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Old 07-07-2014, 05:53 PM
 
6 posts, read 5,259 times
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I am an American Studies student in the United Kingdom and I am currently in the process of picking my year abroad destination in the USA. I love the look of the Pacific Northwest and have always wanted to visit Seattle (my university has no links with universities in Seattle but does, however, have links with a college in Vancouver, BC, Portland, OR and Eugene, OR which aren't terribly far). However, I am having a few reservations about choosing the Pacific Northwest as my destination because from a young age I have always sought to visit the quintessential, stereotypical, All-American version of America and although I know this doesn't exist, I feel states in the Midwest better exemplify this aesthetic. The only issue is I would be much better-suited to the PacNW personality-wise and the universities there are of *much* higher quality. My simple question is: would a British university student still get to grips with American culture if they studied in the PacNW? Obviously I am not a complete moron and realise Vancouver, BC is in Canada but I have included that because it's near Seattle; I understand if I went there I would experience Canadian not American culture.

I ask that question because I know the PacNW is somewhat an anomaly. It's liberal, not overtly religious, outdoorsy and more progressive than the states and regions I associate with the real America. No offence intended... I am fascinated by all the US states and concede that others have a more interesting history and culture than some PacNW states but I could only see myself fitting in in the PacNW for the year abroad.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:56 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,130 posts, read 17,174,508 times
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There is no "All American" town, Each town/area has a very unique personality.

Euggene is very much a college town. Portland is a nice mid sized city. Very "earthly" and nature orientated. Only Traveled thru Vancouver 2x, but its a nice city, has alot of PacNW personality of it's US cities also.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:00 PM
 
6 posts, read 5,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
I'm Sure you know this but ... Vancouver, BC is in Canada...
I do and if you read it then I did say this in the OP.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:03 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,130 posts, read 17,174,508 times
Reputation: 9982
Yea saw it, when i re-read it.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:04 PM
 
6 posts, read 5,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
Yea saw it, when i re-read it.
Ok I have bolded it now so others don't think I am an idiot too! Back to the actual question - what input do you have?
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Both coasts
1,582 posts, read 4,295,167 times
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Seattle and Portland are American in essence. Pretty much all the elements of "All-America" can be found in their SUBURBS.

However, a BIG part of overall US culture are the African-American & also Latino cultural influences. Demographically and culturally play a significant role in almost all major US cities except Seattle & Portland (Denver & Minneapolis too but every other big city). So from that angle, the Pacific NW has its own distinct feel, as well as an overall "West Coast" cultural sensibility/ lifestyle.

Oh, and its certainly more outdoorsy and earthy and crunchy (the people) up there, almost like Canadians
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Seattle
566 posts, read 565,968 times
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Having lived in the Seattle area my whole life, and having visited and stayed long durations in most other regions in the U.S., I feel like the pac nw, especially Seattle, does not feel much at all like the rest of the America. The layout, the culture, the food, and everything are just distinctly their own. Seattle to me seems a lot more connected to Vancouver B.C. and Portland than it does to anything else. (and Asia) You will find similarities among West Coast cities that wouldn't find in the rest of the U.S. as well. If you decide to come to the PNW you will be getting the PNW experience, not "American." Both experiences I'm sure would be a blast though!
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,241 posts, read 24,463,501 times
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Go to Wichita instead.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:15 PM
 
6 posts, read 5,259 times
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Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post
Go to Wichita instead.
Due to its location right in the middle of the USA?
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Raccoon City
814 posts, read 1,073,702 times
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^^I'm originally from Kansas which is right smack in the middle of country, the "heartland" or whatever. I've been to different regions, and no matter where you choose to live in the US, you'll most likely get a dose of US culture. Their are regional differences, but they all come together to form American culture. A lot of things done in Seattle have permeated all over the US like grunge and Starbucks.

The Midwest is sort of seen as "stereotypical" Americana, but the US actually has a very diverse identity. But I would still recommend a visit to the region to check it out. Make a stop in Chicago to see the Great American City.
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