Amour, famille, réussite, enfants, maison

amour, lien, enfants

avenir, lointain, enfin

bonheur, vie à deux, famille

compromise, famille, événement


enfants divorce engagement

enfants, union, couple

Engagement Amour Cadeaux

femme, société, intéressant



institution religion blanc


pendaison, bonheur, blanc, femme, repas



union, force, église

utile, vieillir,

commitment, dedication, love

Equality, ring, wedding

Friendship, Love, Bliss, Hard-work.

happy, burden, family

Husband, wife, kids

intense, commitment, loyalty

kids, devotion, love, support

love, binding, rings

love, children, communication

love, family, trust

love, work, bonding


ring, husband, love


wedding, ring, engagement

wife, husband, family


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The exchange of our school, Enseirb-Matmeca, with Stonybrook University of New York has the aim of stimulating the cross-culturality among the students of both countries. Each one has a partner from the other university, and once per week they have to discuss different topics, such as practices, habits, food, laws, education, etc. The aim is to conceive a wider perspective of the other culture, being capable of understanding better the significations, attitudes, values and ideas. Students have filled in two questionnaires that concern these topics: the first one is a word association, and the second one is the sentence completion.

In the first part of this exchange, I discussed with my partner, who's called Nadia, the word associations done by French and American students. We talked about many words, but we have specially focused on the questionnaire about marriage. I've realized that we have different ideas about this topic. On the one hand, I have seen that most Americans associate it to love, while French do not. In some cases, StonyBrook students link it to religion too. In general, Americans consider the marriage as something positive, that brings happiness. Students of Enseirb-Matmeca think that it is a rather negative thing. They have associated marriage to words like responsibility or dependency. As a remark, the presence of the word homosexual is significant, that Americans have not even mentioned.

I have thought about the conversation that Nadia and I had, and I've tried to understand why these differences can exist between us. Both of us have a similar age, live in a city, in a student atmosphere… So what is the reason of such a noticeable contrast? In my opinion, it is where we come from, our origin, culture and education. I guess Americans have this idea of love due to the typical films of their country, where love prevails over all things. I don't know, maybe I go wrong. The association with religion is probably because of the importance it has in the United States. In that aspect, in Europe, Secularism is becoming more and more common.

Following with this last belief, I can imagine why someone of Enseirb-Matmeca has written the word homosexual. Despite the fact that in some states of the United States the marriage between two people of the same sex is legal, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) rights are widely diverse in Europe. In fact, seven of the ten countries that have legalized same-sex marriage are situated in Europe.

It is sure that there both American and French have some perceptions that are similar about marriage, or other concepts of life. However, we have to consider the different circumstances of each one to be capable of understanding why we are so different, to get to know our partner as best we can.