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

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    For a fairer access to traveling opportunities.

    a‘Existence’ includes the prefix ‘ex’ that refers to ‘going out of’, ‘projecting oneself’. One’s life cannot be frozen. We need Others in all their diversity for we are made of those we have met. And I do not know how one can encounter true diversity without travelling.

    Michelle Obama, you once said your best experience since being the First Lady was travelling. And I completely get it, for being keen on discovering other points of view anytime I am able to travel. Far too often, people assume travels are but a good point on one’s résumé and forget to allow themselves to open their hear(t)s to other points of view.

    My name is Claire Charrier, and I am a sixteen-year-old french student. Having been born in a wealthy family, I was only one-year-old when I took a plane for the first time - heading to Tunisia. Later on, I have traveled a lot - mainly to England and the United States of America, for having fell in love with english language, culture, and mentality.

    But I do realize rare are the ones who share this luck. This can be explained by several factors.

    - Some suffer of the facts their parents are a bit too protective and do not consider they are mature enough to fly out of the familial nest. The need to make public opinions evolve is real.

    - Others cannot afford it, financially speaking. Among those, of course, minorities such as hispanics and african-american are over-represented.
    Travel grants will always be required – I doubt they could ever be enough.

    - And there are also the ones who cannot travel for being busy being child soldiers, over-exploited by repressive governments. This calls for international actions.
    By the way, I have tried to take part in Red Hand Day in 2014 by collecting, at school, numerous red prints in order to send them to United Nations, but never managed to send them at the right address – or so was written on the box when it came back home. Therefore, if you have any idea of how to get in touch with someone who could have an effect on child soldiers’ lives, please let me know.

    - Some could travel if they did not feel their lives were in jeopardize. Whom am I thinking to ?
    Well, India is not a destination one ought to recommend to young women, for in 2011, 24,206 rapes cases were reported – the number of unreported ones being, of course, much higher.
    LGBT do not feel any safer in Russia where homophobic violences are still perpetuated.
    Plus, some regions are suffering of high political instability – in Africa, for e.g.- which tends to discourage people from going there. And the lack of melting pots in these places bring about intolerance which causes even more political stability, interethnic conflicts, and so on.

    - As for immigration, don’t you think it is a bit too selective nowadays ? I mean, hispanic people seem to be amidst the ones whose legal integration in the States is the hardest...

    It is a need for our specie to get ever more open-minded, and I cannot think of any better way to be less prejudiced than travelling.

    How to deal with inequalities which travel opportunities creates and is made of ?
    How to allow people from different background and origins to have the same chances to travel ?
    Could a law turning travels in a duty towards the nation be enacted ?
    Would you be in favor of a positive discrimination concerning travel opportunities ?
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