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19 October 2011

Don’t miss out on the world you live in

There’s 194 countries in the world and, depending on how you define a city, there are nearly 300,000 cities. Did you know that due to floods in Venice, it might soon become an underwater city? Did you know the population of the world is approximately 6.8 billion people? The world we live in is an inconceivably huge place riveting with different cultures and ways of life, where an unimaginable amount of things happen every single day. For many students, going to college is the first time they leave home for a substantial amount of time, or ever. Considering just how huge the world is, it seems crazy, in this day and age where there are resources and opportunities allowing you to see the world, to only know your hometown and the town where you went to college (if you even go to college away from home or if you go to college at all.)

I myself am a student from London and have been an inner-city girl my whole life. I can tell you that before I came to Miami I had the general preconceptions of every other young person in London has and Miami is nothing like what I thought it would be.

In the short time I’ve been here, my mind has been opened in ways I didn’t expect. I think the reason my experience so far has been so enlightening is because I’m getting to see what life in another culture is really like by living a normal life in that culture, as opposed to hopping around the world as a tourist doing the same things: beach, shopping and eating!

I can tell you that coming from London has shown me that I want to learn more and see more of the world – when you go in to a completely different culture, you realize that you were almost living in a bubble before. The world is so vast; we should all try our best to see as much of it as we can – the good and the bad. The fact that if I didn’t come to live here I wouldn’t know some of what I’ve already seen and learned, motivates me to see even more of this planet we live on.

The University of Miami offers so many study abroad programs in Ghana, England, Israel and many other countries – why not take advantage of these once in a lifetime opportunities?

I would encourage you all to try and see more of this Earth. The world is an amazing place (as cliche and cheesy as it sounds) and as you start to see more and more of it you begin to humble yourself and realize just how tiny you, your friends, your problems, your hometown and the whole of the little world you have been living in are in comparison. There is so much we aren’t aware of in this world, especially in western cultures where we are always given a slightly bias report on what the rest of the world is like, and the only way you will ever truly get to find out whats happening on the other side of the big pond is if you get up and go there! Don’t believe everything you read, go explore and see what new great things you learn – I guarantee you will learn something that will change your view on life.

Emma Bowman is a sophomore majoring in mathematics.