Travel Log 8: “Global Responsibility” Part 2 by Bryan Riemer. Cork, Ireland

American study abroad students do not tend to have well-traveled mind because of many different reasons. One reason is because they are so used to their lives in America that they have a difficult time adjusting to the new culture. Another reason could be that students do not grow up knowing where they will be studying abroad so it would be difficult to prepare yourself for a new culture within the short amount of time between choosing where you go and actually being there, especially if there is a language barrier. A third reason is that the students might not see study abroad as a chance to learn about new cultures but instead as a chance to travel around Europe and do as many mass tourist things as possible in their short time abroad. Personally I am guilty of not being a well-minded traveler during my visit to Munich. While there I went to the largest tourist attraction in Germany and only met a handful of people from other countries. On my way to Munich I stopped in Paris and felt horrible because I did not know French and had a hard time speaking to the locals and navigation my way around.

After realizing what it feels like to be a mass tourist in another country I am going to become a well-minded traveler for the remainder of my time abroad. In order to exude global responsibility as an American study abroad student I am going to learn about the culture of each country I travel to before I get there. If there is a language barrier I will do my best to learn common phrases and will hopefully be able to hold a conversation. As a whole, the American study abroad students in Ireland are easily spotted by the local not just by our looks but by the way we present ourselves. I feel like we are always traveling in groups everywhere which does not seem to be the norm here.I noticed this a couple days ago and decided to go into town one day on my own and do some shopping in the English Market. I found myself to fit in more when alone because it was just me and I was talking to all of the workers about their products which then turned into a more in depth conversation about my time here. I finally felt like a local and it felt amazing.

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One thought on “Travel Log 8: “Global Responsibility” Part 2 by Bryan Riemer. Cork, Ireland

  1. Bryan, I think it is a good idea to learn about the culture of each new country before you go there. That is a good way to start conversations with local and to make it easier to fit in and to understand that country as well. I also like the idea of learning common phrases of a country before going there, this is what I have been doing and I find that many locals really appreciate it when you try to speak there language even if you are not very good at it.

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