Students overcome international barriers
Friday, September 21, 2007
By Special to Opinions
At the Outreach meeting this week I started to understand how Oklahoma
Christian University is a multi-cultural school. I often forget that
Oklahoma Christian is comprised of students from many nations around
the world. It hit me during the meeting that acknowledging the students
was not enough, and that it is important to make the international
students feel at home.
During Outreach we learned about our students from Rwanda. I truly
admire the Rwandan students for their ability to leave home to be here.
Our cultures are so different, and I imagine that the adjustment is
very difficult. I cannot picture myself being far away from my home,
friends and family. After the meeting I told myself that I would make
an effort to sit with them, or carry on a conversation with them, as I
had intended since the first week of school.
I had the opportunity this week to eat with students from Rwanda. It
was wonderful to hear about their culture and what it is like to
experience the American culture. I knew that life in Africa would be
different, but it became reality as I talked to them. Despite the
different foods, religions, education systems, and lifestyles, we found
common interests. I loved spending time with them, and learned the
importance of hearing about other cultures.
We have a strong campus community. We all come from different places,
whether it is the state of Montana or the country of China. It is
important for us to learn about other cultures so that we can grow and
gain a broader perspective. It is easy for us to believe that the
culture we were raised in is ‘the’ way of life. As I learned, it does
not matter where you are from; people are just people looking for their
place in the community. We should all make an effort to get past ‘hi,
how are you,’ to actually learn about other people. The more that we
learn about the people around us, the more we will be able to love and