Hear Their Stories

Whenever I dreamed of traveling overseas, I never envisioned it being to a place that would challenge me and my perception of the world. Going through FOCUS gave me the skills and training I needed to safely travel as part of a team literally anywhere in the world, no matter how different the culture or difficult the situation. FOCUS gave me the experience of living in a foreign, South Asian, Muslim culture, not just as a tourist, but as an active participant, fully immersed in the local culture. My FOCUS trips were invaluable, providing a realistic world vision, and teaching me through experience how to enjoy and appreciate a culture so different from my own. – Clif, FOCUS alum, South Asia 2011

Effective human relationships require understanding. How can we as individuals expect to understand the international community if we have not adequately experienced the world outside our own nation-state? My trips overseas have taught me how different cultures view themselves and their neighbors, as well as how their perspectives determine the states’ respective international and domestic policies. I have learned how to deeply engage other cultures in attentive observation, humble learning and relentless exploration and as a result have developed a greater knowledge of and appreciation for the peoples around me. Erin, FOCUS alum, Southeast Asia 2012