Living In A Third World Country Essay

It’s where they are often first introduced to a profoundly new culture.

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We go to help and learn, and we tell ourselves and others that those we met were similarly appreciative of the exchange.

Setting aside the question of whether our help is actually effective (well-explored in this recent piece by Habitat for Humanity volunteer Katia Savchuk), let’s look more deeply at this question of how privileged people learn.

As a college junior in 2001, I was mostly so wrapped up in my own anxiety about being away and excitement about all that I was experiencing, that I don’t remember pausing, even once, to wonder what my presence was like for Nodidi, my host mother Nokwezi, or the staff at the high school where I volunteered.

I wrote an unconscious, overly simple story about our time together — that having me there was a welcome divergence from their normal family or professional life, maybe even a breath of fresh air. There is a sort of autopilot story of privilege that so many of us tell about our time abroad — whether we are part of a study abroad group, living with a host family while interning at a nonprofit organization, or volunteering with a religious organization.

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Content Header .feed_item_answer_user.js-wf-loaded . Studying and working abroad is, in a sense, a perpetual schema buster, an endless opportunity for the kind of disequilibrium that leads to wisdom.These experiences make us better students, better leaders, better citizens. An assessment by the University of Georgia found that students who studied abroad had a 17.8 percent higher 4-year graduation rate than those who didn’t.It is really hard to fundraise for administrative work, so having a university graduate to help with basic admin is a massive boost for small NGOs.She wanted to be in the field doing direct service.It doesn’t always work out that way, as anyone who has had unpaid interns — stateside or elsewhere — can attest.Many times, an organization puts more energy into training and nurturing a newbie than they feel they get out, in terms of genuine contribution to the organization’s mission.odidi Mgudlwa, an 11-year-old with coltish legs to match, walked around the red dirt roads of Langa with a white American girl trailing behind her.She had learned that when the stares got to be too much from her neighbors, who no doubt wondered what a white person was doing in a South African township, she could get a reprieve by advancing a few strategic feet in front.So there are real, tangible benefits to having experiences abroad.And yet, too often we celebrate the revelation without considering the labor that makes it possible.


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