Diversity is key to creativity and innovation. We’re not only talking about diversity within the classroom, but also in your personal life. As a university student, an essential part of your college experience is interacting with and meeting new people, all from different backgrounds. Though this might sound cliché, but diversity greatly impacts one’s perspective on many aspects of life. While the fear of change, the unknown, and the different are all part of being human, such fears are no cause for concern when it comes to the diversity-focused systems offered by universities. From student activities to Human Services classes, diversity is not something to be feared!
Students who come from different backgrounds are exposed to different educational systems and teaching techniques which leads to a diverse set of skills. Being in close and direct contact with people from different backgrounds will be your gateway to attaining such skills without even having to visit their home countries. Aside from exposure to new foods and languages, you can learn work and study techniques from all around the globe while being on campus. This newly-acquired set of skills will help you expand your horizons and better perform both throughout your university life, and during your future careers.
Cultural competence is your ability to work and deal with people from different backgrounds. It’s also your ability to compare and contrast their culture with yours, which triggers important self-evaluation. Studying abroad is one of the best ways for you to become more culturally competent, all while learning about different cultural traditions and important history from fellow colleagues (or even professors). You also develop more self-awareness and get a chance to sharpen your interpersonal skills. Cultural competence is your key to innovation through the exchange of ideas. One of the main entrepreneurial goals at the moment, and especially in a world driven by and towards globalization, is building culturally competent organizations. Thus, it would be a wise choice to aim for a university that will prepare you to take part in a job market that is not only satisfied with attaining diversity, but that actively strives for it.
In a world where most conversations about diversity are all about race, gender, etc., deep-level diversity focuses on what truly matters. The most interesting and influential aspects of diversity are psychological, such as a person’s unique personality, beliefs, and attitude. True diversity enhances your decision-making skills by introducing you to different perspectives, and showing you different methods of evaluation. While those may seem like short-term benefits that only aid you with university projects, the long-term impacts are undeniable.
A recent study shows an increase in the level of creativity of those who develop friendships with people from different countries, compared to others who don’t. Another study has also shown that more successful marketers and HR managers have studied outside their country’s boarders and in culturally diverse communities. And that’s because the cultural diversity those marketers experienced simply helped them better understand people’s needs and effectively communicate with them. Moreover, HR managers developed skills that helped them better assign and evaluate their employees, which led to more successful projects and stronger bonds within the workplace.
Interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds enhances your interpersonal skills, teaches you new ones, and helps you become more creative, understanding, and competent. Universities around the world now offer programs that give you the chance to experience deeper levels of diversity in the safest manner possible. This exposure has both short-term benefit that aid your performance in university, and long-term benefits that help you throughout your career. With job markets now aiming for diversity, make the right choice by attending a university where everyone is considered a unique, interesting individual.