Posted: October 23rd, 2013
In terms of international education, numerous institutions have undertaken the aspect of global citizenship because of the positive impact it has on the students. Personally, I study at the International University in Australia pursuing a master’s degree in mathematics. Ultimately, intercultural and international competence endows me with a competitive advantage in my respective field. Additionally, studying in Australia has been a transformative experience as I have been able to make new friendships and gain new insights. In this case, my understanding of the relevance of global citizen in international education was developed by a particular experience.
In this regard, I had to understand the importance of global citizenship when I encountered a fellow student with whom I was at loggerheads with due to our differences in culture. This particular situation involved a student from Greece called Abellone whom I was studying with the previous semester. People are diverse meaning that cultures are different in many aspects including conversation style, mode of dressing, eating style, sense of humor, and many others. The Greek culture in this case has a different perspective on the issue of hand signals compared to my culture. I came to learn the hard way that showing the thumb in an upwards direction implies a sexual sign in the Greek culture.
I consider myself social in nature, and my culture allows me to show the thumb sign when I approve a person’s action or ideology. However, showing the thumb sign to Abellone for his good performance in his studies led him to think that I was insulting him. He acted by reporting me to the school authorities. This put me at the risk of being expelled from the school. Ultimately, my studies on global citizenship from relevant books instilled in me broad knowledge on the different cultural perspectives that surround us. Additionally, this situation enhanced my skills and understanding of intercultural relations and the capacity of adapting to change. In future, I intend to be more conscious on the diverse cultural differences and act accordingly to avoid any conflict both socially and professionally.
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