Sitting in your average classroom listening to another lecture on International Business in Japan the projector screen lit up with image after image of breathtaking sceneries, landscapes, castles and temples that you could hardly imagine: UNESCO World Heritage.
It was then that I began my research on UNESCO World Heritage and knew that not only did I want to visit all of the sites but I also had a new career goal. The purpose of UNESCO’s involvement is to assist developed and developing countries in the maintenance, protection and sustainability of these irreplaceable natural and cultural keys of our history. Imagine a world without the temple where the 3 monkeys (See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil) originated (Tokugawa Jinja, Nikko, Japan),
or perhaps no more snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. I have stood in front of temples made of gold (Kinkakuji),
an ancient city built by the Romans (Bath, UK), a 5000 year-old artifact (Summer Palace,Beijing, China)
and explored the vast network of trails through Banff and Jasper National Park to name a few of the 150+ World Heritage Sites I have thus far encountered. Each site has its own legacy and I make a point of learning as much about each one I visit as is possible. I probably never would have discovered UNESCO World Heritage or my future career goal if it hadn’t been for my Study Abroad experience. I would encourage everyone, whether it be during travels or a semester abroad, to look into the World Heritage Sites in and around the country you are visiting as they provide a deeper and unique insight and perspective into that country’s history and allow you to experience, first-hand, the awe and greatness of each segment of that country’s past.
To learn more about UNESCO World Heritage sites and how you can travel to them, please visit: http://whc.unesco.org/en/about/
Written by: Heather Osborne – TRU Study Abroad Ambassador 2013-2014 and a Business and English Student at Thompson Rivers University. She has studied abroad for 3 semesters at: Bunkyo Gakuin University (Japan), Kyoto Sangyo University (Japan), and Tianjin University of Technology (China) and travelled extensively around Asia, Australia and Europe.