American students studying abroad are not the most well liked people when traveling around. This is because people think we don’t care to learn about the cultures we are around and traveling to. Whether or not this is true it leaves us Americans in a bad place when searching for new knowledge in new unknown areas. I think that technology as it gets more advanced, is making traveling around easier, which ultimately means having to learn and figure out the culture less and less. In the long run this is not a good thing, but technology does in the moment make traveling much easier. Whether it is for looking up directions or having to get in contact with someone from back home, technology has come a long way and made out lives easier. This is also a huge reason why study abroad students might not ever learn to have a “well-traveled mind”.
Another reason that study abroad students might not get the full experience could be because of language. For example, Americans in general mostly know one language, English, with the exception of some who know more. While talking to many different foreign students here in Ireland, they know English, plus the country they are from and maybe even one more language. I am not saying this is right or wrong, but Americans tend to just think about themselves and figure that everyone else will know English and have the “it shouldn’t matter” type of attitude.
Unfortunately, it is very easy to fall into the typical study abroad American category and you really have to work to get out of it. The people we relate with most are American and it is very easy to want some comfort while being away from home. I think that a couple times while here I have even fallen into that category, unfortunately. I think that the best way to not fall into this category is to join clubs and societies where it is mostly people of the culture you are living in. That way you are constantly learning about a new culture and you can find that it works out for them as well. The Irish students love to hear about America and where we are from as well. Instead of sticking with Americans and using technology every second, it would be more beneficial to get out and talk with locals, even if it is to find directions or something simple like that. Of course it is the harder choice and might not be easy at first, but it the end you will have gained so much more from the experience.