Additional Blog Post #4
Considering my own ignorance about higher education around the world, I believe that the value of a strong global perspective of higher education lies in the ability to connect with people from different backgrounds. In addition to developing relationships with other people, conversations about others’ experiences can open eyes to see the bigger picture; it is so easy to get wrapped up in what is happening in our own little corner of the world (or our own little corner of the United States!). The world does not begin and end in the Commonwealth of Virginia, so it is important to broaden students’ horizons and understandings of others’ experiences.
Likewise, I feel like international students bring perspective, fresh ideas, and a dedication to education that I really respect. I am always so excited to learn about their experiences in their home countries, and am continually impressed by the work ethic of many of my international students. Likewise, I hope that by having open conversations I can develop a deeper empathy for all of my students, and treat all of them with the respect that they deserve.
I know that during our last PFP class, I learned so much about the countries we spoke about, and even ended up looking up some popular media from a few of the countries discussed (I somehow found myself four episodes deep in a Korean drama on Netflix that has become my new obsession). By sharing our lived experience with people who would otherwise not know (I had no idea it was illegal to sell gum in Singapore!), I think it improves both educational and relation dimensions in class. I hope to continue to learn about my classmates’ backgrounds, and hope that I can be an educated, attentive peer.