Students who have lived in different countries shared their experiences of how it changed their perspectives to see the world.
Curtis shared he went through a lot of culture shock while traveling. “Visiting in foreign lands and hearing languages I don’t know are sometimes intimidating. However, it is exciting to learn about new cultures, try new foods, and discover new places.” Curtis highlighted traveling helped him to be open-minded and do not judge others by stereotypes.
He travels to different countries each summer, and his plan was to travel to Mongolia or Africa this summer. However, he said he may not travel this summer due to the global pandemic COVID-19.
Curtis shared one of the biggest reasons why he chose BYUH was the diversity. He made many new friends from different countries, and wants to visit their countries after his graduation.
He advised students to reach out to students who are from outside of their culture and make as many friends as possible. He said studying at BYUH is a great opportunity to discover other cultures and people.
New York is a good place to visit, but not to live, he said. He was impressed with the variety of the foods and things to see. “Lifestyle phase is too fast. I may die of anxiety and depression if I live there [laugh].”
Ly served his mission in Las Vegas, and it was an eye opening experience for him, he said. “While I was serving in mission, I found out Americans do not have much understanding about the world. People used to ask weird questions like, Do you have a toilet in your home country?, Do you have electricity?, and so on.”
While he was serving in his mission, Ly helped a homeless war veteran and learned not to trust in strangers. “A homeless man told me that he was a war veteran, and he needed money to get his license to get his pension. I trusted him and gave $200 and my bike. He promised to give it back, but he never did.”
Ly shared, ever since he was young, he was taught by his mother if he had something he should share it because what is his is actually the Lord’s. “I always believed in the good in others. Then I realized that I was not exposed to evil that much and had a childish mindset.” He said this experience helped him to be more careful in interacting with others.
“I am still friendly with everyone, but not naive anymore. On islands everyone knows each other and treats each other nicely. However, in the bigger cities, people don’t trust each other and are not nice all the time.” He said he loves living in Laie because it is a perfect mix of island stylelife and city stylelife.
Ly said he noticed that people who live in bigger cities either if it is in the U.S. or France or Mexico, people focus on their own lives, and do not know much about outside of their bubble.
Onon Dalaikhuu, a sophomore from Mongolia majoring in human resources, said, she has been to the Philippines, Hong Kong, India, and the U.S.
Dalaikhuu said the countries she visited had very different weather, and it was difficult for her to adjust in the beginning. “Mongolia is a cold and very dry country while all the other countries I visited were hot and humid and never experienced winter and snow.”
She said, she found out that India banned prenatal sex determination in 1994 to prevent sex-selective abortion. “I begged the doctor to tell me because I am Mongolian, but the doctor said I was in India and had to follow the law.” From this experience she learned to respect and follow the laws and customs of the country wherever she goes, she shared.
Dalaikhuu shared Laie is the most peaceful place she has ever lived, and the weather is very nice. “In Laie, I never feel like I am living in foreign land. I just feel like I am at home.”
She also said, “Americans are very polite, treat each other always nicely and work hard. I thought maybe it is one of the reasons why their country is well developed.”
Dalaikhuu shared she also traveled around Mongolia a lot and wants to travel to more countries. First, she wants to see the seven wonders of the world. “I already saw the Taj Mahal and saving up to see the other six.”