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Learning in an Academically/Culturally Diverse Campus

Coming from a very diverse boarding school in Princeton, New Jersey, I knew in my college search that I wanted a campus that shared a similar experience enriched with students from a multitude of different backgrounds – whether that be a family background, an academic background, or a cultural background. Prior to attending boarding school, my sheltered middle school and early high school self did not grasp this concept entirely. Within my own family, I’ve shared my mom’s story of coming to the United States from Fidel Castro’s Cuba in her early tween years on a small makeshift boat in search of freedom and opportunities. This small filial anecdote had become a story that I would just share with people, and I did not necessarily realize how significantly it has shaped who I’ve become. Once I attended boarding school, I started to realize that I had a curiosity for other people’s filial anecdotes, just like my own, and this only augmented the importance to attend a university with an academically and culturally diverse campus.

If you were to walk through the floor of my dorm here at USC, you would realize the variety of backgrounds that make up the USC student body. From my own roommate who is from Hawaii and shares her Japanese culture (mainly in the form of food, which is always graciously appreciated!), to a floormate who speaks Italian and Russian, or another floormate whose family immigrated from Mexico – this unique variety creates a community of Trojans that not only breeds acceptance of cultural customs on our campus, but also molds an environment for students to learn other students’ perspectives in and out of the classroom.

In a business class, the student diversity shapes class discussions into interesting debates across cultures. For a student who has grown up in the United States, there may appear an obvious single solution to a problem, but a student who has grown up in China, Russia, Dubai, Europe, you name it, may present an entirely different perspective and solution, which fosters discussion. I have not met two peers who are exactly alike in their interests or cultures, and that is something to treasure.

At USC, you can meet such impressive students in their interests, whether it be a student studying business and the music industry simultaneously, or a student who wants to start his own sustainability non-profit organization, or even a student who wants to crossover healthcare and business. The diversity of our student body is simply endless, and my global awareness and appreciation for diversity has only grown even more than it had at boarding school.

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Posted on November 16, 2016 by Amanda Douglas

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