Monday, July 27, 2009
By: Jennifer Kumar, Cross-Cultural Coach
Book Review: Accent of Success: A Practical Guide for International Students
Want practical advice for adjusting to life in America? This is it!
This book is intended for international students, but I think parts of it can be helpful for all categories of college students and immigrants to America. This book shares tips on how to adjust to everyday life in America: how to get a car, how to do daily tasks, how to interact with people, how to navigate cultural and social situations. These tips can be helpful for anyone. In fact, I grew up in America, and some of these tips would have benefited me when I transitioned into college life in America, let alone when I came back to U.S. after myself having had been an international student in India!
I have put a review of 4 out of 5 stars for the following reasons:
1. I realize it is hard to write anything and keep the same tone throughout. I also realize one needs to be realistic, but there were phrases and comments throughout that made me think the authors had some negative or bad experiences and were transferring their opinions on to the readers.
2. I realize coming to America is a dream for many around the world, but that does not make America the best country! All countries and places on this earth have their plus points and also points of improvement. Some of the activities throughout the book tended to lean toward always seeing America in the best possible light. This may be contradictory to my first contention to the book, however, again we must have a balance. There will always be good things to learn while moving to a new country, in this case, America, and there will always be good things to learn from the 'old country.' We can integrate the lifestyles as much as possible. This is healthy. Coming to a new country is not like 'converting to a religion.' One does not have to give up a culture of another land to adjust fully and become an American. We can pick and choose what we like to put into our lifestyle, the values we represent and the way we express our lives, whether we are in America or any other country. That is the beauty of human life!
But do not shy away from reading the book based on my points of contention. I think when anyone reads anything they should question what they read (see, hear, experience), as there are so many viewpoints and ways of understanding things. Just because it's written in a book, it's not the be all end all. Just because I am writing this, doesn't mean that I am 100% right, either!
Thank you for reading my review.
Related posts/sites: Original review and others posted on Amazon.com | Authentic Journeys Cultural Mentoring Rochester, New York
My reverse culture shock- moving back to USA from India
Jennifer Kumar is a cross-cultural teacher, trainer and lifestyle adjustment mentor helping people adjust to American and global lifestyles through a variety of methods, including coaching or brainstorming ways to be successful in global transition; in different cultures and in adapting to different lifestyles. She was educated in India as a social worker and in America as a life coach. Feel free to see her website - Authentic Journeys - Lifestyle and Cultural Transition Services.
Updated March 2011
Copyright ©2009 Jennifer Kumar, MSW, CC, Cross-Cultural Coach