This was actually one of the topics that I enjoyed the most during our workshop and it’s because of how every one of us students leaving for another country, deals with it. To separate from your culture that you know well and to be placed into a new one without much warning, it is very daunting. This new culture that I am entering very soon is nothing like Quinnipiac or my home town of Boxford. The picture that I felt best explained the culture of Barcelona is of Park Guell. Created by the visionary mind of Gaudi, who is also responsible for the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell shows a different form of design than I’m used to. The vibrant colors are nothing like the buildings we have here at home in the Northeast.
Separation is an important quality to have in life and this is a prime example of where I can achieve this skill. By being able to pick up my life and leave to live in another country for four months is really no easy task. My biggest fear is if I get sick, hurt, or just in need of some guidance, most of my resources are going to be 6 hours behind me. To say that it will hold me back isn’t quite true but it certainly will make things more difficult for me. It will really force me to become independent and to put myself first instead of catering to what a group wants to do. I will have a group of 5 or 6 close friends abroad is my guess and keeping it small is exactly what I want to do. I’m not going abroad to have another college experience in a different country, I’m going abroad to experience the world and a different culture to further my quest for education beyond the classroom. An “unsuccessful” abroad experience for me would be not branching out and visiting places enough, after all the whole point of leaving Hamden was to see a new place so why stop in just Barcelona? A “successful” abroad experience would be to find my own self confidence and to become a new person for when I come back to reality.
Slimbach’s quote for this chapter helped me realize a lot about what I want my abroad experience to be, “In order to make fair and illuminating comparisons between cultures, we must temporarily suspend our largely inherited values and beliefs without flaunting or renouncing them…”(Slimbach, p164). It really spoke to me because it said to really remove yourself from the culture you left behind. Don’t check Twitter and wonder what party you missed last weekend back at Quinnipiac, don’t check Facebook or Instagram and see photos of nights you wish were able to be at. It would be wise of me to continue my education by removing myself from the education I was a part of for 2 and a half years already. If my ultimate goal is to immerse myself entirely into the Barcelona culture then I should really give it my 100% effort to do so.
The picture I chose to describe my feeling is represented by the following photo I found on Google.
It encapsulates my feelings directly because I’m ready to set out on this journey and there’s a bit of anxiety doing it alone. There is definitely a part of me that is afraid of leaving but as soon as I set foot on that plane out Boston I will be ready for the journey ahead 100%.