As we discussed our return home during the workshops in May, I contemplated how my personal return home would go. I didn’t spend much time pondering this topic simply because it was just so far away. However, as that distant moment quickly approaches, it is now a very realistic idea to consider how my reincorporation to home will go. After such an amazing time abroad how will I adjust back to my traditional life?
Often times when you go away for a period of time and return, you here people critically use the term ‘change.’ They treat the word as though it is something horrible, that your time away had an effect on you as a person and now you see and act differently. I feel that this is strongly correlated to a negative view of change. Change is not comfortable, it is not familiar, and most of the time it is not easy. This idea ties in with the lack of community-based rituals in our society. There may be a single party when you return home to celebrate your arrival, but then it is expected that things will simply return to the way they were before you left. Little consideration is given to acknowledge the change you experienced.
Blumenkrantz and Goldstein discuss the idea of a paradigm shift. This time away allows to you to reflect on your life and consider not only your personal views but those of the world. Attempting the return and explain this change of views, your new found passions, skills, and ideas acts as a challenging barrier in your integration back home.
The digital story allows some of these barriers to be broken down. The idea of combining the visual elements with your words helps to make it more meaningful. Many a time people aren’t too interested in what has occurred in your time abroad, expect for maybe wanting to here a few crazy stories, but the digital story provides a tangible resource for people to help understand your experience abroad. Not only is the digital story helpful for my family and friends, but it is helpful for me. I get to sit down and reflect on my journey as a whole. I have to attempt to sum up four months worth of incredible experience into two or three minutes.
Both of the digital stories provided a great reflection on the journeys that the individuals experienced. Personally, I was drawn to Michael’s digital story. Since he also studied abroad in Lugano, I got to hear the journey of a person in the same location as me. I recognized all of the scenery in the video and some of the people as well. It was interesting to see how many things we shared in common in our experience and also the different experiences I had in my time here. I felt he did a wonderful job of summing up how it was the people that made the experience for him.
Despite being eager to complete my digital story, I wonder how I will do it. I feel that I have learned so many things in my time abroad and I don’t know how I will be able to express them all in 4 minutes. My goal is for this story to serve as a well rounded reflection on my journey here. I hope that my digital story provides those around me with a deeper understanding of my time abroad