I Aspire to be a Global Citizen

I Aspire to be a Global Citizen

It is great to be a TWC student. This past Friday, we had an incredible opportunity: to participate in Global Citizenship Day right here at the RAF! Instead of going to my internship I got to sleep in and walk downstairs to the bustling basement level (P1), which was filled with all of my peers. Mr. Mike Smith, President of TWC kicked off this event by looking at the United States and our relations with the rest of the world as being quite interdependent. Our guest lecturer was Ms. Evan Ryan, the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). She touched on a variety of topics ranging from the engagement of emerging leaders to the importance of spending time abroad. Based on my experience studying in Madrid, Spain last summer, I definitely connected with, and supported the concepts that she discussed with our group. Similar to Assistant Secretary, Ms. Ryan, I definitely agree that we, as individuals should learn as much as possible about other countries and their cultures in effort to become citizens of the world.

 

"Entrepreneurship is a key vehicle to expanding economic opportunity all over the world."

-Ms. Evan Ryan

 

 

Mr. Benjamin Peoples and Mr. Thomas Browning, are both pictured above during the Q & A session of Ms. Ryan's lecture.

 

As two representatives of TWC's Program through the TOMODACHI Generation Initiative, they each asked questions regarding how the impact of community and civil society can be valued here in the United States. Benjamin furthered his inquiry to encompass those who are not able to travel abroad to experience, first-hand, and the beauty of other cultures. Ms. Ryan's positive responses to both of my colleagues was uplifting, as she made it quite clear that one's path to Global Citizenship does not necessarily have to begin by traveling abroad. The vast variety of cultures represented here in the United States presents a great opportunity for one to get involved now and begin their quest for cross-cultural knowledge.

 

After the Q & A session was concluded we were all split up, based on our particular interests, into different breakout sessions that allowed our Global Citizenship based learning to continue on an individual level. I was fortunate to attend the session "Cross-cultural Negotiation Skills Around the Globe," which was led by Professor Beyoghlow. This session was vital, as it allowed me to use my recently acquired knowledge of current topics in U.S. Foreign Policy to aid my overall understanding of cross-cultural communication. Professor Beyoghlow's focus on the transnational nature of everything around us served as a theme that connected and showcased the power of context, geography, history, and language. The American perspective, which was narrated by our group's discussion, touched on the importance of awareness, open-mindedness and patience when it comes to learning about cultures that embody beliefs different from one's own. On an individual level, I found this session to be not only informative but highly useful in my daily life. As an intern in Washington D.C. there are many opportunities that offer one a chance to learn from others and their experiences. The importance of developing one's ability to communicate in a cross-cultural sense was evident after Professor Beyoghlow's session: "No democracy is perfect."

 

Professor Beyoghlow and I

 

Later in the evening all of the international students at TWC created informational booths in different rooms that represented their culture. There were a multitude of countries represented by students who shared their experiences during this International Festival! Additionally, I was able to try different kinds of food from each of these countries! The night was concluded with a final exhibition of culture through the International Talent Show! All of the performers were incredible, and it allowed the theoretical ideas of Global Citizenship and cross-cultural understanding, which had been presented to us throughout the day to really come to life. I thoroughly enjoyed watching all of these performances. Global Citizenship Day was the perfect way to spend a Friday, as these individuals, their lectures, and most impressively, my peers from TWC truly inspired me to learn and experience all of these cross-cultural perspectives.

 

 

Although I am a citizen of the United States of America, my compassion and interest in other people and their cultures is not limited to the nations that I have explored. In fact, I would like to take Ms. Ryan's advice and learn from those around me regardless of what country I am residing in. At the end of the day it was clear that I had a great deal to learn; but, I have also realized how fortunate I am to be living at TWC, where I am constantly surrounded by so many different and diverse individuals. By keeping our minds open I believe that we can all learn from one and other.

 

My path to Global Citizenship has already begun, but I still have a great deal of knowledge to acquire understanding to one day reach.

I aspire to be a Global Citizen.

 

Until Next Time,

R.A.S.

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