Moore Aims to be ‘Citizen of World’

by Alex Keys
Contributing Writer

As an American born in Japan, senior sociology major Samantha Moore considers herself a citizen of the world.

Last week, Moore traveled to Chicago to interview for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. The highly competitive program, termed “JET” for short, awards successful candidates with a position as an English teacher in Japan.

Senior Samantha Moore was inspired by her time abroad to apply for the JET program.

If accepted, Moore will learn and become accustomed to the Japanese language, as well as the nation’s style of education. Moore first became intrigued by the difference between American and Japanese teaching styles when she read Bruce Feiler’s “Learning to Bow,” which discusses his struggle as an American teacher adapting to a Japanese school.

“In America, shyness is seen as a character flaw. It’s important to be loud, make yourself heard, make a name for yourself,” Moore said. “That’s not really true in Japan because they have a collective society and individualism is not the goal.”

While “Learning to Bow” had a great influence on Moore’s decision to apply for JET, much of her inspiration came far away from Japan, in South America.

Moore has studied abroad on several occasions, and each experience influenced her post-graduation plans greatly. As a sophomore, Moore’s May term course visited Buenos Aires to study the effects of political killings in Argentina during the 1970s. The experience not only sparked Moore’s interest in the importance of human rights and activism, but it also made her open-minded to criticism of governments.

During the following term, Moore lived with a family in Lima, Peru. During her time there, Moore worked for an after-school program in El Salvador and quickly learned that all subjects, even math, were different to teach in Spanish than English. She also noticed and enjoyed a lifestyle that she describes as laid-back.

“It really made me see the importance of learning about different cultures,” said Moore. “People are just people and there are so many different ways of life that are so amazing, and it made me want to learn more about it and be a citizen of the world. Not just as a tourist, but as someone who has truly lived in the world.”

After spending about a year back in the United States, Moore was given an opportunity to work for a month at Liberty Children’s Home, an orphanage in Belize. While she enjoyed her weekends exploring caves, forests and Mayan ruins, Moore spent eight-hour workdays with the orphans on an organic farm. Moore’s worldview was affected by this experience, as she grew more connected to the native land and people of Belize.

Moore felt disturbed that stronger countries were taking advantage of other people’s resources.

Her time in Belize inspired her to take an interest in environmentalism, healthy eating and doing her part to protect the environment. Moore said she feels that protecting the environment for current and future generations is one of many ways that we, as humans, can help take care of each other.

Moore’s experience abroad has developed her passion for the world as a whole.

“It’s my goal to be an ambassador to the world. I’m trying to show people that we are all part of a global economy and that borders are arbitrary,” Moore said.

Moore hopes to travel to every continent and learn the customs and language of as many cultures as possible. She said she eventually aims to “teach people how we can get along for the benefit of everyone.”

If accepted into the JET Program, Moore believes the structured program will be a stepping-stone in the right direction to accomplish her goal of becoming an “ambassador to the world.” Believing that “everything you do has an impact on the rest of the world,” Moore intends to promote an understanding and cooperative worldview across the globe.

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