8 Ways You Can Be An International Citizen Every Day

This past Tuesday evening, The International Center hosted a gala at The Indiana Roof Ballroom to present its International Citizen of the Year Award! This year’s recipient was Dr. John Lechleiter, who serves as President and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company, and also as chairman of the U.S.-Japan Business Council and United Way Worldwide. Inspired by the International Citizen of the Year Award, we decided to put together a list of international activities that everyone can partake in. You don’t even need to leave home to bring the world to your world!

1. Be Aware Of Diversity, So You Can Embrace It

Every person, every culture, and every nation is different. This is a good thing! Though interpersonal and intercultural difference are often factors in misunderstanding and conflict, difference is what makes our cultures so vibrant. Understanding and accepting diversity is the important first step to becoming an international citizen.

2. Learn A New Language

Learning a new language can open up whole new avenues of thinking, and will give you a whole new group of people to communicate with! Great services for learning a new language online include Babbel and Duolingo. They’re even available in app form – check them out!

3. Read International Newspapers

Keeping up-to-date with international news can give you a new perspective on life in your own country, and can even help inform your travel decisions! Many famous national news platforms also boast international versions, like The New York TimesCNN, and BBC. There are also multitudes of dedicated international news publications, like Al Jazeera and Le Monde.

4. Listen To Music From Around The World

Music can transport you to another world and inspire entirely new ways of thinking! With a little bit of research, you can find incredible artists making music that will take you on a spectacular intercultural journey.  Here are NPR’s Best Global Music Of 2014 and BuzzFeed’s 20 Songs From Around The World That You Might Have Missed In 2013. Enjoy!

5. Watch Foreign Films

Along with foreign music, foreign movies present fantastic opportunities to gain international insight. With today’s streaming video-on-demand services offered by Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and others, you’re never more than a few clicks away from world cinema! Also, be sure to search near you for a theater that plays foreign films. Here in Indianapolis, the Keystone Art Cinema often shows foreign movies!

6. Try International Foods (And Candy!)

There are more international culinary specialties than anyone could hope to try in one lifetime! You can find foods and candy from other countries at international markets, by shopping online, and sometimes even in local grocery stores. There are even international food delivery programs, like Try The World! If you’re not sure where to start, you can take our quiz to find out which international candy you ought to try first!

7. Cheer On International Sporting Events

Whether you love the world’s favorite sports: soccer and cricket, or love a game that’s only played in a few parts of the world, being an international sports fan is a great step towards being an international citizen! Here in Indianapolis, you can visit the Indianapolis Sports Park to watch and play cricket, lacrosse, hurling, rugby, Australian rules football, and Gaelic football! And of course, we can’t forget the Olympics! The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea. We’re excited for both!

8. Volunteer With An International Organization

You can demonstrate your interest in all things international by signing up to volunteer with an international organization! Volunteers are certainly an essential component of The International Center: check out the Volunteer Now section of our website! If you’re not located in Indianapolis, you can research the international organizations closest to you, and choose the one that’s the best fit! Happy volunteering!


By Ephraim Rudolph, Marketing & Communications Intern