Students reflected on their experiences of living in different countries and shared how their views were broadened and they learned to adjust to them. World traveler Cannon Curtis shared his passion for discovering new things and advised students to make international friends at BYU–Hawaii.
Mongolian student D.Onon shared how shocked she was by natural, legal and cultural differences in various countries. D.Onon, a sophomore from Mongolia majoring in human resources, said she has been to the Philippines, Hong Kong, India and the United States.
D.Onon said the countries she visited had different weather, and it was difficult for her to adjust in the beginning. “Mongolia is a cold and very dry country while all the other countries I visited were hot and humid and never experienced winter and snow.”
She also shared in countries she has visited; fear and the threat of natural disasters were much higher than in her home country. “Mongolia is a landlocked country, and we do not experience natural disasters that much. But living on an island and facing my first hurricane season was scary. I never felt that a natural disaster was a real threat to my life,” she said.
D.Onon said while she visiting other countries, she compared and analyzed what her country needs to develop. The first thing she noticed was medical and living expenses, she said. “I was pregnant when I traveled to India and wanted to know the gender of my baby. I paid $500 for the ultrasound check, but the doctor didn’t tell me the gender because the law forbids it.”
She said she found out that India banned prenatal sex determination in 1994 to prevent sex-selective abortion. “I begged the doctor to tell me because I am Mongolian, but the doctor said I was in India and had to follow the law.” From this experience she learned to respect and follow the laws and customs of the country wherever she goes, she said.
D.Onon shared Laie is the most peaceful place she has ever lived, and the weather is nice. “In Laie, I never feel like I am living in a foreign land. I just feels like I am at home.” She also said, “Americans are very polite, always treat each other nicely and work hard. I thought maybe it is one of the reasons why their country is well developed.”
D.Onon said she also travelled around Mongolia and wants to travel to more countries. One of her dream destinations is seeing the seven wonders of the world. “I already saw the Taj Mahal and am saving up to see the other six.”
Since the global pandemic COVID-19 started, she now feels the whole world is just one family, D.Onon said. “Life is so short, and we have so many things to do. No matter where we live, if we love and serve each other as the Lord commanded, we can be happy and live in peace.”
D.Onon said studying at Brigham Young University-Hawaii and living abroad helped her to see opportunities and business ideas she can do when she goes back to Mongolia. “I realized that the Mongolian market has so many spaces for new businesses. I want to build a human resource consulting company when I go back.”