A Study of International Programs at the Municipal Level: The Baltimore Sister Cities Program in Perspective
Ray, Meghan K.
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My study-abroad experience in Madrid, Spain during the Fall 1997 and Winter 1998 quarters only reinforced my desire to pursue a Senior Individualized Project focused on International Relations. What I wanted most was to have the opportunity to ·apply the knowledge from the classroom at Kalamazoo with what I had learned on study abroad. At first I planned to apply for an internship with an IGO or NGO or the US Department of State. After investigating the opportunities available, I realized that I would not get the hands on experience that I wished to have in this type of internship situation. During my time abroad, I discovered that the best way to learn about another country and the issues that affect it is to learn about its people. Governments are a very small part of the history and culture of a country. Language, customs and traditions indicate what types of people comprise a nation. Moreover, these customs and traditions need to be observed and understood in order to gain a greater insight and appreciation for other cultures. People, ordinary citizens, who work, play, live and prosper in a nation are the best illustration of what a nation is fundamentally about.
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