Traveling abroad shapes young minds

Man in Airport
Photo courtesy:

Traveling abroad opens your perspective to another life, an entire ecosystem separated from the one we’re accustomed to. It allows you to firsthand take part in different foods, entertainment, scenery and so much more.

Traveling abroad engages you with people of those cultures and prompts curiosity to ask the fleeting questions of “How were you raised?” “Do you experience such and such?” before you forget.

As Black young adults, it is prevalent for us to explore the world around us. Every day we’re greeted with what’s going wrong around the world but how can we change what we don’t know?

Ashley Saddler Jr., a fourth-year architecture student and military science minor, recently received an acceptance into Project Go’s study abroad program where if chosen he’ll be studying Chinese Mandarin at San Diego State University. Saddler believes that traveling abroad gives a different perspective on other cultures.

“Cultures have very different aspects to them, for example, in Southeast Asia there are different aspects to the entire region like there are different cultures, religions, languages, and people,” Saddler said.

“And how they appropriate themselves with the land and other people and it’s really shown me how detailed and diverse the world can really be outside of the Americas,” Saddler said.

Project Go is a nationwide program open to eligible ROTC students for fully funded opportunities in language education, overseas study, and cross-cultural experiences. Since being founded in 2007, the organization has helped over 7,500 students study culture and languages whether domestically or abroad in 33 countries.

While not every trip abroad must be educational, recreational traveling abroad immerses you in the culture. It brings a new experience to embracing other cultures and their necessities.

Alexis Rejouis, a graduating broadcast journalism major, traveled to Jamaica in the summer of 2021 and spring of 2022. While traveling recreationally, she left with something more than just souvenirs.

“It helped me understand how things are similar and different in my own culture, it allowed me to understand different people and perspectives outside of my own,” Rejouis said.

Rejouis says the importance of traveling as a young Black man or woman is to open your mind to what you don’t do, we tend to limit ourselves, and traveling abroad opens the possibilities of what we can do and what could be.

Daijah Rabb, a third-year biology-premed major, was previously stationed in Okinawa, Japan with her parents, she came back to the States in 2021. Rabb leaves some advice for students who are interested in traveling abroad but aren’t sure.

“Go for it! Learn and embrace different cultures. If you ever have a bad experience don’t let it discourage you from trying elsewhere,” Rabb said.

“The world is so beautiful, expand your horizons.”