Tuesday October 31, 2017

Flyers Embracing Global Experiences: Davis Schwartz

Davis Schwartz, a first year law student, values the practical experience he’s getting to put his political science and United States Studies degree into action. Joining us from Kitchener, Ontario, he reflects on learning valuable lessons from cross-cultural exchange.

Can you share an intercultural experience or moment that inspired you?

I wouldn’t say there was a specific moment, but certainly the grind of being an international student motivates and inspires me; it’s hard, but it’s so rewarding in the end.  You get plopped into a different country, and you really have to rediscover yourself. You get entirely new friends, new experiences, and you’re learning to navigate each other’s opinion and experiences, and that’s inspiring. It’s a rewarding challenge.  

As a student, how do you promote international education and exchange or expanded intercultural experiences whether through campus, community, or around the world?

I have daily conversations, making sure to share honestly about my experiences. I enjoy telling stories from back home about different cultural experiences. Some think Canada is very much like the United States and I tend to disagree with that notion. My brain thinks in the metric system, and I add “u” into words- like colour, and there’s an overall different sense of identity there. I’ve also joined the international law society here, and we’re planning to host different events, highlight issues related to international law.

Where is a place you have always wanted to explore, and why?

I really want to explore the southern United States.  I really like ribs and chicken wings, and before I go back to Canada, I really hope to see more of the states, and get to try some of these food staples that I see on television. I’d like to hit up Texas and the Carolinas to try some of their BBQ, and I want to see what it’s all about.

What is one aspect or memory of home that you still embrace today?

Back home, when you pass someone on the street or in the hallway, you smile or say good morning; you greet someone warmly, and genuinely. I try to do this as much as possible on campus, but I make a bigger effort on my Sunday morning walks to the grocery store because that’s when I get to step off of campus, and engage with the Dayton community. Simple smiles and good mornings go a long way.

Who is someone that has inspired you or you believe to be a role model for global leadership? Why?

This is hard to distill into one person, but I think for me, it comes down to people who foster community. This inspire me because when you build community, you care more about the larger good. You have a stronger sense of belonging when you foster community, and that can only better our society. The world needs more community.

If you had to pick a life motto or quote, what would it be? Why?

There’s a quote by John F. Kennedy, “change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” For me, this speaks to encouraging people to not be short sighted; and it’s very easy to be short sighted. For example, you can say “I know this new public transit system is going to help our community, but I don’t want my taxes to go up.” But when you think about it, in long term, it’s going to help more people be able to participate more in the economy, and thus help us all grow. It’s important not to miss the big picture.

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