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Mentor Advice

Question

Why is study abroad important for students from diverse backgrounds?

16 Replies from Mentors

  • 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 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 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 Jessica
     
    Jessica
    Graduate Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    This student encourages students from diverse backgrounds to examine their own belief system through study abroad.

  • mentor picture Additional Mentor
     
    Additional Mentor
    Various students and administrators
    interviewed by the Center for Global Education


    Giana, student, studied in Ghana
    This student discusses her experience of exploring her origins and heritage through study abroad
  • mentor picture Nancy
     
    Nancy
    Senior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    From a Latin@ perspective, I feel it is very important for students from diverse backgrounds to go...
    From a Latin@ perspective, I feel it is very important for students from diverse backgrounds to go and see what’s out there. For those of us who are the first generation in the US we may feel that our parents came to this country for a good reason; to an extent we feel obligated to stay here because they came here to provide us with a better life. But in reality, there’s so much more to the world than the US. It gives us a larger perspective as to the different cultures and people that live on this planet. Usually in the states we’re looked at as the foreigners-people are trying to figure out our culture. Its interesting when dynamics change and you’re the one trying to figure out the other culture because you don’t understand it. Being an ‘other’ here in the US has definitely made me more open and willing to immerse myself in a completely different culture. My mindset wasn’t like ‘I’m an American, I’m better’ but ‘let me try to live like you’.
  • mentor picture Nancy
     
    Nancy
    Senior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University


    Watch this student discuss her parent’s thoughts on her studying abroad.
 
 
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