International Club: The Importance of Cultural Visibility

Andrew Butler from

Samantha Bredel, Editor in Chief

Students need to realize the significance and impact of staying knowledgeable about their peers’ differences because it will forever influence the way they view the world.

The United States in its entirety is home to people who have immigrated from all over the world. A fact so simple yet so important to the development of the country. Escondido may only be a small city, but even in such a miniscule area there is an abundance of different ethnicities. Strife surrounding the topics of immigration and the push of various movements for different ethnic groups have been prominent in the past two years. With hate shattering the news, students need a safe environment to discuss unrest and learn to embrace their culture and the cultures of others. 

This is what makes the International Club at San Pasqual High School so important. The club is run by President Valeria Antelo, a senior and second-year International Club President. Antelo decided that this club was worth continuing.

“I thought that when I first joined [the club], it was an important concept. I wanted to keep that legacy of diversity and learning from each other,” says Antelo.

San Pasqual High School offers United States History, World History and European History, all which put a heavy emphasis on the past. But rarely do students get the chance to delve deep into the current cultural issues of today. Students need a place where they can expand their knowledge and ask questions about different cultures.

“[We] learn about various countries… [and] about global issues [in order] to be more accepting of our classmates,” Antelo adds. “We have a vast diversity here in the United States, so we want to be able to share our cultural heritage openly.”

Some argue that the only way to truly understand a culture is to visit that culture. Unfortunately, not many high schools offer cultural immersion programs. It is not until the college level is reached that study abroad programs become available. 

“Cross-cultural learning helps [people] become better employees, negotiators, leaders, and international citizens,” writes Marie-Therese Claes from BizEd.

The simple purpose of cultural visibility is to achieve acceptance and welcome differences; trying to see from other perspectives. Being an open-minded individual is an astonishing attribute to possess, and any person is capable of changing if they are aware that they carry bias or prejudice. Until students have the opportunity to study abroad, the International Club is a way for students to be vocal about cultural misunderstandings and begin the eradication of numerous myths outside of the western world. The International Club starts students on a well-rounded path to new and diverse relationships all over the globe.

“It’s important to be transparent about cultural differences [because] that’s how you make more connections between each other. You’re more accepting of each other’s differences and [eventually] learn to be more inclusive,” says Antelo.