By exposing yourself to a diverse environment, you learn how to communicate more effectively and learn more about the world around you including people from other races, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds. It also provides you with an opportunity to do some self-examination and challenge your world-views and beliefs. When you are more aware of yourself and adopt a broader perspective, you are more likely to have a better understanding and acceptance of ideas, philosophies and customs that differ from your own.
Here are some benefits of how diversity positively impacts your college experience:
1. Campus cultural diversity enriches the educational experience. Diverse classroom experiences and social interactions provide you with opportunities to learn directly from the source - people with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
2. Diversity on campus improves communication and thought processing skills. You may need to use critical thinking or problem-solving when working with those different from yourself. This may be due to differences in world-view or philosophies or because of ignorance of cultural customs. It could be a language barrier. It forces you to improve your abilities to communicate clearly and effectively.
3. Campus diversity challenges stereotypes. You may not have much experience outside of your neighborhood or geographical area. You are accustomed to being around those similar to you age-wise, economically or racially/ethnically. Meeting and interacting with new and different people will help you challenge stereotypes you may have and give you the opportunity to become more informed about things that are unfamiliar to you.
“Education within a diverse setting prepares students to become good citizens in an increasingly complex, pluralistic society; it fosters mutual respect and teamwork; and it helps build communities whose members are judged by the quality of their character and their contributions.” (American Council on Education)
Watch this brief video that helps explain the broader concept of diversity.