I believe that traveling abroad is a requirement to become a well rounded person.
Having grown up in the United States, and having only been outside the country twice (both times in Canada), I think that experiencing a culture that is more different than my own is important to both my own personal growth and the development of people around me.
While working for the International Student Association at the University of Oregon, my co-workers always took the time to share parts of their culture with me. My interactions with them both helped shape me into the person I am today and helped spark a desire to live and work abroad so that I can better understand the experiences that they have shared with me.
The International Student Association also taught me the importance of sharing my experiences with others. It taught me what it meant to be an ambassador for my country, and it taught me the importance of sharing my goodwill with international students.
As an English teacher in Japan, I think I would have an opportunity to engage in a meaningful cultural exchange. While studying Japanese, I felt like I was better able to understand the culture and its people in addition to the language.
I would like to inspire these types of experiences with other people. I think if I can inspire the same types of feelings with my students, I will have made a trip that made myself and others better individuals.