Cultural Exchange Helps Us Interpret the World

By: Trishell Brown, 2018 Summer Work Travel participant, and Ambassador Scholar

It never ceases to amaze me to think that the sounds emanating from our mouths when we speak can be effortlessly decoded by our peers as meaningful language, allowing us to communicate with one another. Language is a defining feature of people.

Based on my culture, I had always assumed that being able to speak and understand more than one language is the exception. However, it is estimated that between half and three-quarters of the world’s population is bilingual to some degree. That’s more than four billion people who understand that with different languages come different ways to interpret the world!

With different languages come different ways to interpret the world! This is why, I believe, it is so important for students to have a deeper global awareness and understanding of other cultures…

Marcel Proust, the French novelist, realized that by working with other people, we learn about their cultures and become able to explore new ideas and prospects. Options that would not have occurred to us before stand out as obvious if we understand how other people experience the world. This is why, I believe, it is so important for students to have a deeper global awareness and understanding of other cultures

In my own experience, leaving my small country in the Caribbean to explore America for three months opened up a whole new world. As I found myself immersed in a different culture, it struck me that Americans, previously perceived by myself as peculiar beings, were, in fact, the norm in their context and that I was the stranger. This is why I believe that fostering global awareness and international collaboration amongst students is so beneficial.

These are character building experiences that bring out the best and worst in all of us, and from which we learn so much. My Greenheart Global Ambassador experience is something I will cherish and hold dearly for the rest of my life.

Join the Work and Travel program and gain a new perspective.

Learn More