Building Connections: Fostering Community Through Awareness

Multicultural, multinational and multilingual, our world is an exciting blend of ethnicities, races and cultures.

As a BW student, your son/daughter is immersed in a campus setting that is dynamic and diverse.  Through academic initiatives, co-curricular activities and campus programs, your student is gaining insights and experiences that will benefit him/her personally and professionally.

Encountering Differences, Embracing Respect

For many students, college may be the first time they've encountered individuals whose experiences, cultures, values and social norms differ from their own. These situations may challenge their comfort zones. But studies show these experiences can have positive effects socially, cognitively and academically.

Whether it is inside or outside the classroom, on campus or across the world through study abroad trips, students who have encountered diversity through interpersonal interactions, group dynamics and participation in multicultural/intercultural activities and programming are better able to respect differences in others. In addition, they benefit from enhanced skills in critical thinking, articulation, interpersonal communication and mediation.

Through the richness of these opportunities, students gain self-confidence as well as an awareness of and appreciation for diversity and its role in society, in the workplace and in the community.

Defining Diversity at BW

At BW, diversity relates to the importance of acknowledging and respecting persons whose beliefs, practices and norms differ from one's own. It encourages individuals to explore, engage in and embrace the uniqueness of self and others.

Opportunities include:

  • Taking courses that explore diversity and multicultural issues, such as religion, international studies, foreign language, sociology, history, education, business, political science and others.
  • Majoring or minoring in a foreign language or International Studies, or minoring in Asian Studies or Diversity and Gender Studies can boost awareness of other cultures as well as one's resume.
  • Volunteering through the Office of Community Outreach and/or interning with organizations that serve marginalized individuals and/or focus on international efforts, civil rights or other work with populations, policies or programs that are diversity associated.
  • Participating in Study Abroad opportunities, especially those countries whose populations and cultures differ from his/her own.
  • Contacting the offices of Disability Services, Multicultural Student Services or International Student Services if you or your student has questions, is in need of special assistance, and/or would like to learn more about these offices and their services.
  • Joining campus organizations that are comprised of individuals whose race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation or opinions differ from that of your student's or whose focus is on diversity issues or in fostering ambassadorship.
  • Attending BW campus programming that is sponsored by multicultural/diversity organizations.

Employers Favor Cross-Cultural Awareness

Whether it is through coursework, field studies or study abroad, cultural awareness is valued.
Studies show employers believe persons with international study experience have key skills:

  • Cross-cultural communication aptitude
  • Independence, maturity and flexibility
  • Cultural awareness