On Nov. 16, the Program Director of LCCC’s International Initiatives, Dr. Shaun Marsh invited students to join him at his presentation “Being Globally Engaged: The Critical Components of Global Mindedness and Citizenship Education”.
As a university student, Marsh had the opportunity to work in international dormitories and meet a lot of students from all over the world. He was able to learn about different cultures from his friends, which led to him gaining an interest in discovering other countries on his own.
Subsequently, Marsh related his studies in his doctoral and master’s program to understanding International Education as a subject.
He explains that this desire to make such a presentation comes from “being around other people, being exposed to other cultures and trying to understand your own place in a global world as opposed to just your local community or your own self or just your friends groups.”
According to him, Global citizenship is more about awareness and the development of a perspective right, it’s an experience with other cultures. But it doesn’t have to be in their countries.
Ideally, he explains that it would be great to be able to go to other countries to see how cultures are, but in reality, he says you can also learn them at home. “It really just comes down to who do you surround yourself with,” he said. “If you only hang out with people of the same culture, if you eat the food you know all the time, if you don’t try other things, you’re not going to develop that global citizen mindset right.”
What’s important to him is not where you learn, but rather what. According to Marsh, you have to tell yourself “I’m here, I have a place in the world but there’s a whole world out there, and things that I do here in my own community can affect people anywhere around the world. We’re a very interconnected World whether we like it or not or whether we think we are or not. It’s building that awareness of what I do, that is impacted by things outside and also what I do impacts other people outside”.
Marsh further explained that the best way to integrate a new community is to have an open mind. When he went to South Korea for the first time, he just expected that many unexpected things could happen because he didn’t know how people there lived and didn’t even know their language. He wanted to try to get as much knowledge as he could.
At the same time, he explains that he is surprised to know that a lot of people will travel without learning anything about the culture of the foreign country before going there or that they expect life to be the same as in their country of origin.
He specifies that “it’s important to kind of understand the history of the country but also how it relates with your own country right”.
It is because of all of this that Marsh has set up the visiting East Asia project in the second floor of the Bass Library at Lorain County Community College.
The exhibit which will run until the end of the semester features artifacts from across Japan, China and South Korea for students to enjoy. “These cultures aren’t much different from our own, it’s approaching people first as humans that is the one way that we can really come together and integrate respect for one another,” says Marsh.
Lauren Hoffman, Editor-In-Chief, contributed to this story.