My Solyia experience for the last three weeks was really unique and different from any of my academic or personal  experiences. I had not experienced meeting people online who I absolutely know nothing about or will never meet them in future, and talk with them freely about my culture, my identity and some of my beliefs about certain things and topics. It was quite interesting and amazing to hear insights from other cultures that match my culture and daily habits. I felt like no matter where the speaker is from, at the end we will have something in common. I think it can be because of the internet and a result of our globalized world. I remember talking with the group and telling them about a cartoon that they had watched in their childhood, which is quite amazing like people from other distant areas who I may not know that exist can share the same stories and experiences as me. On the other hand, for sure there were differences but I think they were trivial. The differences were depending on each country’s situation like as being Egyptian most of my friends are worried about the economy, the foreign debt or the exchange rate, however, in the USA the concern as I saw in the program was about the elections and politics, and in other countries the issue were different. From this experience, I think that every country’s issues and politics have an impact on its people but most of the people in different countries are now more connected because of globalization and the internet effect.  


In addition, the dialogues in the program were different as we started to talk about our identities and what defines us as individuals. In this discussion, the results were really interesting because everyone was different even people from the same country or background. It showed me that individuals will identify their identities by what matters most to them as persons not as a group, which presents the person’s uniqueness. In this talk, I discovered what defines me as a person and showed me what was special about my self. I think from the program I discovered that I am a flexible and cautious communicator who listens, comments and speaks carefully to not cause any discomfort to anyone by trying to choose very polite words and trying to explain my opinion precisely and concisely. I believe that the program taught me to be more of an active listener, allowing me to understand people clearly and speak accurately. The experience was really amazing for me, teaching more about cultures and communicating effectively to people with different backgrounds 


Overall, it was an spectacular experience. However, I think that there might be a room for improvement in engaging the participants more with each others. Our hosts were great but the group members were not very engaged, so I think trying to engage them more will be very beneficial for the whole experience. The cross cultural experience is eye opening for us as students to understand the differences between us and the globe, so by being more engaged with the conversation we can benefit more.