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Mentor Advice

Question

Why is study abroad important for students from diverse backgrounds?

16 Replies from Mentors

  • mentor picture Dawn Anderson
     
    Dawn Anderson
    Housemaster at MIT and a professional photographer
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Besides the opportunity to compare cultures non western influenced countries, many nontraditional...
    Besides the opportunity to compare cultures non western influenced countries, many nontraditional locations offer a way to reap the benefits of immersion in places where the value of the US dollar is still strong. Since financial barriers exists for many underrepresented students, looking at locations off the beaten path (most popular destination for US students) could make good economic sense.
  • mentor picture Rae Rae
     
    Rae Rae
    Senior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    It is important for you to gain a global perspective on the world. When you learn about others’...
    It is important for you to gain a global perspective on the world. When you learn about others’ situations, it really makes you appreciate (or in some cases question) the values you were raised with and help you grow as an individual. Even at home, I try to surround myself with diversity in gender, race, class and other experiences so I can become a more complete person. It’s easy to be biased and narrow-minded if you do not know much about others. But if you make the conscious choice to learn about others experiences and appreciate them, you will become a much better person and understand the world better. To me it’s not about simply tolerating other people, it’s about understanding them and learning from them, even if you do not necessarily agree with their positions. Also you can share your perspective with others and help breakdown their stereotypes. As an African American I often see images portrayed in the media of my race that do not necessarily align with my ideals or what I actually see in my community. When traveling to other places, you might be the first American natives have seen in real-life. You have the power to dispel false perceptions and fight intolerance, even if you don’t think so.
  • mentor picture LaNitra Berger
     
    LaNitra Berger
    Senior Manager of Research and Policy
    NAFEO
    It’s important to understand the world you live in, and the best way to do that is through...
    It’s important to understand the world you live in, and the best way to do that is through travel and study abroad. Study abroad is the best way to develop life skills that will last a lifetime. You will learn how to persevere in the face of hardship, how to use creative problem solving skills, how to overcome communication barriers, and how to see people as individuals rather than as stereotypes. For these reasons, study abroad should be part of every student’s college experience.
  • mentor picture Daphne
     
    Daphne
    Graduate Advisor
    Student Government at North Carolina State University
    Students of Color, primarily through my experiences do not travel as often as their White...
    Students of Color, primarily through my experiences do not travel as often as their White counterparts. It is important for these students to visit other cultures abroad so that a sense of identity and appreciation can be established not only for their own ethnicity, but for the citizens of the host country they decide to visit. Enabling students of color to travel abroad will help alleviate grounded stereotypes and misconceptions about race and culture. This experience will also enable the students to think "outside the box" in terms of employment and research opportunities abroad.
  • mentor picture Kenya Casey
     
    Kenya Casey
    Study Abroad Advisor
    Emory University
    There are few students from diverse backgrounds that travel overseas; therefore those that...
    There are few students from diverse backgrounds that travel overseas; therefore those that take advantage of the opportunity to travel internationally become global ambassadors for young people who think international travel is not an option. In addition, studying abroad, if you make the most of it, will prove to be an asset to your professional career and overall collegiate experience. Those that never studied abroad in college, when they look back, always wish they had!
  • mentor picture Kemi
     
    Kemi
    Programming and Outreach Coordinator at an independent film co-op
    Victoria Society of Independent Film Makers
    Traveling to places with different histories and experiences meant that many of the racialized...
    Traveling to places with different histories and experiences meant that many of the racialized identities which were imposed upon me in the U.S. were not ingrained into the discourses of Mexico and Japan. Racism does exist in other societies, but being black in the U.S. means something different from being black in Japan or Mexico.
  • mentor picture Russ Feingold
     
    Russ Feingold
    Former U.S. Senator, Wisconsin
    United States
    International education builds bridges between communities and improves understanding of...
    International education builds bridges between communities and improves understanding of cultures different from our own—something that has perhaps never been as important as it is today…
  • mentor picture Patrick Frazier
     
    Patrick Frazier
    Director of International Education
    Quinnipiac University
    Study Abroad allows students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to not only represent a...
    Study Abroad allows students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to not only represent a strong and vibrant part of the United States but also to gain an understanding that they can best describe to people of their own background. The media image of African Americans in particular has been twisted since the pre-Hollywood era. The more real life experience those from outside the United States have with African Americans the better the perception of this ethnic group.
  • mentor picture Karen Parfitt Hughes
     
    Karen Parfitt Hughes
    Former Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
    U.S. Department of State
    I am especially pushing to rebuild educational exchanges so young people from abroad can...
    I am especially pushing to rebuild educational exchanges so young people from abroad can study here, and I'm starting a people-to-people exchange to reach out to Iranians and bring them to our country. I have also initiated a "citizens' dialogue" that sends Muslim Americans to talk with Muslims in Islamic countries. I stress that "Islam is a part of America."
  • mentor picture Jessica
     
    Jessica
    Graduate Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    This student encourages students from diverse backgrounds to examine their own belief system through study abroad.

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