Hi, beautiful people!
I just want to quickly thank everyone for your kind comments in my previous post. I always enjoy reading what you have to say and really appreciate everyone who took the time to actually read my post. You guys are the bestest!!
Today's post will be about something that I'm quite passionate about; cultural diversity.
I have always been rather proud of my University in terms of its diversity and passion in promoting cultural awareness. It offers so many opportunities for us to learn about different cultures; it's not uncommon to see 2 people from different countries having a language exchange session during lunch time. It's a truly diversed place and in my time here, I've gotten to know so many wonderful people from all over the world.
We have the International Students' Committee (ISC) (of which I'm a part of) and every academic year, we organize 4 major international events amongst other smaller projects. We're not a charity, but we're run entirely by volunteers from the student population. We have student reps from all sorts of nationalities from Malaysians *ahem* to Nigerians to Germans to Columbians.
I hope this doesn't sound like some political manifesto, but the ISC is run by international students, for international students. Our aim is to create a home away from home experience for all. Yes, intergration with local students are also one of our agendas, but we believe that we have to also put in effort to make international students feel as if they're home, sometimes, and that they'll always have someone to turn to.
If you've ever packed your bags and traveled 6500 miles alone to a foreign country to pursue your education, you'd know what I mean. If you've ever fallen ill and craved for that homemade national dish, but it's too late to call home (due to the time difference) nor can your local friends help you because they've never heard of said dish, you'd know what a lonely feeling that is :)
The ISC has done so much for me, although it hasn't always been obvious. Looking back, without all the ISC socials, I wouldn't know half the people I know now. Without ISC, I would most likely just stick with my little clique (although, I love my little clique, don't get me wrong) without actually meeting all these wonderful people.
Although I'm no longer as active as I used to be during my Undergraduate years, I still help out occassionally and I try to attend all their events.
The International Cultural Evening was held last weekend, where 20 national societies showcased their talents to compete for glory...and a trophy. It was a night full of national costumes, cultural performances and national pride.
All the photos you see above were taken on the night. I apologize for the crappy photos. Lately, I've been getting increasingly annoyed with the quality it produces. Sighhh...
This is my International Business textbook speaking, but if you aren't aware, the world is becoming smaller and smaller. Globalization is inevitable and more and more countries are opening up their borders for trade. I think that what ever line you go into in the future, there will be some form of internationalization involved and you'll get the chance to work with people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Therefore, I truly believe it's very important to start networking now, not just for business purposes, but for the opportunity to learn something new.
I am not sure how it is in your University or how well-received international students are, but I wonder, do you ever take the time to try to get to know someone of a different nationality? :)