I have always been "an international student"no matter where I lived- Hong Kong, Japan, and the U.S.
In Hong Kong, my international school taught me to appreciate uniqueness. In a classroom of around 20 students from various countries and backgrounds, differences were not only welcomed but also expected. I still remember performing Chinese Dragon dances in a Chinese dress, Japanese Taiko in a Happi, and Brazilian Samba in a DIY Samba wing. But in a way, we were also positively ignorant. As ten-year olds, our lives were too eclectic to notice the smaller differences.
In Japan, I learned to love the collectivist culture. While some may frown upon such social value, I find it to be beautiful. From a very young age, children are taught to cooperate and seek understanding of each other. On the other hand, I realized that agreements and understanding came fairly easily, perhaps because of the monoculturalism of Japanese society. In fact, only 2% of the population is made up of foreign people.
This number is staggering low compared to that in the United States. According to the Migration Policy, foreign-born people made up about 13.7% of the nation's population in the 2018. Of course, the number drastically increases when second generation and undocumented immigrants are added to this equation.
There is one thing I must address before going on to explaining the point of this statistic. I have been blessed to not only have the opportunity to study in three countries, but to also experience minimal racism and inconvenience. I realize that there are so much that I do not understand about what other minorities are facing in the world today and that I can not talk for others. However, I still hope that some people can nod in agreement or find the words they have been searching for to express their emotions through my writing.
A few years ago, a friend of mine asked "Why do immigrants choose to stay in the U.S if they aren't treated justly?"
Although this may sound offensive and ignorant, I believe she was merely trying to grasp what America has to offer for those who face injustice and adversary. While the answer will differ greatly between immigrants, here is my answer:diversity.
Last winter, I faced one of the greatest challenges of my life: choosing whether to stay in the U.S or move to Japan to pursue my college education. Factors such as family, cheaper education, and familiarity pointed out that moving back to Japan was more beneficial; however, the diverse environment American colleges had to offer was something I could not let go of.
Of course, many colleges in America do not represent each minority group evenly and I believe that the society should never settle. However, I know from experience that there are many countries that