Waking up on a Saturday morning knowing that I was about to spend nine hours in a classroom was not pleasant. As I brushed my teeth, I thought about all of the sleep I could have been getting at that very moment. I went into the workshop expecting to get lectured and leave, nothing more. Fortunately for me, all of my expectations were wrong.
Studying abroad had always been a dream of mine. I never thought I would be nervous until the departure day begun to creep closer and closer. Now, two weeks before I am about to take off, I realize how lucky I am that I signed up for this class.
I have heard horror stories of students going abroad just to return home with in a few short weeks. Whether it was because of homesickness or a lack of belonging, there have been countless students who cut their study abroad experience short. I was worried that I would become one of those students. My friends at Quinnipiac have become my family. They have helped me through the worst year of my life and I am forever grateful to them for that. They made me feel like I finally had somewhere to belong. They made me finally feel important. To think, that I was willingly about to leave that all behind still blows my mind. I began to get nervous about my departure and how I would react to my new home.
The “Rites of Separation” made me feel more comfortable about my journey. It really stuck out to me the importance of leaving your old life behind without completely forgetting who you are. I really enjoyed how it was stressed that you must live your own experiences and not relish on what you may be missing out on. We discussed how it is easy to get caught up in social media. The constant reminder that life goes on without you is on your phone screen. This class allowed me to realize that the “fear of missing out” is okay. The important thing is that I need to move past that stage and become confident with my seemingly new life.
In the beginning of the introduction, Slimbach was very descriptive of his journey through Vietnam. He described the patties and the people in a way that made you feel as if you were there riding along with him. This represented to me the heightened awareness of the liminal stage. Everything being so new brings about a new sense of awareness to your surroundings. I imagine stepping off the plane in Cairns to a sudden awakening of my sense of surroundings as I begin to take my new home in.
A quote that stood out to me in Becoming World Wise was, “This text will assist anyone who is intent on having is or her whole being – body, mind, and heart – stretched through the intercultural experience but who is perhaps is unsure about how to prepare for it or fully benefit from it” (Slimbach, Loc 204 of 4428). The body, mind, and heart reminded me of the cognitive triangle that encompasses thoughts, feelings, and behavior. The purpose of the course at this very moment is to prepare us for our journey abroad. I think that the intro of this book is doing the same thing. In order to have a meaningful experience we must be willing to become in touch with our thoughts (mind), feelings (heart), and behavior (body).
I chose to read “In A Sunburned Country” by Bill Bryson. When reading the description of this book of Amazon, it was described as “deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous”. I wanted to read a book that would make me laugh and truly look forward to reading every page. I also plan on going on as many adventures as I can in Australia. I think this book will give me plenty of ideas of what kind of adventures there are in Australia. My goal is to do some of the “tourist-y” things but also try to find adventures that only the locals know about. I think this book will give me an insight on those hidden gems of adventures. I also do not know much about Australia besides that it is a country and a continent. The fact filled portion of the book caught my eye because I think it will give me the insight on the country that I am looking for.
Bryson, Bill. In a Sunburned Country. New York: Broadway, 2000. Print.
Slimbach, Richard. Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Pub., LLC, 2010. Kindle.