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When I Came To Diversity Essay

Decent Essays
I always thought that I was an expert when it came to diversity. My mom is from the tropical islands of the Philippines while my dad is from the landlocked Czech Republic. I have yet to meet a part Filipina, part Czech, part American — I must qualify as some kind of international hybrid and therefore embody the very definition of diversity. Right?

Not exactly.

To say I experienced culture shock when, smack in the middle of my junior year, my dad’s job moved us to Paris, is an understatement. Suddenly, Memphis’ Beale Street was replaced by the Champs-Elysées, and the Memphis pyramid, home of the Bass Pro Shop megastore, turned into the Arc de Triomphe.

Yet even in this unfamiliar environment, I assumed I would feel at home at my international school because I, of course, knew everything there was to know about diversity. The American School of Paris (my new school) has students
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I watched as sushi was traded for samosas, and found myself seeking out the familiarity of like-minded Americans who, like me, were eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Yet with only a handful of students who came from a typical American public school, there were few PB&Js in sight. At this moment, I realized my ignorance.
Although I had anticipated a departure from the fairly homogenous crowd at my former school, I expected to find a new crowd of individuals just like me– a diverse background but an Americanized spirit. This was not the case.

I knew, however, I could not stand by with my old mindset and let this sea of diversity overwhelm me. My determination to embrace true diversity has enabled me to build a number of meaningful relationships that have expanded my worldview. My friends at the American School of Paris (ASP) and I constantly contrast our experiences and upbringings. From how the school system works in Germany to what parties are like in Sri Lanka, we have discussed it
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