In keeping with the spirit and theme of the International Week celebration, "Your World, Your Story," Outlook invited nine members of the university community -- some from other countries, some from the United States with international experiences -- to interview one another on camera.
Today's video features Aiken, S.C., native Haley Duschinski and Estienne and Rachelle Coetzee, who are originally from Bloemfontein, South Africa. Read a transcript of their conversation:
Haley: Estienne, you are from South Africa. How did you come to Ohio University?
Estienne: My (older) sister had come to the U.S. to play tennis for Wake Forest University and the assistant coach there transferred to OU -- the field hockey coach -- so we got recruited by him to come play here.
Haley: Rachelle, what does being South African mean to you?
Rachelle: I think that before I came here, a lot of people judged South Africans because of our history of racism and all of the political issues that we have had. I think that a lot of people judge us by that. I think that our history makes us stronger as South Africans, and I just appreciate how we've grown up. We are very conservative and I think that makes us appreciate life more, and I appreciate being here as well.
Haley: What are your favorite things about living in Athens?
Estienne: I like how small it is and you are close to your friends. You can just walk 20 minutes at the most and you can be at your friend's house, even off campus, or in the dorms. You are close to everyone here. You know most of the people that are in your college and because I am a field hockey player, there is closeness among the other athletes, too.
Haley: What have you learned about America since coming to Ohio University.
Rachelle: I think that one of the biggest differences between Americans and South Africans is the sports that we participate in. I think that the United States doesn't really have the same sports that we have in South Africa and the culture surrounding them is so different. I think that Americans don't realize that there are other sports that can be just as much fun. I actually like football and basketball as much as the more traditional sports back home.
Rachelle: Haley, what would you like Americans to understand about the Indian culture?
Haley: Indian culture is incredibly complex and complicated. There are so many different ethnicities and religions, different communities of people living within Indian society. So I'd like for Americans to understand that infinite complexity and to appreciate it.
Estienne: What made you decide to go to India for your research?
Haley: I grew up in a small town in South Carolina. I never really had the opportunity to explore much of the world. So after I graduated from college, I wanted to challenge myself by traveling to a place in the world that was radically different from everything that I'd experienced in my life, and India seemed to be that place.
Estienne: Could you explain to me what kind of research you do in India and what you've learned from your experience there?
Haley: My research focuses on political process in India. I particularly work in a part of India called Kashmir. It's been the site of political violence and ethnic conflict for the past 18 years. So my research there focuses on the effects of the violence on the local community. I also work with local-level indigenous human rights workers and political activists to try to better understand how they are contributing to the reconstruction efforts in the region.