Reflection for 9/10/2015
As one of the assignments for the Becoming Globally Engaged class, students are expected to respond to reflection prompts on a weekly basis. Here is the prompt and my response for the week of Sep 10, 2015.
What international group(s) are you most interested in becoming involved with? Why?
What are you most looking for in an international group – language practice? Cultural exposure? Foreign friends? American friends who share your interests? Career preparation? Networking opportunities? Service opportunities? Something else?
Do you think you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for at OU? Why or why not? If not, what will you do about it?
The international group that I am most interested in becoming involved with on campus is OU Cousins. Unlike other international groups, I feel that it will provide a more personal, intimate experience with people of other cultures and really give me a chance to see their human side, as opposed to just learning the superficial aspects that distinguish them, such as food and clothing. I feel that often times when there are activities meant to celebrate a culture, aspects of that culture are cherry picked and participators do not get a real connection with the individuals. For example, a couple weeks ago was Italian celebration week on campus, and the activities being held were things like free pizza and a pasta making workshop. While this is all very fun, I feel like there’s an abundance more to learn about Italians than the fact that they make a good pizza, and through OU Cousins I hope I can achieve this.
The thing I am most looking forward to in an international group is the opportunity to break the stereotypes or assumptions I may have formed about another culture. Obviously I’m also very interested in getting to know someone from a country that I am interested in visiting as well. In addition, I am looking to have an ounce of career preparation in the sense that I hope being involved in international groups will lead to me to deciding what career path I want to take, or to at least narrow down my options so that I can be more focused and motivated in the coming years of college. I feel as though exposure ‘to people from around the world can help one form decisive opinions about what exactly they hope to do with their life. Maybe in the end I will decide to be nothing but a beach-visiting nomad!
When it comes to hoping I will find what I’m looking for at OU, I can’t help but be a tad pessimistic. I hope to be a marine biologist when I’m done and through with my education, and OU, being a landlocked college focused mainly on things like engineering and pre-law, may not offer me the best opportunities. However, even if I don’t get exactly what I want out of OU, I will inevitably be benefited by my traveling abroad opportunities and international accustomization in whatever future I hold