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"If we spend most of our lives outside of an educational institution, where exactly do we obtain knowledge from? The answer is: our experiences. The things we encounter along the way enrich our learning and connect the things taught to us by educated individuals. Studying abroad is important because it allows for learning in a different context. When in a foreign location, a lot of what we learn comes from the professor but being present in a place where this knowledge is rooted allows us to frame that knowledge using our experience with our surroundings and interactions with the local people’s culture. Study abroad is important to me specifically because it gives me the opportunity to understand the ways in which communication takes place in different contexts. As a communication major I find traveling interesting because I take notice of the differences in communication styles. I’ve been to Mexico, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and all up and down the West Coast of the US and can’t help but pay attention to all forms of communication and how it’s globalized. As a Study Abroad Student Ambassador I will continue to do what I do best: communicate. I want to reach out to all sorts of students especially first year students as early as New Student Orientation and promote study abroad programs. Whether it involves me setting up a table and sharing my experiences through pictures and souvenirs or walking around talking to people, I want people to know that it is certainly possible to study abroad and definitely worthwhile in the long run. Also, throughout the year I’d use the power of social media, encouraging people to apply by sharing instances in which people directly benefitted from study abroad."
Guillermo is currently a sophomore in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and majoring in Communication. He has already served as a Peer Advisor to students, as a member of the Street Team, and he's studied abroad. In his new role as Study Abroad Ambassador, Guillermo is interested in seeing students extend themselves beyond the UWT campus and discover their place in a global context.
"A person does not need to travel the entire world to be a global citizen. A global citizen is defined by the person’s level of interest and engagement with cultures beyond their home. A global citizen seeks shared values to create community and embraces the differences between cultures while reflecting back on their own. It is important to be a global citizen because we all share the same home: Earth. By immersing ourselves and sharing in the experiences of others in new locations, we learn to appreciate and comprehend where we stand as citizens of our own community. Becoming a global citizen is more possible nowadays than it ever was before, especially with the growing accessibility of technology. The versatility of social media, for example, allows for instant communication and more interactivity between individuals with shared values around the world. This is how strong and more decentralized communities are formed."
"In my everyday life, I strive to become a more defined global citizen by keeping up-to-date with what’s going on around the world. In most cases, people focus more keenly on places they have ties to. For me, that place is Mexico. I watch the news to get general information about Mexico or interact with family members on Facebook for updates. We can also become more global-minded citizens by simply talking to someone from another place or even embracing certain aspects of their culture, like food, for instance. By partaking in such cross-cultural experiences, we create ties with new cultures and new people and in the process, we create new communities."