A Leadership Program for Duke Students with A Global Mindset

Intercultural Journal #1

As a Chinese Canadian American, I am made up of multiple identities. Having spent my early childhood in Canada, I was a part of a growing and diverse community made up of people with different backgrounds and experiences. When I moved to Oregon at the age of 10, I was quickly struck with many changes. Moving to a predominately white neighborhood, I felt pressured to mask my cultural differences. I found myself rarely bringing Chinese food to school after my peers expressed a dislike of the smell of my food. On days I did bring Chinese food, I quickly ate my food, so the smell didn’t linger in the classroom. If my 6th-grade self had taken the IDI, I think I would have fallen within the minimization stage. But since then, I have grown to appreciate the beauty of my Chinese heritage and culture. I spent 4 months living in China after I graduated high school and I experienced my first Dragon Boat festival there. I immersed myself in China’s deep and rich culture and made many friends from around the world. After my time in China, I made the most out of my first-year college experience in Canada. I became friends with people around the world like Dubai, Mauritius, Peru, India, China, and Myanmar. The multi-cultural community I had built felt like home as my friends and I spent many late nights sharing our unique stories.

I am very excited to make the most out of the Global Fellows program! To me, success revolves around growth. And to grow as an individual, I need to be vulnerable and open to new ideas, perspectives, and ways of doing things so that I can challenge myself and step outside of my comfort zone. With the IDI, I hope to grow from acceptance to adaption. However, I don’t think the IDI can encompass all forms of growth I aspire to achieve. I aim to become more and more critically conscious of who I am and my relation to others. I hope to find more time to reflect and question the easy answers.

Finally, last week I attended my first English Conversation Club (ECC) and Spanish Conversation Club (SCC) meeting. Coming into the SCC, I was slightly anxious and nervous because it has been 3 years since I had studied Spanish, and my previous experience learning Spanish had been confined to my high school classroom. During the SCC, I struggled to remember vocabulary words and how to conjugate various verbs. I was surrounded by seemingly fluent Spanish speakers. However, I felt comfort and solace within this struggle and challenge. I was surrounded by extremely supportive people who were eager to help. We were all there to simply learn and grow, to improve our Spanish skills. I am extremely excited to continue to have the opportunity to practice my Spanish skills in such a welcoming environment!


Intercultural Journal #1


Protected: Intercultural Journal #2

1 Comment

  1. Ling Jin

    Hi Jenny, thank you so much for sharing your personal experiences with your identity and cultural heritage! I really liked what you said about how IDI cannot encompass all forms of growth you aspire to achieve. Any forms of assessment are merely a tool, a reference, for us, but real life is much more complicated and nuanced than what can be shown as data and graphics. This is also why we try to include different ways for learning and reflection in this program so that you can assess your learning and growth from multiple perspectives.

    Also, I’m so glad that you are enjoying SCC!

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