Peace and Study Abroad: London’s Experience
So much of what students learn in college is book based. There is something invaluable to connecting the intellectual world with a personal or visceral experience: This is the reason why I decided to study a broad in London.
The experience I had while living at the International Summer School in Oslo is close to what I am experiencing now in London. My stay in Oslo enhanced my aptitude to embrace a new city that inhabited a large number of immigrants. “London is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse cities – 50 non-indigenous groups have populations” (London Council). London pushes people to I engage in dialogues and discussions with one another in order to break the barriers and remind us that although, we have different cultures and speak different languages, we first are human beings. Not only do I have the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world, but I also participate in a different educational systems while gaining comparative insights. This experience will sharpen my critical-thinking skills and expand my worldview by experiencing another culture first- hand.
One might wonder how this experience connects to Peace. I believe that studying abroad is a necessity because it pushes people out of his/her comfort zone. Therefore, one needs to adapt and recognize that was is considered “normal” or “acceptable” in their respective countries are not absolute views. Traveling helps an indivdual to become more educated about other people’s culture as well as becoming more resilient and sympathetic to others.
Finally, I would like to emphasize that London has an active participation of its immigrant population. The city gives a platform to immigrants that I have never seen anywhere else in the world. Peace is not only being an activist abroad, but it starts at home which many people forget. London is a leading example of immigration integration more than any other European country. It not only permits people to communicate and appreciate each other’s culture but also offer a safe space for intellectual discussions with various immigrants groups.