I have been very busy these past three weeks. I am still getting accustomed to living with random people. I recently attended an anime convention. I have watched intense Game of Thrones episodes. I have been working so much. And I have been conditionally accepted into the TaLK program.
Teach and Learn in Korea is a national program that is sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Education. The program employs native English speakers from around the world to teach English in the rural parts of South Korea.
My background is in Health Science, not education. But I found myself attracted to the mission of the program. Health Science, despite the name, is more social science than biological science. I learned external resources, like money, access to a safe environment, access to healthy food, and access to education affects health. People with access those resources tend to be healthier. By helping to give children in the rural parts in South Korea access to education, I am living out what I learned in Health Science.
But don’t get me wrong. This program also gives me the opportunity to travel.
So many people in today’s society are stuck in the same place from childhood to adulthood. They grow up without ever seeing the world and other cultures. They grow up without ever seeing another perspective.
People brought up in America only know the American way. The public education system and the surrounding environment socialize us to develop a sense of Americentrism. The exceptions are those who pursue education in subjects like world history, international business, foreign languages, etc. There are 195 other countries that harbor 195 different perspectives.
You might find that you like one of those 195 other perspectives more than the American one. You might even find out more things about yourself that you didn’t know.
Self-exploration. Travel allows you to learn about yourself. You will experience a different society with different norms and rules. The fashion and standards of beauty may be different. Your environment was not the same as it was. The only constant is you. You have only yourself to rely on. You will learn about your faults and strengths. You will learn to make your own life decisions. You will develop self-efficacy for living and a capacity for change.
I do understand that not all young people have the opportunity to travel and see the world. The number of obstacles is limitless. Your parents or family or friends might not want you to go. You may have some other financial responsibilities. There may be societal obligations to uphold. I don’t doubt that there are/will be obstacles. I do suggest you take a chance if an opportunity presents itself. The opportunity to travel and learn about other cultures and yourself is a once in a lifetime chance.