What’s It Like To Be An International Citizen?
We’ve heard this term numerous times before. With globalization, there has been an increase in the number of global citizens, or international citizens. It is generally not too hard to become one as long as you are able to travel given the COVID pandemic. An international citizen is often seen as someone who is aware of the world and understands their role in it. But an international citizen is in many ways another phrase or word for global nomads, digital nomads or expatriates. I guess someone who is not bound by their citizenship. In recent years, the world has been breaking physical and communication barriers, and there has been a massive demand for global engagement. Plus, with many of them grabbing the opportunity to create those experiences, global citizens want to belong to a world community rather than a small and local community. In this article, we will explore what’s it like to be an international citizen.
Definition of an International Citizen
Being an international citizen means respecting and valuing diversity. They also have knowledge and work against social injustices. Global citizens make it a point to participate in communities locally and globally and taking responsibility for their actions and beliefs. Furthermore, to become an international citizen, you will have to possess (or adapt to) a few qualities. Creativity, dedication, flexibility, and being proactive are characters you will find in global citizens.
A global citizen also actively takes part in up and coming international communities and help build its values and practices. To build an emerging international community, global citizens will need to develop skills that are also highly regarded in a work environment and life in general. They have to be a critical thinker, problem-solver, decision-maker, communicate eloquently, and always be open to collaborating. It can also mean someone who is wanting to live internationally – working, volunteering, retiring abroad.
What happens when you become a global citizen?
1. You become more aware
Many global citizens open themselves to the vast pool of possibilities and opportunities. It is usually through expat assignments or moving to one country to another, exposing themselves to culture and customs. The more time they spend abroad, the more they realize their actions and choices affect people locally, nationally, and even internationally. They also learn to weigh in others’ traditions and values and be able to respect themselves and others wherever they decide to live. As an international citizen, you may be someone who is:
- Making friends abroad
- Moving abroad
- Being educated abroad
- Not staying in one in one expat destination for long
- Volunteering abroad
2. You participate in building a community
Now that you’re a global citizen who understands global issues and how the world works, you participate in building a community at various levels. When you actively partake in solving local issues wherever you go, you start thinking about finding global solutions. You are more likely to advocate for serious issues like human rights, gender equality, sustainable economic growth, environmental protection, etc. Most youths start by traveling to destitute countries to help make the community a more sustainable place to live.
3. You become a problem-solver
Some start young, while others learn along the way. Global citizens can solve problems, make decisions, think critically, and communicate ideas effectively. As they work with people from various backgrounds, they can work well in teams at their workplace. This helps them in their personal lives too. Furthermore, they are not afraid of failure as problems require solutions that have gone through various iterations.
4. You build a lifestyle that supports sustainable global development.
Global citizens understand how everyday actions and behaviors create a lifestyle that can impact on the quality of life on our planet. You start thinking about mundane things like transportation, home appliances, clothing, and the source of our food. You evaluate if you have more than one car at home, the usage of public transport, how we heat or cool our house, the types of clothes we wear, and the type of food we eat. Everything we do affects our quality of life. You start becoming environmentally responsible in the ways you live.
The Complexity of Being an International Citizen
There are many positive aspects of being a global citizen; however, recent world events have made it difficult for them. From the Brexit to Trump’s presidency, there have been restrictions on migration and international mobility. For example, British citizens are unlikely to move freely in the EU after Brexit, and vice versa. Other causes are beyond anyone’s control, like COVID-19. Governments around the world have shut down their borders to contain the spread. This leaves many global citizens stuck in countries, unable to move.
In a world where the current situation is rather bleak, it’s difficult to predict a lot of things. As such, health and safety is of utmost priority. If you are a global citizen or thinking of becoming one, secure yourself and your family members with comprehensive international healthcare coverage. It gives you the security and peace of mind when living abroad and making a global impact.