“Laying a Foundation” by Andrew Rivera. Oradell, New Jersey

The workshop that we attended gave us so much information on many rights of passages that will get me prepared for my study abroad trip. Some of the concepts that really stuck with stuck me was liminality, communitas, and reincorporation. Liminality is super important because this is exactly what we are doing, moving from one place that were are very comfortable with to somewhere that is completely foreign to us (no pun intended). Communitas means that there is a community that are going through the same problems and all of us are going to have to deal with the problems in our own way. If you didn’t have these problems, there would not be any rites of passages. Last is reincorporation, and this is essential because our trip, experiences, and challenges will shape us into a new person. A person that is much different from the person that was sitting on the plane before the four months abroad. Some of the difficulties that I will have are saying goodbye to the people that I am most comfortable with, like my parents, family members, and close friends. Not being able to see them will be a huge change for me but change is sometimes good. With my departure flight vastly approaching I need to prepare myself for all of the challenges that I will encounter when I am in Barcelona.

In the first paragraph Simbach tells is that he got “antsy” just three days into his travels abroad, and I believe that many of us will have this same problem. Once we get all settled in, adapted to the time change, and get everything sorted out its time for us to explore a new world. After the separation is out the window, after we have conquered the flight, we can finally go out and do what we came there to do. We will definitively have this feeling when we first get abroad. Another concept that I found interesting was how many tourists see only the very popular spots. Of course it is nice to see the touristy spots that everyone knows, but when I am in Barcelona, and other places in Europe I would like to see some of the secret spots, and places that many people overlook. This will expand my horizon and open my eyes up to many new experiences. Simbach also talks about identity and combining our values and differences, and accepting and engulfing ourselves into our host countries culture.  All of the experiences, problems, and sights that we see will lessen the gaps between the individuals’ lifestyle. Lastly he mentions that to really get the global education we must actually get out and explore. You simply cannot just “be there.” We must go through experiences, and make our minds think outside of our normal everyday lives. Many of the concepts and experiences that Simbach is informing us about we will also go through, helping us get a better understanding for our study abroad trip that is vastly approaching. These experiences won’t hurt our travel involvement it will only make us better.

Furthermore, Simbach states, “Carrying knowledge conveys a curious and concerned self, one who cares enough about the peoples and places in one’s destination country to invest the time learning about them.” We picked our countries for numerous reasons, maybe it was the culture, weather, family ties, but no matter why you picked the country everyone has a culture to be explored. The book I selected is “Barcelona” by Robert Hughes. I decided to choose this book because when reading the reviews, he gives an in depth look at not only the history affiliated with Barcelona but also the culture two of the most important aspects of our trip. Just by the short overview of the story he calls Barcelona the most un-Spanish city in Spain, which really caught my eye.

 

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