Traveling to Europe as a Student Ambassador - My Family Travels

 Andrew Ojeda 


My European Adventure

            Traveling to Europe as a student ambassador for the People to People Foundation was a life changing experience. President Dwight D. Eisenhower founded People to People in 1956. His mission was to promote world unification and peace through the understanding of cultural differences. To carry out this objective selected student representatives are sent across the globe to immerse themselves in the cultures of different ethnicities. I felt proud to know that I was 1 of 40 students chosen from a group of 400. Being from a single parent household I knew it would be financially difficult for my mother to pay for the tuition. Although I was oblivious to how it would affect my outlook on the world after I returned, I was eager to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity despite our financial travails.

            During this adventure I felt a growth and understanding inside me of a world I knew little about. Besides acquiring knowledge of different cultures, I experienced a hunger to learn about society and the world in which I live. I could go on and on about the places I visited, which were truly amazing, but what has stayed with me is the cultural diversity I encountered. We all know that people from different parts of the world are unique, but what I did not realize was that I would learn so much about these dissimilarities. I returned home with a new found respect for the uniqueness in various cultures, and an appreciation for those who are not like me. We do not all like the same music, food, and clothing, but what we all share is one thing: we are all human beings.

            While I traveled abroad I acquired a new awakening in what the world has to offer. I experienced the diversity of France and their world renowned cuisine. Also, while visiting Italy I learned numerous Italian phrases, such as molto buono (very delicious), which I used to complement chefs for their delightful pasta dishes. Lastly, I spent three days on the island of Malta. While there I encountered the welcoming presence and lifestyle of the Maltese. As a student ambassador I was assigned course work and journal entries based on the historical sites I visited.

            Reminiscing back on my excursion through Europe I can honestly say it was a completely inspirational time in my life. Through my experiences I learned that education goes beyond the black and white text of a book, it is not what you are taught or what you read, it is something that is experienced, Education is definitely what you take with you when all is said and done and I have taken so much from this adventure. This rewarding opportunity has made me value what education can do for an individual. I never thought it would be possible, but thanks to People to People I visited a part of the world I had only dreamt of. I hope to travel the globe and immerse myself in cultural education.


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