Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Project Xpat: What The World Thinks Of America

Closeup of American flag

"America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room," observed British historian Arnold J. Toynbee. "Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair."

And Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca said, "The only things that the United States has given to the world are skyscrapers, jazz, and cocktails."

Opinions of America are like bellybuttons — everybody's got one.


As part of Project Xpat — an exploration by NPR — we asked Americans living abroad to tell us in 10 words or less how they would answer the 10-word question: What Do People In Your Host Country Think Of America?

Here are some of the responses:

Andrea Eagleman
/ Andrea Eagleman

"Has a limited worldview and is absolutely crazy about guns." — Andrea Eagleman, 33, New Zealand


"Americans: violent, no culture; but you: humble, kind and different." — Chantal Mpezo, 27, South Korea


Yasmine Qureshi
/ Yasmine Qureshi

"America, the land of optimism, excess, economic and political decline." — Yasmine Qureshi, 28, England


Brian Blakely
/ Brian Blakely

"Most find America delightful. Tourism dollars help quite a lot." — Brian Blakely, 30, Morocco


Renee Baker
/ Renee Baker

"Fashion labels, excess money, beauty, USA means beautiful country." — Renee Baker, 37, China


Thomas Mosley
/ Thomas Mosley

"Full of contradictions: confusingly progressive yet behind the times." — Thomas Mosley, 25, Spain


Holly-Nicole Nwangwa
/ Holly-Nicole Nwangwa

"A place to gasp at, but not to go to." — Holly-Nicole Nwangwa, 23, Japan


Carly Erickson
/ Carly Erickson

"Americans are very patriotic and all have guns." — Carly Erickson, 25, Italy


Towy Vaughn
/ Towy Vaughn

"Americans are aggressive, paranoid gun-hoarders who don't want social health care." — Towy Vaughn, 38, China


Brenna Bethancourt
/ Brenna Bethancourt

"Cheap iPhones, rap music and better movies exist in America." — Brenna Bethancourt, 28, Russia


Anastasia Primbas
/ Anastasia Primbas

"Gun-loving but fun-loving; hard working but spoiled and fat." — Anastasia Primbas, 47, Hungary


The Protojournalist: Experimental storytelling for the LURVers – Listeners, Users, Readers, Viewers – of NPR. @NPRtpj

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.