«The interaction of people from different cultural backgrounds using authentic language appropriately in a way that demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the cultures»

It amazes me how connected we are to one another. Not everyone takes the time to think this through, but, today, you woke up, took a shower, had breakfast, and started your day; and while you are thinking about your next meeting, your job, or your significant other, millions of people also woke up around the world. People woke up to a war in front of their houses, people woke up on the street, some others, woke up to start a new life, while others woke up, and started praying at a hospital; that’s what amazes me. How can we live such different lives, and contexts, and somehow, go through the same things?

Easy! right?: We are all human beings. But then again, if we stop for a moment to think about all the times that we do not acknowledge each other as part of the human kind, we may find that we tend to forget that we are all the same at the end of the day, we just live different realities. When we fail to recognize our differences, and embrace them as part of our human diversity, we create hate; We feed the stereotype, and prejudice that, sometimes, even costs us our own lives. Now that being said, I’d like to talk about the experience I’ve had so far meeting people from all over the world. When you sign up to live an international experience, the only expectation that you have is a photo from all the people you’ll be meeting; back in 2014, when I came to the US as an IVLP, all I had were biographies, and names. I didn’t know if Krishna from India was going to be my friend, or if Mûrat from Turkey will eat the same things as I did; all I knew was that, I was going to spend 1 month with them, and I had better start learning how to say “hello” in all their languages.

Signing up for an international experience like Atlas Corps, is not for everyone; rather, is for the people who are willing to acknowledge others as their own kind, despite any difference found. Signing up for an international experience means: GETTING RID OF YOURSELF. Because, without realizing it, you give everything you have and are, to others; and when you start thinking about the time that has passed,suddenly, you only have memories. Now you are new words in other languages; now you are a great taste in different foods; now you are everybody, and everybody is you.


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