When I say citizens, I mean American citizens, including myself especially. A big part of the reason we have these blogs is to read up on articles and create our own opinions on what’t going on across the world. But I just keep asking myself, “Why has it taken 19 years of my life to finally be pushed into learning about other countries in the world.
Some of you may disagree. I’ll admit there was a time when I researched a lot of South American countries for my Rotary Exchange program, but that is extracurricular and has nothing to do with our schooling systems. In elementary school, we have “social studies”, which is a very broad course where we learn mainly about ancient history of other parts of the world. I am not counting this as learning about other countries because while learning about King Tut may be interesting, it is NOT educational and does NOT help us see the other side of the world.
A lot of countries despise Americans because of our ignorance to them. Yes, it is harder for an American to travel to another country than it is a European, but really there is just no push for it. Only until college are we actually pushed to study abroad, but why can’t we at least learn about these places in high school or middle school?
Our government does its best to to make sure we are happy here in America and provide services many other countries do not. Our schooling systems do a lousy job teaching us another language (and by lousy, I mean it is almost worthless). If our country wanted us to learn another language, they would have us start in elementary school when we are more susceptible to learning it. It scares me that other countries in the world teach their kids English when they are eight years old, and we learn how to say “Hello” in Spanish when we are sixteen.
Like other countries, the United States wants their official language to spread across the world. But most countries realize the impossibility of theirs doing so, so they adapt and teach their youth English or Spanish. If we are to truly take part in this ever globalizing world, we must adapt to and embrace other countries when we are much younger so business and relations can become much better in the future.