Leaving your family behind and moving to a new place is like giving up on something precious. Many students leave their homes and step into a completely new world to pursue their dreams, which can be both exciting and terrifying! Adapting to a new environment can be a social and cultural shock, but it can also serve as an introduction to a new culture, one that is different from their own.
“When I first arrived in Delhi, I was astounded to see so many different cultures. I was fascinated by each culture and was always curious about their history.” -D. Gangte, MA/MSc student from Manipur
Interacting with someone who’s not from the same grassroots as yours may seem difficult, but not impossible. Many people have this misconception that they will be discriminated against by going to a new place, but it is not so. Let us know the opinion of another student about this.
“Before coming to Delhi for my graduation, I expected to face racism because of my facial features, but the reality was completely different. I didn’t know how to approach others, so I stayed alone. But some kind-hearted people, with whom I don’t share a culture, approached me first and treated me as if I were their own. They never made me feel as if I were away from home.” -Ngamkho Haokip, MA Sociology, DU
Moving to a new place and cultural diversity may seem intimidating, but it has it’s pros. Cultural diversity around us or just in our classrooms has its advantages and teaches us lots of things. Here are some advantages to cultural diversity in the classroom:
1. Challenging stereotypes
Usually, students are raised in communities where they can share similar socio-economic, racial, or other cultural characteristics. Universities put up challenges for students with biased stereotypes or norms that may have developed during their growing age (teen age) so as to learn, accept, and work together with other communities, and also, when given the opportunity to critically explore these experiences, people become more accepting, tolerant, and thoughtful members of society.
2. Improve communication and thought-processing skills
Students on a diverse campus get daily opportunities to interact with other students or other people from various backgrounds, which allows them to improve their communication skills more effectively and differently.
3. Campus cultural diversity enriches the educational experience
A university with students who are from different cultural backgrounds allows students to learn from those students whose backgrounds and upbringings are different from theirs, which leads to increased innovation and collaboration.
4. Students can see themselves in their leaders.
Other than having culturally diverse peers, students get a chance to see, observe, and experience numerous leadership styles from their teachers, staff, and community members. Students may take this as a chance to see someone from a similar background who they can emulate, but it is actually much more than just an imitation. This has a particular impact on students who are from historically underrepresented groups.
5. Diversity better prepares students for the real world
Education in a multicultural environment helps students become productive citizens in a society that is becoming more complicated and pluralistic; it encourages respect for one another and teamwork, and it helps create communities where people are valued for their contributions and character. Students of all races benefit from increased intellectual engagement, self-motivation, civic involvement, cultural sensitivity, and academic abilities like critical thinking, problem-solving, and writing when there is diversity in the classroom, particularly on college campuses. Students gain academically, intellectually, and civically by interacting with different peers outside of the classroom.