Leeds has taught me a new way of seeing the world.
My dream is to make the world a better place through working in the United Nations. In order to achieve this dream, I am studying about international issues. I think I need some experiences in an international environment, so I joined the Intercultural Ambassador Program in Leeds. I also belong to the Street Dance Society, and both of the communities have diversity. The members’ nationality and religions seem to cover almost all parts of the world.
In order to know about current world issues, I read newspapers. I find too many social issues to solve in the world, and I sometimes get pessimistic, thinking it is impossible to make the world a good place. Crimes have never stopped, which could not be helped, however, especially today’s world movement seems to show the limit of globalization. I sometimes remember I once believed the world would become one someday, and I regret that I was too naïve. I try to think positively by thinking that there are always problems so I have a chance to solve them, and it is the value of my life. I try to be optimistic about this world, which can never be perfectly peaceful forever.
On the other hand, I also see good parts of the world in Leeds.
Street Dance Society joined the LUU Dance Competition and we won the first prize. We did a lot of rehearsals for it, so we were really excited. We all shouted with joy as we hugged each other. In the Intercultural Ambassador program, there are some projects, and my project group is working to create comics to raise public awareness of cultural understanding. Sometimes there are problems such as budget, but we discuss and try to solve them. We all work hard for one goal, regardless of our nationality or religion. National interests have nothing to do with our bonds.
There are exactly many problems in the world on a political level. However, ‘world peace’ is actually realized in many places in different ways. When a President talks with the head of another nation on the phone, it can be the center of attention as it is said to be “a historical event”, but many people all over the world are interacting with each other whether directly, on the phone or through the Internet in this globalized world. I have hugged people from different countries so many times that I cannot know the number of nationalities.
If “world peace” means a world in which there are no problems, it is absolutely impossible because human beings cannot be perfect. However, I believe ‘peace’ on a small scale is already being achieved, and many people are living happy lives. I should not be hurt too much by knowing about the social issues, but I should just try positively to solve them.
My life in Leeds has taught me this new way of seeing the world.
by Sumiko Saito – Tokyo University of Foreign Studies – Japan