I want a college that will help my child become a global citizen

by Leslie Wan –

I wanted my daughter to complete her undergraduate education after gaining lots of new experiences. High up there with academic success and opportunities for her future, I wanted her to become a global citizen with exposure to all kinds of culture this world has to offer.

Fortunately, we agreed that the university she attended would be one that celebrated international students and international study. My preference was for a school that would be small enough that students of cultures are integrated fully in the university community, but not so small they stayed isolated because integration into the mainstream would be difficult. My daughter had always had international friends, and I knew that was something that would continue. As an international student to Trinity University from Jamaica, I had seen firsthand what a privilege and growth that international exposure had been for her. Jamaica is a true melting pot of cultures. "Out of many - one people" is the island motto, and Trinity was the bridge for taking that even further.

Her choice of Trinity as her undergraduate university had much to do with the above and also much to do with its location in San Antonio, which is an amazing city, rich with culture and history. She immersed herself in the international club and international students, while enjoying ALL the other activities the university had to offer and its interesting and diverse curriculum. She chose to study abroad in her junior year which is another of the opportunities that Trinity truly encourages. Every phone call I received as she studied abroad was full of tales of joy, laughter, and cultural immersion. I might add that Trinity’s study abroad staff does a BANG UP job of preparing them for their travels and giving them a full understanding of dos and don'ts.

As her mother, I watched the global celebration and global perspective those four years at Trinity gave her. At graduation she had become the culturally exposed woman that would take on today's globally connected and diverse world. Ultimately it also became the initial steps that lead to her career path. I remain a true ambassador for Trinity and the opportunities it gave Christina to celebrate how amazing the world can really be if you become a participant in understanding its diversity and global complexities. Let's just say that Jamaica's "Out of many one people" grew exponentially more significant at Trinity University.

International fast facts From Trinity:

1. Trinity students hail from 65 different countries. (It varies from year to year.)

2. In any given year, Trinity students study abroad in approximately 35 different countries. Latin America, Africa, Oceania, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and domestic study opportunities as well. These are all places where Trinity students diverge and immerse themselves.

3. There is a vibrant international club that holds many activities within the full Trinity community and exposes the student body to some cultural perspective from their home countries. What college student doesn't want to try new foods or hear new music trends from around the world?

4. Part of Trinity's 10 year strategic plan (Trinity Tomorrow) includes as an objective to "Enhance International Engagement and Awareness." Its objective further states, "In an increasingly diverse and interconnected world, students must develop the knowledge and skills to be effective citizens of the world, able to communicate, understand and do business with non-Americans. Trinity will develop our students by enabling them to live, work and study abroad as well as through academic and co-curricular offerings on our San Antonio campus."

5. A few high points of that above objective (paraphrased)

  • Strengthen international engagement and awareness by sending Trinity to international destinations and enrolling a significant population of students from countries outside the U.S. 
  • Provide an education that emphasizes international engagement and staff a variety of courses across the disciplines and regions of the globe.
  • Create a center for International Citizenship that will serve as a home for the campus's international activities. Its functions are many tiered but all are related to raising the visibility and magnifying the impact of Trinity's global efforts.

About Leslie
Leslie's daughter graduated from Trinity in 2010, but the mom remains a true ambassador for the University.  Her daughter Christina now works as a university student administration professional, and Leslie continues to pursue special needs work and her passion for personal/professional writing and public speaking. She writes a blog (http://thestepcentre.blogspot.com/), and speaks and volunteers in support of the special needs community in Jamaica.


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