Whether you currently live in the U.S. or live abroad, you’ve probably heard stereotypes about American life. While many Americans lead similar lifestyles, there are major differences in how people live in different regions of the country. Understanding these differences may help you better understand the people around you.
If you attend ALCC American Language courses, you live in the Northeast. This region is home to many top-ranking colleges and universities, including Harvard and Yale. A little farther south, large cities like New York and Philadelphia, which developed along major waterways, became ideal spots for factories and industrial growth. Diversity, education, and hard work are found in the Northeast!
Historically, agriculture has been the South’s lifeblood, with a heavy reliance on slave labor before the American Civil War in the 1860s. After recovering from the devastation of the war, the South became a hub for manufacturing and business. Even today, though, the mild climate and rich soil still make the South a desirable place for farmers. Family is big in the South; you’re sure to experience “Southern Hospitality” if you visit!
Known as America’s “Heartland,” the Midwest is known for its fertile soil and abundant crops, including corn, wheat, and oats. Although home to several big cities like Chicago and Detroit, much of the Midwest is made of relatively low, flat, or rolling plains consisting of farmland and smaller towns and cities. Folks here have a reputation of being friendly, open, and family-oriented, with moderate political views.
You’ve probably heard of the “Wild West” or the “last frontier,” and this is it! Settlers originally moved out west looking for gold and new opportunities, so it boasts an incredibly diverse population. The region is renowned for its natural beauty and magnificent landscapes, much of which has been turned into national and state parks and conservation areas, like Grand Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park. Several cities, including Seattle and San Francisco, are home to the world’s largest tech companies. Westerners are known for their laid-back, welcoming, and tolerant attitudes.
The next time you meet someone new in one of your ALCC American Language courses, ask them where they’re from, and you may have a better understanding of their background. If you aren’t enrolled in courses yet, register now or call us at (212) 736-2373.