Travel Log 2: “Rites of Separation: Looking Behind and Looking Ahead: Expecting and Accepting the Unexpected” Brenda Kittredge, Tolland CT.

Preparing for the final separation can be a daunting task. As I wrote my separation letter for my family, I mulled over exactly what I wanted to say and how I wanted to present it. I finally decided to sit down with my parents this past Sunday and share with them my ideas about separation and the changes I would undergo in my time abroad. Sitting at our kitchen table and having a serious conversation about why I wanted to embark on this journey and how it would impact my life, helped facilitate a wonderful conversation between my parents and me about what both of us need to make this journey successful.

As the final departure approaches it is essential to think about what I truly desire out of this study abroad experience. If there is one thing I want this study abroad experience to be for me, I want it to be a challenge. This is not to say that I want everything I encounter to be extremely difficult, but I want to grow and learn from this experience. That means I want my trip to challenge me intellectually, emotionally, and socially

I want them to push me to become a better student and learn in new ways. I hope that this experience teaches me to think outside of my normal course of thought and push my mind to be more creative. The academic travel experience that we go through is a great opportunity to take your learning outside of the classroom and apply it to the real world. The challenge intellectually will stretch outside the classroom as well. Simply traveling to various countries will push me to enhance my directional and communication skills, as well as promote a better understanding of my surroundings.

I desire to use this trip as an experience to grow emotionally. As Slimbach says, “Rather, we allow ourselves to be affected by our host culture in ways that yield new insight, fresh perspective, and richer cultural comparisons- the ‘brick and mortar’ for constructing a better life, whether on an individual, national or global level” (p. 164). It is so important to prepare emotionally to enter into a new cultural and want to grow in your time there. This is the perfect opportunity to reflect on my life and evaluate where I want to go and who I want to be.

Finally, I want this trip to challenge me socially. It is easy at home to hang out with a small group of individuals who have common interests and share a similar way of thinking. Since Franklin is such a small school, you get to know many people very well. There are people from over 35 countries just in the entering class. I want to meet people from various other countries and learn about their customs. It is a wonderful opportunity to embrace the diversity that all of the students bring to the table. Since Franklin’s campus is mixed with the city of Lugano it is also a great way to get to know the local culture. I want to get involved in the community and meet local students, as well as local residents. Being in the city will allow me to go and explore the language and customs of my surrounding area.

Twpid-tumblr_n5xpgytcdv1s50vogo1_1280he combination of my desire for challenge and sense of adventure are two traits I feel will help me in my new environment. I want to take this opportunity to try anything new and take full advantage of my host culture. This is an opportunity unlike any other and I hope my time here will help me to grow and experience new things.


One thought on “Travel Log 2: “Rites of Separation: Looking Behind and Looking Ahead: Expecting and Accepting the Unexpected” Brenda Kittredge, Tolland CT.

  1. I’m probably a week behind you as I leave in about a week, but I can totally understand the struggle with what to write in my separation letter. I think that deciding to sit down with your parents and have a serious talking about this trip was a really good idea. Personally I sometimes feel that just leaving a letter leaves some of the feeling out and it almost provides an emotional cushion. To be honest I think I may do the same thing the weekend before I leave, that way my mom is put at a bit more ease.
    Those experiences and changes that you want to get out of this study abroad experience are very similar to what I want to get out of it too. I think a healthy challenge in areas that you want to improve upon is something that is good. More often than not I think people, especially students, going abroad get a little nervous on being on their own for so long that the cling to the familiar, but I think that branching out and challenging yourself to find new people is awesome! Not to mention that one of your classes will have people from over 35 countries! That’s something that I honestly think not a lot of people will get to experience, such diversity in one class. I’m sure you’ll get to learn so many new things.
    I wish you the best of luck on your departure and I look forward to reading about all the wonderful challenges and new knowledge you gain on your journey.


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