Coping with anti-americanism: studying abroad

Coping with anti-Americanism: studying abroad
However, my decision to study abroad was not received gladly by every individual in my family. Although all my friends were supportive of my plans to study abroad, some of my relatives were not that enthusiastic about the idea. Firstly, my parents were opposed to the idea of studying abroad as they claimed that the western culture introduced an individual to unpopular tendencies. They were also quick to give their unfavorable notion about the cultural differences, the lifestyle, the language barrier and other changes that I would experience while abroad (Graham 17). They tried to demonstrate the ills of studying abroad in the hope that I would abandon the plans and study in my home country.
I realized that the main reason why my parents were hesitant about my plans to study abroad pertained to the fact that my cousin had undergone a complete transformation after travelling to the United States to get her law degree. Before she left the country, she was obedient, hardworking, and a bookworm. A few months after staying in California, she had changed her career aspirations and informed her parents that she had quit law school and had decided to concentrate on art. I remember that my aunt was very disappointed as she narrated the whole ordeal to my parents. She said that they had lost hope in her after she came to visit last summer accompanied by her American boyfriend. She had changed her hairstyle, her mode of dressing was completely new to them and she even had a tattoo. My aunt said that she was shocked to see a different personality in a daughter she had once adored for her humility and principles.
My parents had developed a negative image about studying abroad from the impression that my aunt had portrayed. They were aware of the high quality education that was imparted upon the students in the universities located abroad. They were also aware of the various opportunities such as cultural diversity and a fresh perspective towards life that a student would acquire while studying abroad (Graham 24). However, they were afraid of the many ills exposed to an individual by adopting or conforming to the western society. My parents are a bit old-fashioned and they have always preferred certain customs that enable individuals to uphold their ancestral roots. Their fear was understandable as they would not wish to see me adopt a foreign culture or indulge in unpopular activities and bad habits such as drug abuse, profane language, rebellious activities or outrageous dress codes.
In the end, my parents realized that my zeal to study abroad was inspired by the fact that I wanted to accomplish my dreams and contribute positively to the society. I realized that their hesitation was grounded on their apparent love for me and their dream to see their children become productive members of the society. I reminded my parents that everybody changes with any alteration in the environment but I was keen to assure them that my changes would reflect on positivity rather than negativity. As I promised them that my goal was to make significant achievements in my personal life and the educational field, they were glad that I had made a decision that would help change the negative notion they had about studying abroad. I promised them that I would refrain from activities that could depict a bad image of our culture, our family, our nation or the university that I was attending (Graham 27).
Works Cited
Graham, Carol Madison. Coping with anti-Americanism a guide to getting the most out of studying abroad. Washington, D. C.: Potomac Books, 2011. Print.