In March 2012, I was one of the 50 students from the Honors College at Miami Dade College chosen to go to the Salzburg Global Seminar's International Student Program.
The program took place over a week at Schloss Leopoldskron, a palace formerly owned by the archbishop of Salzburg and known for setting some of the scenes filmed for The Sound of Music movie. The educational, historical and cultural lessons that I learned on this trip have shaped my world view.
The International Student Program (now known as the Global Citizenship Program), began over 60 years ago as a way to educate American undergraduate students on the interconnectedness of the world and what It means to be a global citizen.
According to the seminar, a global citizen is someone who actively participates in helping the global community; respecting others points of view and history. Our group discussed some of subjects that affect the globe including poverty, women's rights and environmental sustainability. We used the United Nations' Millennium Goals as a foundation to create ideas for local involvement that can be resounded internationally.
Besides the global and political lessons I learned about while at the seminar, Austria lent itself to a historical and cultural education. Being surrounded by the music of Mozart and renaissance architecture opened me to a new interest in history. While learning about Salzburg's historical resonance with the Roman Catholic Church and visiting the Dachau concentration camp gave me a first-hand experience of the historical importance of global citizenship.
I am very blessed to have had the opportunity to learn so much in such a small amount of days. Going to Austria gave me the confidence to come back to my local community and bring the concepts I learned to my education in journalism.