Jamie For Jamaica ’16

I have chosen to study abroad in Jamaica in January, 2016. Here is my philosophy behind studying abroad: I have chosen to study abroad because of the amount of time I will be working directly with members of a different culture. Intercultural communication is very important to me, hence why I am minoring in Communication Studies, and understanding intercultural communication will help in practically any business and/or personal situation I encounter. On this trip, I am not studying history and architecture, I am immersing myself in a culture. This international experience will better prepare me for global non-profit work, relating to my international studies minor. This relates to my future career aspiration of starting a non-profit organization that I wish to spread to other parts of the world. I need to not only learn about but experience what injustices people of all cultures of the world are facing. Then, and only then, will I be able to better understand the mission of a global non-profit organization. Experiencing a foreign culture will better prepare me for global non-profit work. I want to better understand cultural diversity. I need to learn and experience what injustices people of all cultures of the world are facing. Then, and only then, will I be able to better understand the mission of a global non-profit organization. I also want to learn more about my own culture. Not only do I learn the specifics about that culture I will be experiencing, but I become more aware of my own culture. By stepping out of my “comfort zone,” or my cultural norms, I am able to recognize what aspects of myself- my identity, values, beliefs, mannerisms, behaviors, etc.- are shaped or influenced by culture. By becoming more aware of these influences, I will be able to excel in various aspects of my life when it comes to setting goals and expectations, reacting to different situations, and most importantly, communicating cross-culturally, which relates to any type of career path I choose.