This post is a part of our International Voices column, written by international UT students & staff, for UT students & staff
Let’s make a difference.
One of the main contributions we bring to the university as international students, is perspective. Many of us come from countries where horrible
things have happened, or happen every day. As a consequence, we are aware that retreat is never the right response, and that it is everyone’s duty to lead society into a better track. So, given that we live in Texas, why not make everything possible to make this place even greater than it already is?
Here are some ideas on how to contribute.
- Make a donation: donations do not only have to be monetary. We can provide invaluable resources such as our talent, knowledge, or time in order to promote our causes. A few ideas include the Safe Place children daycare center, the Southern Poverty Law Center a nonprofit that fights discrimination, RAICES which is a refugee and immigrant center, Texas Casa which advocates for abused and neglected children, and SPCA of Texas for animal welfare. If you have any other ideas or organizations doing great work, make sure to share them.
- A random act of kindness: have you randomly helped a person in need on help? Go to a restaurant, buy a lunch, and give it to a homeless person. Help someone in the bus or grocery with their bags. Talk and listen to someone you know is going through rough times, offer your help, or just be there for them. Visit someone at a hospital, an elder community, or tell someone how much you love or appreciate them. Respect everyone — the world is better when we are kinder to each other.
- Be excellent: maybe the best way to contribute to society is by working our hearts out. Be excellent in classes, study a lot, help you classmates, offer your help to the professor, and be the best one at what you do. Commit yourself to that project, venture or research that you know will change everything – never give up.
- Organize: do you have a cause you care about? Organize a group on it. Recruit people, share your message and story. Push policy in your direction. It can be at any level: in your own school, neighborhood, the university, the local, state or national level. Is there a reason to be moderate in the scope of our ideals?
- Do something for the environment: do you recycle at home? At your school? Conserve water? Have you planted a tree recently? There are so many easy actions we can do for the environment, from buying local environmental-friendly goods to riding a bicycle. There are so many opportunities and groups in Austin that you won’t have trouble finding quick and simple actions you can make for the environment.
As international students, we are especially privileged to be here. While we call this place home, it is our duty not only to our own countries but to the U.S. to do our best to make the world a better place. Let’s make a difference and show everyone the huge intrinsic value in a more diverse and integrated society.
Have any other ideas that have worked for you? Did I miss anything obvious? Make sure to share your thoughts. I received so much amazing feedback after the previous post that I will soon have to do a post just for including your great recommendations! Keep them coming.
Reach out! I am always available at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/alf10087