Gaining the World – by Jingsong “John” Dong

 Studying abroad is a big challenge for every international student. Still, millions of international students study in foreign countries for various reasons. Every student has his or her reasons to learn abroad. My reason for leaving China and coming to the U.S. is to shape my mind so that it can listen to different voices and think deeply. I hope to open the gate of the world by learning here in the United States.

        This country contains the most cultures in the world. Here, I see the students around me becoming more professional and enthusiastic about their lives. During the time that we study and live in other countries there is a change. Self-conscious students become more confident. Arrogant students become humble. The students that have different problems are trying to make up for those shortcomings.
         Everyone improves when leaving what they know because we learn a reality; we always have something to learn. We always need to listen to different perspectives. We always need to help each other and get help from others. Life becomes a big challenge here in America. Mastering English isn’t required to live well in our home country, but here we need to learn it to survive. While abroad, some people might have prejudices to other groups of people, things that no one would think are inappropriate in our home countries. This gives us a hard lesson in respect that very few people ever receive.  Facts show that we grow, we are more aware of those around us as we engage different cultures. Just like the LDP motto, “Challenge yourself, Change the world” we push ourselves beyond our comfort zones and try to learn about those who are different from us. This is the reason why we are here.

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