Students with international flags. (Tanner Waite)

The Difference Between Us

Today it is very common for anyone anywhere to look around and see people from other countries. Everywhere they go they bring their own culture, traditions, habits and beliefs. BYU-Idaho has students from over 60 different countries on campus, offering a very diverse experience for the students who attend here.

Sadie Haslam, a sophomore studying social work, said that she loves the great diversity BYU-I has, and the challenges it brings to people communicating. She said that people from different countries express themselves differently.

She said the best way to interact with those of other cultures, is to be open with their to different cultures and to take the time to understand them.

Sean Park, a freshman studying computer science, appreciates how respectful people here on campus are with his culture. He said that in Korea, where he is from, there are not many international students, and the few they have are sometimes viewed as weird.

When meeting with people from other countries we may already have an opinion about their culture, and sometimes it may not be correct.

“I try not to be bias when I meet new people. I try to see what that person is and not what the culture is”, Park said.

Hyriak Carmona, a freshman studying civil engineering, said that it is very important for us to respect and be open to other people’s cultures, languages and traditions as we want them to respect ours.

“We should not treat others different just because of their culture,” Carmona said.

Michael Boyack, a freshman studying business management, shared that this shock of culture is more evident when something needs to get done, but since the people involved were raised in a different ways or different cultures, they may have disagreements about how it should be done.

Boyack said he agrees with Haslam and that we should be taking the time to understand each other. For him as we stop assuming that other people are raised in the same circumstances than us it becomes easier to understand why they act like that.

“It all comes down to empathy,” Boyack said. “The more you understand about someone, the more you can’t help then love the person.”

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