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    Posted March 15, 2014 by
    Houston, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Why study abroad? Ask Michelle Obama

    Life Changing Experience


    My name is Julian Kane. In December 2013, I received my bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication with a focus in Radio, Television, and Film and a minor in Geography from Texas Southern University (TSU).
    As a TSU student, I participated on the TSU Debate Team. My first assignment overseas was performing dramatic interpretation and oratory speeches in various locations throughout Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. When I boarded the plane on July 15, 2009 headed for Dar es Salaam, I was terrified. My fear was not of the plane or of stage fright. What I had was a fear induced by the media as a result of the stereotypical images of children with frail bones protruding through their bodies, widespread HIV/AIDS, and rampant violence and wars.
    However, when I arrived I did not witness the Africa portrayed in the media. The Africa I saw was of an Africa I did not expect to see. Although I did witness hardships and poverty, the people were friendly and prideful, the landscapes were breathtaking, and everyone had a sense of wisdom I had not witnessed before in my life. My time in Dar es Salaam made me realize how ignorant I was and how the images in the media might have caused a missed opportunity had I succumbed to my original fear and not visited Africa. It seemed as if the longer I stayed the more I fell in love with the country. Towards the end of my one-month journey in Tanzania, I thought, “There must be more places in the world that are just as amazing as Tanzania that I have no clue about.” From that moment on, I knew I must see the world and somehow let the secret be known that there are beautiful lands that masses of people will not ever know about.
    As a result of my new found love of traveling and experiencind new cultures , I studied abroad at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa in the summer of 2013. While I was in South Africa I visited Robin Island, where Nelson Mandela was held captive for as a political prisoner for twenty-three years. He is considered as a hero but at that time he was treated like dirt.
    My ultimate goal is to be a documentary filmmaker. My documentaries will depict my experiences in foreign cultures and the challenges of adapting to different cultures and understanding/explaining their way of life. I hope this will open the minds of my fellow Americans.
    but at that time he was treated like dirt.
    My highlight of being abroad is meeting the people and experiencing the culture. These cultural experience abroad changed my life. My South African friend told me, "A person is a person through other people. And how can you be the same through having met and allowed so many people into your life?"

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