Global Ambassadors: Local Organizations Creating Meaningful Experiences for Global Citizens

As the world grows more interconnected, increasing opportunities exist for people from all walks-of-life to travel abroad to study, volunteer or work. Such experiences enable participants to broaden their horizons, hone their language skills and make new, often lifelong, connections. There are also opportunities for teachers in the U.S. to develop future generations of global citizens by encouraging students to move beyond their comfort zones.

In addition to benefiting individuals, creating globally minded citizens benefits our community as a whole. Challenges we face in today’s world, which range from poverty to preserving the environment, are too big for any one nation to tackle alone. A global education and mindset allows us to dismantle stereotypes and collaborate with those from different backgrounds.

Volunteering Abroad

Volunteering abroad is the most direct way to create sustainable change in a community. There are a myriad of ways that people can apply their skills to be part of the solution to various problems that affect people across the globe. Doctors can treat patients in rural areas, engineers can build houses for those in need, and educators can teach children who lack solid teachers. Volunteers often live with locals, speak their language, and learn about their culture. This allows volunteers to gain a deep, nuanced understanding of a place, its people, and the unique challenges faced by their community. Donor trips are another way that people can be involved abroad and witness the difference that their generosity makes in the lives of others.

Studying Abroad

Students with international experience graduate with the language capabilities and cross-cultural communication skills needed in today’s world. Study abroad teaches participants to be self-reliant and understanding, and thus prepares students to be dynamic problem solvers. Learning to be accepting of differences and compassionate towards others are skills that students will need in all aspects of their lives, and will prepare them to work with others to tackle the world’s toughest challenges. Currently, only about 10% of students study abroad before they graduate college. Increased access to study abroad will create more opportunities for students to learn how to develop into global leaders with meaningful, impactful careers.

Educating Future Global Citizens

Students spend more time at school these days than they do at home. Teachers have an ability to influence children, expand their worldviews and show them the possibilities of what exists. Creating global citizens who are prepared for the world we live in is a necessity, and teachers must understand how to make local-to-global connections, and vice versa. School is often the first place that students will see the world as larger than just their family and their community, and grasp the concept that a world of possibilities exist for them.

Global Washington Members Working to Create Global Citizens

Global Washington Academic Institutions with Experimental Learning Programs Abroad