My name is Tendai Mukau and I participated
in the summer 2013 CLS program in Ufa, Russian Federation. So the way the
CLS program is structured it really forces you to live as a local student in
your host country. I think being an LGBT person studying abroad, in my case in
the Russian Federation added another layer of complexity but also further
layer of enrichment to my experience I would say it’s very important to
understand your surroundings the politics and the culture of where you
are but at the same time I think it provides many opportunities for
connection and growth. For instance, despite the Western media and Americans’
perception of Russia, I found people who are very open and accepting and I was
able to actually build a lot of friendships through my identity while in
Russia. Studying abroad is one of the most fundamentally important aspects of
an education one can receive, especially in this country because it provides a
means to experience the entire world in a way that you simply cannot ascertain
from a textbook or from a classroom setting. [Upbeat background music]