Throughout her university experience abroad, Jasmine glorified traveling, living abroad, and not being confined to one city or country. It’s something that most, if not all, students love and boast about. After spending a month in Detroit, a city 45 minutes away from her home, Jasmine realized how she was missing a “community” while living abroad. This experience with Humanity in Action made her wonder how international residents form a community and what their social responsibility is in their past and present homes.
Through her project, “Rootless Podcast”, Jasmine addressed the problem of a lack of community, cohesion, and the disillusion that many international residents face when abroad. The gritty questions that interested her concerned political responsibility to one’s home country and to the country in which one chose to live, cultural sensitivity, language barriers, and the sense of belonging.
For the podcast Jasmine interviewed six individuals from around the world who chose to study at an American University in Paris. Through interviews and storytelling, she pressed her guests with questions about their experience growing up in foreign countries, as expatriates, military personnel, or immigrants. She asked about their sense of a lack of community as they blended boundaries and borders, and how they arrived at their understanding of the community around them. Jasmine’s goal was to share stories with other people in a similar situations as well with those who do not quite understand what it means to have to face these challenges and adjust to foreign surroundings. In Jasmine’s words, “I believe that when you step out of your comfort zone, when you become a foreigner in someone else’s community, you gain a deeper understanding of your place in the world and your own community, as well as the people’s around you.”