Global Leadership Activities – Pre-Program

Activity 2: What Do You See?

How It Works

This activity shows us the gap between our perceptions and reality, and demonstrates the ways that our point of view is shaped in part by our background. It should spark your curiosity and help you begin to develop cultural self-awareness as you reflect on how your perspective may be different from others.

How You Do It

  • Look at each image, one at a time, and write down what you see in each one. Try looking from multiple angles and perspectives. Can you see anything else?
  • Questions to think about:
    • How do you think different life experiences and cultural identities might shape a person’s understanding of the image?
    • How did you feel when you realized there was another way to see the image?
    • How do you think this will be relevant while you are abroad?

Take Away Points

  • We all add layers of interpretation to the things that we see. Example: Some may see the dark word “GOOD” first, while others may see the light word “EVIL” first. Some may clearly see a monkey in a tree, while others notice a growling lioness.
  • Our perceptions and interpretations are shaped by our unique life experiences and cultural identity.
  • This will apply to your experience abroad as you get a glimpse into life in another cultural context. You should try to keep others’ perspectives and cultural identities in mind and not judge the way they see things.