In reflecting upon my experiences in Singapore, I have nothing but good things to say. Overall, it was a most valuable experience, and I hope I have other such opportunities in my life.
First of all, I truly enjoyed the chance to travel overseas to a place full of diversity and excitement. I have not traveled overseas before, and this experience was incredibly worthwhile. Being able to say that I have gone where few people in Duluth have traveled is extraordinary! In the past, I have seen the East Coast, the majority of the South, parts of the Midwest, and many provinces in Canada, but never a greater change in landscape, culture, and education as I did in Singapore. It was an utterly remarkable trip!
Secondly, I had the opportunity to meet many new people in Singapore -- even people from different parts of the United States. I have made numerous new acquaintances and good friends all from distinct places in the Asia-Pacific region. Some of my precious new friends come from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, just to name a few. We were able to communicate well with each other; thus, we shared much laughter, ideas, wisdom, and camaraderie during those two weeks. Furthermore, it was a pleasant change to have the majority of students, especially the Asians, be polite and mannerly -- something that is not always existent in our American lifestyle. For example, the young men many times offered me their seats if I did not have one, or if I happened to be in line to get a beverage and was trying to balance a plate of food as well, the person in front of myself would offer me his or her full cup and take my empty one for his or herself! It was quite nice to have the men acting like gentlemen, which everyone should have the courtesy to do, whether they reside in America or in the Asia-Pacific region. The people at this function were again extremely kind, helpful, and conversant, and it made my trip ever so much more gratifying and amusing!
Thirdly, I was exposed to an entirely different culture, as previously mentioned. One astounding feature for myself was to be put in a minority situation. In the United States, the Caucasian race comprises the majority of the population, with African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Native Indians, and Hispanic-Americans each encompassing only a portion of the society. In Singapore, Asian is the dominant race, completely inverting the circumstance in the United States. In fact, being part of a minority completely changed my outlook while I was in Singapore. Before traveling there, I had a fixed idea of what every Asian was like. I did not realize that every person there is just as unique as anyone here in America is! Being in Singapore made me change my perspective on the Asian individual and their lifestyles. I now have a greater understanding of the culture, daily life, and education. In addition, I also had the opportunity to participate in the Homestay Program....