- Posted April 12, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks on the Importance of "Studying Abroad"
I can remember reviewing my email and reading a message that I had the opportunity to ask First Lady Michelle Obama a question regarding “Studying Abroard”! The first lady took time in Beijing to answer viewer-submitted questions about studying abroad in an exclusive CNN iReport Interview. More than 350 questions were submitted to CNN iReport from students, parents and avid travelers.
The question I asked the First Lady was in regards to “Bullying”. How can we ensure that our children are not being bullied, discriminated against, or humiliated while studying overseas, especially with other countries not sharing the same laws, protections, and freedoms as we do here in the states? What policies or protections, do we have in place to ensure that our children are getting a quality education and free from hatred. CNN Producers noted that: MzMonaye asks First Lady Michelle Obama, "How can we ensure our children are not being discriminated against, humiliated or bullied while studying overseas?" - CNN iReport producer stated that it was Verybecoming and my question was sent to First Lady Michelle Obama for answering.
Check out Michelle Obama’s thoughts, feelings and conversation regarding, "Studying Abroad"!!!
“I'm blessed to have so many phenomenal cultural experiences, everything from traveling to so many parts of Africa to meeting with the Pope at the Vatican to being here at Peking University. Everywhere I go, I'm always struck by the reality that we have so much more in common throughout the world, regardless of where we're born, our race, our religious beliefs. We're all striving for the best for our communities and for our families. This is why study abroad is so important. The more young people get the opportunity to travel the world, live in other cultures and learn new languages, the more they will begin to understand our shared ideals and the shared opportunities to keep moving this world forward. I think so many people in your generation already get it in ways that people in my generation didn't get it. One thing I shared during my speech here in Peking (University) was that when I was in college, I never took advantage of the opportunities to study abroad. Some of it was because I was afraid. Some of it was because I didn't know what opportunities existed. Some of it was because I though the best thing I could do was finish my degree, get out there in the world and make money as fast as I could. But now, more and more young people are coming to college with a broader sensibility. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that people have access to the Internet. You guys are seeing the world through eyes that I never had access to when I was your age.
I would just encourage you to continue to be a voice for the importance of travel and stepping outside of your comfort zones to the extent that you're mentoring other young people where you're from, going to schools, encouraging young people to learn new languages and not be afraid to try new things, even if it's as simple as going to another community and trying a different kind of food.
We live in the United States of America, where there's almost every culture, every language you can imagine right here on our soil. We can start by experiencing the diversity in our own communities. The benefits of study abroad are almost endless. First of all, it's going to make you much more marketable here in the United States, because more and more companies are realizing that they need people with experiences around the world, who can speak different languages, who can transition easily into other cultures and people who bring to their jobs a sensibility and a sensitivity for other people.
Making sure that all of our kids in the United States have access to opportunities to study abroad, regardless of their race or socioeconomic background, is going to be critical for us. One of the things that the President has done by promoting100,000 Strong is work in partnership with institutions in the United States and abroad, and with U.S. companies, to increase the opportunities for more young people to study abroad, regardless of where they're from. One of the things that he and I talk about is the shared connection that we gain when we have educational exchange opportunities between countries that are enhanced by ensuring that the folks who represent the United States, represent all of the United States.
Kids like me, who grew up in a working-class background, grew up in a tiny apartment and went to public schools, there's a perspective that I uniquely have to share with the rest of the world. And the same is true for a kid growing up in a rural China or a kid who is a studying in Kenya. They need to have opportunities to travel the world because they are going to be our future leaders, and their voices are one that we have to hear as we continue to develop this world and continue to tackle the challenges that we will inevitably face.
Diversity is key, and we will continue to do all that we can here in this administration to continue to lift up opportunities and make them accessible for all of our young people, “ First Lady Michelle Obama said!!! "
Even though, I was not blessed to study abroad, my sister was, and the stories she shared with me was phenomenal. That opportunity was life changing for her, and can be for many students here in the United States especially with this country becoming so diverse within nationalities, foods, media, economics, and entrepreneurship. Hearing First Lady Obama answers and conversation regarding studying abroad, along with remembering what my sister shared years ago, has given me a new found interest in maybe pursuing for my children.
CNN thank you for the opportunity, First Lady Obama thank you for answering, and Parents, invest in oversees learning, it will not only help your children but it could possibly better help the world we live in!!!!