International Student Interview

For my Survey of Professional Media class, I was asked to interview an international student.  I was asked to inquire about the differences in American media and the media of the student’s country.  So I decided to interview my friend and fellow theater student Oyunna Gavaasuren.

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Mongolia vs. The United States

Oyunna is from the country of Mongolia, and she first came to the United states in January of 2007.  I asked Oyunna if she had created any assumptions of Americans based on our media before she came to the United States.   She replied, “When I was kid, Mongolian TV would show lot of American movies , so from those movies I got this basic idea of American families all live in nice big house, all drive expensive cars etc, and I was definitely expecting lots and lots of big, tall nice fancy buildings.”  Oyunna quickly learned that not all Americans are like what she expected them to be.

What ever happened to educational Television?

I also asked Oyunna if their were any similarities between media in Mongolia and media in the United States.  She said that their were some similarities, but the differences are more numerous.  Oyunna gave an example concerning the differences in television in both countries.  She said, “Media in Mongolia-is basically, they air more educational programs than reality shows or any soap operas, they would air programs that could actually help viewers to learn something new, like new languages, music instruments etc. ”  This made me wonder why America doesn’t have more educational programming.  I am certain that a great number of people would rather learn how to cook or play instruments, than watch another one of Snooki’s escapades.

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Why all the food?

Oyunna also said, “Also, one thing i noticed is media in US would air lot of food commercials, and that, I think affects people a lot.  That is probably the main reason people eat more and more junk food, and having obesity.”  It is funny have you never notice something until a person with a fresh views points it out to you.  It is like when you stare at a word search puzzle forever trying to find the same word, and then another person looks at it and finds it right away.  This is how I feel about Oyunna noticing the food commercials.  As soon as she said it, I realized how right she was.  There really is a great number of food commercials.

courtesy of Emilavatar on


When I asked Oyunna about magazines, it seems that they differ just like the television programs do.  Oyunna said, “Magazines are also little different too, of course there is gonna be pictures of hot skinny models on those magazines, but however we dont fill those magazines with all gossips of celebrities! Instead we would put more news on fashion, or new cook recipe, new exercise etc so you actually spend your money, on something worth and something you could use later on.”

Final Thoughts

Oyunna had one final thing to add about the differences in our media: the use of profanity.  Oyunna said, ” Oh one more thing, I feel like all these reality shows, mostly, use lot of inappropriate words, and that is just something new to me.  You know?  I mean it’s good that people can express themselves, but I just think that there should be some limit.”  I completely agree.

Fun Stuff

Check out this video of a man playing a traditional Mongolian instrument.

If you would like to learn more about Mongolia, visit the country’s official tourism website


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