Becoming a Global Citizen

What does it mean to be a Global Citizen?

A global citizen is aware of who they are and the role they have in this world. They actively engage and interact with people from diverse backgrounds to learn, grow, and challenge their thoughts and expand their worldview. Being a global citizen is having a global mindset when trying to solve issues in your local community by recognizing the global impact and vice versa. It’s learning and exchanging diverse ideas, perspectives, and beliefs to create mutual understanding and solving pressing global issues. Becoming a Global Citizen is a life-long journey that may include learning and experiencing other cultures, developing cross-cultural skills, and practicing values of diversity and inclusiveness in your personal, academic, and professional lives to make this world a more peaceful, prosperous place.

How can you become a Global Citizen?

Chances are if you’ve studied abroad, you’ve already started on your journey as a Global Citizen! However, you don’t have to travel internationally to be a global citizen. Here are some ways you can incorporate these ideals in your personal, academic, and professional lives without leaving your home or the Greater Rochester Area:

Virtual Volunteer Opportunities in Rochester

  • Deaf Refugee Advocacy – provides assistance to Deaf refugees. Virtual volunteer positions in fundraising, grant writing, curriculum development, social media support. Email
  • Rochester Refugee Services  – bridges the gap between new American families and the community. Virtual opportunities include website design, database management. Email
  • No One Left Behind –  provides support and resettlement services to Afghans and Iraqis who were translators or support personnel for the U.S. military. Virtual opportunities include research interns in the areas of policy advocacy, grant writing, fundraising, client management.

Global Virtual Volunteering (some may have associated costs)

Cultural Engagement:

  • Continue studying a foreign language or learn a new language. Register for a language course at your University or learn from your phone with language apps like DuoLingo or Rosetta Stone.
  • Join an international or cultural club at your University or in the Greater Rochester community:
  • Experience the ethnically diverse cuisine Rochester has to offer by ordering take out or dining in at one of these restaurants:

Staying Connected

Students returning from study abroad sometimes feel that they will “lose” their experience, or that it will be stored away like souvenirs in a shoebox. You don’t have to let that happen. There are many ways to incorporate your experience abroad into your post-study abroad life, both informally and formally. 

  • Make a scrapbook about your time abroad. Include pictures, train tickets, emails you sent to family and friends back home, school work you are particularly proud of, and souvenirs you collected from your time studying abroad.
  • Write a post-experience journal (if you did not keep a journal while abroad). Make a list of your favorite memories, the most important things you learned, and what you do not want to ever forget.
  • Keep up on the news and events taking place in your host country. Besides Internet sources, more and more cable TV companies are offering international channels that you can buy one-by-one.
  • Learn to make some of the foods that you enjoyed while you were away, and share them with friends.
  • Have a dinner for the international students who are from the country where you studied – they are often longing for familiar food and for people who understand them, and they will appreciate your efforts. 
  • Connect with other students who studied where you did, as well as those who are getting ready to go to the place where you studied. They will be able to share in your excitement and will be able to connect with your experiences.
  • Make time to attend cultural events on campus and in the community.
  • Continue taking a language on your campus. If not offered at your campus, look at Adult/Continuing Ed classes in your town
  • Check out service programs like AmeriCorps, and the Peace Corps 
  • Start a meetup group