International experience imperative for an IB learner

Having an international perspective in an IB school is invaluable to the learning experience.
I lived overseas for two formative years that shaped me as a learner. I was in Stuttgart, Germany for fifth and sixth grade living on an American military base. Although I lived on base, my parents sent my sister and I off base for school and made every effort to spend time in and around Europe.

Living overseas gave me language immersion, cultural acceptance and a new outlook on global issues. Despite living in a fairly metropolitan area, it is very easy to avoid cultural diversity.

It is all too easy to fall into a culture of American exceptionalism in news and, particularly, in education but living overseas has forced me to consider internation implication.

Marshall’s IB program’s emphasis on international perspectives for history and literature are excellent ways to expand the horizons of our students.
Textbook learning, however, can only go so far to expand one’s understanding of a culture and the history of a people.

Living overseas, immersed in foreign perspectives, is something everyone should experience at least once in their life.

There is something so humbling to being somewhere surrounded by a completely different language and set of ideals. Living in another country not only “broadened my horizons,” but also taught me more about myself. I was forced to questioned my ideas of right and wrong, of what was considered “normal,” of how to treat people I had seemingly nothing in common with.

I experienced a whole different lifestyle, a life-changing experience I will never be able to replicate. My time overseas has given me a lifelong love of travel and an interest in global, rather than local, issues.

In the coming years, I hope to take every opportunity to move abroad again and I encourage everyone to expand their world view by being a forgiener.