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The Global Citizenship Award (GCA) is granted to students, both incoming and outbound, who engage with various international and leadership opportunities both on and off campus to become a more competent global citizen. To achieve this award, one must attend various compulsory seminars, plus earn a certain amount of points by the end of their time at USYD. Points are achieved through engaging with globally-focused opportunities, such as interning, volunteering, and attending workshops by different departments on campus. As an international student at USYD who is here for just the semester, I need to earn 100 points to get the Global Citizenship Award, which I am determined to do before heading back home!

I have already attended four seminars created by the GCA with themes surrounding cross-cultural competence and leadership, and am signed up for more in the coming weeks. Just a few evenings ago, I attended the Critical Reflection seminar, which emphasized the importance of reflecting upon past experiences to understand where our biases and viewpoints derive from. I enjoyed this session because it helped me to think deeply about my life and the privileges I hold. I also enjoyed reflecting upon the past study abroad experiences I’ve had to gain a better understanding of what made them meaningful, what I learned, and how I have grown and matured through each experience.

Another one of my favorite seminars was the Careers Masterclass. Here, we learned about networking and online presence, and how the skills gained from a study abroad experience can prepare you for the workplace. Since I am interning while studying abroad, I participated by explaining some of the things I’ve learned while working in an international setting. This session also emphasized the importance of communication skills in the digital era. For me, one of the highlights of that seminar was learning about the ways in which we can use LinkedIn. The presenter showed us how to change our profile settings, explaining each of their functions along the way, and gave us tips regarding what to post and how to make more connections. I have a LinkedIn account, but haven’t updated it in years, so this session served as motivation to update my profile and use the site—I now know how to do so in a meaningful way!

The GCA is right up my alley. I am always looking for more opportunities to expand my knowledge regarding cross-cultural competency and gaining a global perspective. It is so cool to learn about these topics in an international setting, and connect with students who share a similar interest in becoming a global ambassador.