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    Posted March 16, 2014 by
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Why study abroad? Ask Michelle Obama

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    My Brother's Keeper: Encouraging travel & exploration

    One of the best decisions I made in my undergraduate career was my decision to study abroad in Italy. I studied Italian literature and photography through a program called Italy Intensives hosted by East Carolina University. Over the course of three and half months; I toured the Vatican, I saw the work of Da Vinci and Michelangelo, and even got a chance to visit France and Switzerland during personal down time. My experience abroad enhanced my level of creativity through the teachings of my professors and the academically enriched activities our travel group partook. Following my return to the states I noticed my "newly broadened horizon," allowed me to adapt to environments outside my comfort zone with no hesitation.

    During my trip I couldn't help but to think of how grateful I was to have those experiences. It also made me think of how I wanted other young Americans, especially young men of color to experience the same thing I did. After President Obama launched the My Brother Keeper's Initiative I committed myself into finding ways I could contribute to inspiring other young men of color to see the world.

    The world is becoming increasingly more globalized. This globalization process will require everyone, including young men of color to have a unique, and globalized perception of the world that will allow society to function better inter-culturally in the near future. When living abroad I finally got a chance to understand what it is like being foreigner in a place where everyone does not look like you, think like you or know the same language as you. As an American that is an important lesson to learn when we come from a melting pot like the United States where understanding and accepting diverse cultures is essential for maintaining a healthy environment.
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