The Great American Dream! If there was a country post world wars, where aspirations met opportunities in all forms, it has to be the United States of America popularly known as the USA. Founded by immigrants from Western Europe in the 15th century, the country has witnessed an avalanche of immigration of people, culture, values and most importantly ideas from all over the world in the last few centuries, and has made the country a boiling pot of innovation in science, technology, business and education. America has offered opportunity to everyone with a dream and willingness to struggle to achieve whatever they want: be it the case of India’s IndraNooyi becoming the CEO of Pepsi Co. or Obama, the son of a Kenyan immigrant becoming the president of the most powerful country in the world. A federal republic constituting of 50 states, USA today stands tall in the world as a harbinger of democracy and a symbol of meritocracy in every sphere of life including nurturing of world class institutions providing learning opportunities to hundreds of thousands of international students. In terms of number, USA is the undisputed top destination for students interested in studying abroad.
Life and Culture in the USA The US is not just an economically and technologically happening place; it is also one of the most vibrant societies of modern times. American culture is an amalgamation of cultures from across the globe. Though the initial influence in the evolution of American culture was overwhelmingly English, Scottish and Irish, today the wider American culture has taken a unique liberal form centered on egalitarianism, liberty and respect for individualism. One can find people from all the religions, ethnicity and speakers of different first languages in USA. Though English is the lingua franca in the entire country, Spanish language is fast emerging as the major second language, with official language status in commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the state of New Mexico. Indian immigrants, in general, blend well with the American society, given our prior knowledge of the English language and prior exposure to American culture through movies and television. Further, major American cities have a considerable number of Indian and South Asian population which enable Indian students to feel at home. It is not very difficult to find Indian groceries or restaurants in places such as New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia or Austin. However students studying at rural campuses, say in Iowa or Nebraska, might have to explore a bit.