Globe trotters

While Elijah Lowenstein ’10 was hanging out at the Sherman Oaks Galleria, he was shocked when a sassy kid shoved one of his friends on the floor.

The people in Los Angeles, Lowenstein says, are different from those in places where he has lived.

“People are just generally friendlier in England and Argentina than they are here,” Lowenstein said.

Lowenstein is one of a few students who have lived internationally before coming to Los Angeles. Gina Chang ’09 and Kiran Arora ’08 both lived across several borders. A multicultural childhood, they all say, has broadened their perspectives of the world.

Chang was born in Chicago and spent a few years moving between Germany and Belgium.
She has spent the most time, 9 years, in Seoul, Korea, attending an international school where she met a lot of “worldly people,” she said.

“I got a broader perspective of the world at the school,” Chang said. “There were a lot of people from a lot of different places, like a lot of ambassadors’ kids.”

Like Chang, Arora was most affected by the people he met. Rather than the countries themselves, it was meeting different people that helped broaden his perspective, Arora said.
He developed a kind of conglomerate personality which he said has given him a better ability to empathize and understand foreign things.

“It has taught me to see the other side of things. I can easily play the devil’s advocate,” Arora said. “I see this as a positive thing because it helps make things not too personal because I’ve gained this ability to be at once detached and close to everything.”

Arora was born in London and spent the first years of his life there. The city, he says, is his home. He still retains some of his British accent, coloring some of his words; “mom” is “mum.”
From London, he  moved to Toronto, Philadelphia and Maui. He spent a few of his earlier years in New Delhi and Goa, India.

“It doesn’t seem as fragmented as I would have thought,” Arora said. “Looking back on it now, it seems sort of seamless.”

Arora moved around because his father works in the hotel industry, and haddifferent employment opportunities in these countries.

International job opportunities for Chang’s father were also the reason for her globe trotting. But unlike Arora, she does not know exactly where to call her ‘home.’

“Recently I’ve felt that Los Angeles is more my home,” Chang said. “But really, I can’t really call any one place my home.”

Lowenstein’s parents also moved around for employment opportunities; they are both science researchers who took up jobs in different countries.

Lowenstein was born in Scotland, grew up in Wales, moved to London, visits Argentina frequently and now lives in Los Angeles with his parents. He has a dual citizenship in England and Germany and had a British accent up until a few years ago, but his home is clearly defined for him.

“Home is definitely where my parents are,” Lowenstein said. “I don’t really care for the house.”
Even though his home is Los Angeles, he identifies himself as Argentinean.

The majority of his extended family lives there and the country has helped to provide him with a broader perspective of the world. 

 “My friends and I complain that we don’t have our own cars,” Lowenstein said. “But then I go to Argentina, and I see that the standard of living there is so much lower, but they seem to be so much happier with what they have.”