us, we have to try to talk in order to understand our cultural backgrounds.

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