Expanding My Worldview

Sophie Coats, COS'19

As both a psychology major and someone with an interest in writing, I am always looking for ways to connect with people and hear their stories. I could not think of a better way of doing this than traveling to a different country through a dialogue of civilizations. I’ve always wanted to expand my worldview and my dialogue to Ghana will allow me to do so while also fulfilling some of the requirements of my major.

My entire life so far has been a process of expanding my worldview. In high school life felt like a bubble. The only thing I was really aware of was my own life and the lives of my friends around me. The further I got from my hometown the more I understood that the world is so much larger, filled with a variety of different people, cultures, religions, and ways of life. There is so much I do not know and so much I want to learn. By taking the opportunity to study in Ghana, I am starting the process of understanding the world I live in just a little bit more.
I hesitate to outline any expectations I have for my dialogue because this is litterally going to be foreign territory for me, and that both excites and terrifies me. I am afraid of a variety of things: that I’ll forget to take my malaria pills, that I’ll get all my money stolen, that I’ll do something culturally insensitive like eat with my left hand (a no-no in Ghana) just out of sheer ignorance. That being said, I am extremely excited to immerse myself in a different culture. I am excited for the music, dance, and food, but I am most looking forward to connecting with the students there. It is one thing to hear about education in a classroom setting or read books about the history of education, but it is another to hear the first hand experiences of someone attending school in Ghana. I know what education means to me: opening the doors to a future career and bettering myself as a person. Education in the U.S both tears down barriers as well as builds barriers do to the ever expanding costs. I am interested to learn about education's role in a developing country and the attitudes surrounding it. Every experience is an opportunity to grow, and I hope my experiences in Ghana will allow me to grow and that sharing my experiences will allow others to grow with me.