I became interested in international initiatives when I first visited South Africa in 2012. It was my first time out of the country and after experiencing their culture and the diversity there, I wanted to learn more about other countries and their cultures. I became fascinated in learning about the diversity in the world and that helped shape my career path and college career as well.
I have volunteered with Ubuntu Leaders of Lancaster and I am a part of a social work organization where I organized a Zumba fundraiser event for disaster relief for Puerto Rico. I have done volunteer work with Love. Give. Live. to learn about fair trade and NPO’s. I have also participated in many service learning trips to South Africa where I assisted with planting agricultural plots in Cape Town. Along with this, I have been to Northern Ireland where I learned about the troubles and the walls, to Nicaragua where I worked with rural communities to respond to issues related to poverty, to Mexico where I used expressive arts to work with youth to raise awareness about social injustices, and to Honduras where I worked at medical clinics. I also presented a poster on the research I did on the medical clinics at the Rural Social Work Conference.
Some things I have learned while participating in these programs are responsibility, organization, how to be a leader, how to be a global citizen, field work, accomplishment of goals, and career interests. I have also learned about social change, diversity in the world, and differences between cultures.
Other students should get involved with Global Education to become a better global citizen. Studying abroad not only makes you more aware of various cultures but also, while you are interacting with others from around the world and hearing their stories, it enhances your compassion and humanity toward others. Therefore, you are more inclined to respond to social injustices and able to see what you can do to help.