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"Semester at Sea Diversity Abroad Scholarship Summer 2011 -- Lisa Marie Migliorisi

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Published on Mar 2, 2011

How does a deep understanding of diversity make you a more effective global citizen?

Right through that arch there is just one moon, and one golden sun and a smile means friendship to everyone.

My name is Lisa Marie Migliorisi. I am a first year student at the College of Staten Island in Staten Island New York. Coming from a middle class family of six, we never had the money or time to experience life in other countries. Most vacations took place in Orlando, Florida. Aince my mom worked for the Disney Store we were able to afford the discounted tickets for all six of us. We went to Disney World about every three years, sometimes sooner if dad got a big bonus.

The ride "It's a Small World" was my idea of diversity. In the ride we are shown all different people of the world living in harmony. They accept each others differences and find a common bond to help them coexist in peace. Although it is just a ride full of singing dolls it instills the idea that there are many different types of people in the world and that we use our differences to diversify our lives. The creators of Disney's "It's a Small World" said it best - "Theres so much that we share, that its time were aware. It's a small world after all."

Throughout my life I have become friends many people of different descents. I've heard about their cultures and beliefs taking me one step closer to understanding their their way of life. Although I have heard about Sandra's immigration from El Salvidor and Matt's jewish beliefs I cannot consider myself well educated in these areas. Hearing about the small town in Korea that Stephen came from does not make me any more familiar with how life actually was there.

Education is experience. To truly understand how life is somewhere else, you have to experience it for yourself. By traveling to different countries and learning their language and culture you have a better understanding of their beliefs and ways of life. In order to become a global citizen you not only have to know how things are, but understand why they became that way.

As a student studying biology with a concentration in pre-medicine, to study the Medical Anthropology of the Mediterranean and Human Biology and Society would truly give me a new perspective on health issues. The richer the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for medical discoveries. With new discoveries we can help each other for the greater good. A deep understanding of diversity could allow me to medically help people in the future which would make me an effective global citizen. According to Christine French of the Diversity Leadership Alliance, "Diversity is life itself. Our success is based on how well we work with each other, as no one is successful alone."

By participating in Semester at Sea I can experience first hand all the diversity that exists in our world today. I can broaden my knowledge of foreign culture and beliefs leading to my transformation into a global citizen. Thank you for this amazing opportunity and I hope you will consider me for the Diversity Abroad scholarship.

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