The increasing interconnectedness of our planet has created what is often called a “Global Village.” This connection comes as a result of the constant stream of communication between people all over the globe. Whether it’s through television, Internet or phone, we can transmit information over long distances in an instant. News organizations, filmmakers, government, family, friends, even anonymous people on the Internet all add to our collective knowledge of the world.
Experiencing another culture and learning another language is without doubt one of the highlights of travelling. At the same time, the advent of the global village is powerful. This can be seen by the revolutions and ideas that have circulated globally through social media.
The World: A Global Village is the one-day kick off to World Opportunities Week, hosted by the World W.I.S.E Resource Centre. Its purpose is to enhance the notion of the global village by connecting students with global opportunities. The event will be held in University Centre on Nov. 8, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.. There will be food, entertainment and information about various cultures, countries and world events. Beyond an introduction, you can also find out how you can travel to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, Asia and the Americas as part of an academic exchange or just to volunteer. These opportunities range from a few weeks to several months.
When I return from traveling, I often find it’s impossible explain exactly what a country is like. It is always just a summary, leaving out countless experiences and details. Not to mention that personal experiences do not capture everything that a city or country has to offer. Our personal perceptions are biased, and the information we give other people is incomplete, as is all of the information we absorb. Although we are highly connected in our Global Village, everyone’s perception is different and highly influenced by other people and personal experiences. The more information we gain and the more sources we have help us to tap into reality from different perspectives.
What difference does it make to think globally? I think that having a better understanding of another country, including the political system, social relations and customs can do a lot to reduce prejudice and narrow-mindedness.
I would like to sample different aspects of several cultures in my everyday life. We all have chances to do so at the various cultural venues and events in the city. World Opportunities Week at the U of M is one of them. Stop by, get some stamps on your passport, enjoy yourself and learn something new along the way.