Why CFE is important
Our freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior staff perspectives on the importance of CFE
Every spring, students participate in Cultural Field Experience (CFE). Students are sent to local, national and international sites to experience and learn from different communities. It is often underappreciated. Here are four perspectives from our freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior staff members.
As freshmen, we are excited to do something unique and different, to go outside our comfort zones, to visit places we’ve never been, and to do activities with friends who have signed up for the same project. The local options are fine, but many of us are also looking forward to going on international trips in the future. (A few freshmen in music do get to go to Spain, though!)
CFE is important because it teaches us about new people and introduces us to new interests. I went to the Minnesota Veterans Home last year with my advisory and it made me realize how much of an impact we, as young people, can make a difference in their lives. Everyday when we would walk into the room, I would see all of their faces liven up because they were so happy we were there with them. CFE has made me see the joy that I can bring to people in such an easy way. (Sophomore)
I participated in CFE for the first time last year, and I found it to be an experience that really couldn’t be replicated. I went to Slovakia, and having the opportunity to travel somewhere I otherwise wouldn’t have was both interesting and rewarding. Learning about unfamiliar cultures and encountering new people who speak different languages was made all the more fun with a few friends along as well. I doubt any of my friends or I would have traveled to Slovakia without CFE offering the opportunity to do so. (Junior)
In my years of CFE I volunteered at two elementary schools: Academia Cezar Chavez and Achieve Language Academy. The experience was valuable because I was able to bring joy to students who were less privileged than me. I think that although students sometimes dread the week of CFE, they never come out of the week regretting the experience. CFE is important for students to get outside their comfort zone and encounter a different culture. (Senior)
CFE can be seen solely as a requirement to graduate. When in reality, it’s a time to broaden your perspective, which shouldn’t be overlooked.