Travel Log 10: “Encountering Globalization” by Janine Jay. London, England

On our first day, we trekked one tube stop down from the school to the largest mall in Europe to find bedding. The size of the place was unbelievable as 300+ shops loomed over us on multiple floors all boasting their January sales. We walked down the center of the mall trying to find stores that would sell pillows and I was struck by how many stores I recognized. I mean I really didn’t expect to see a T.G.I.Fridays in the middle of England. Some stores that I had known to have gone out of business back home were here showing off products from catalogues past. Levi, Hollister, Build-A-Bear, Claire’s, Pizza Hut, Urban Outfitters, KFC, Krispy Kreme, and of course McDonalds to name a few. What were these doing here in a British mall? All around me were the brands I was familiar with, some even advertising their Americana image.

Did they all simply hook onto the American image? Or back home am I really experiencing an international palette. As Robins points out, “The globalization process can equally be associated with confrontation and the collision of cultures” (2002, pg. 240). Maybe we choose the best of each culture to morph into our own cultural identity. Does this mean that there is a piece of every culture in every corner of the globe?

According to the documentary Travels of a T-Shirt in a Global Economy, this is not the case. This film depicts the flow of the second-hand American clothes traveling to Africa where their economy has fallen as an aftermath of the first world intrusion of import/export and slavery. This is not one person, nor one country’s responsibility. As mentioned in the film, the World Bank tried to enact economic policies in order to try to get the economy functioning again. However, they did not take into account the country at hands’ needs but rather their own. This only left the countries further in debt.

I once thought of globalization as a natural side effect of creating a global community. By global community, I am referring to our class’s definition of “All people around the world living by and fighting for similar social values and basic rights”. Globalization seems to me to be the merging of different cultures into one mass culture. To me this doesn’t seem right. Aren’t we proud of our own individual identities? Sure, we love to travel to experience difference cultures, but to me this would eliminate travel if we can experience a taste of those other cultures down the road in a restaurant.  Do I really need to go to Rome and Florence if I can get all of that in in the Italian restaurants in “Little Italy” in NYC? This is what the Muslim culture is pushing back against so much- what they see as the West ‘infiltrating’ their culture and influencing their people. I don’t really blame them when the American culture seems to spread as far and wide as it can.

What do we do when there are countries and cultures that cannot afford to say no to influencing cultures? It’s hard to step back when economic deals push forward at a break-neck speed. But it is the right of those people to be able to take their culture into their own hands and choose what to and what not to allow into their country. However, there is no direct way to do this I am afraid; economic dealings come with supply and demand. The more we give into these businesses, the more they will thrive. The only thing to do in order to see these influences slowly go away is to put your money elsewhere. That is part of the reason I have vowed to not try to buy or eat anything that I can get at home. I want to experience the culture in the places I visit for what they are stereotypically known for. So, I will not be stopping into the Starbucks down the street or the Urban Outfitters when I am trying to find something new. Instead it’s Nando’s and Primark.



I cannot decide whether I like seeing American Apparel stores in the UK. I appreciate the global reach that this company has been able to spread to, but at the same time I see it as an infringement on my time here learning about a new country. Perhaps this is making a big deal over something insignificant but it does make you wonder.

Works Cited:

Robins, K., 2002. Encountering Globalization. In: C. Held & A. McGrew, eds. The Global Transformations Reader. Cambridge: Polity. Ch. 20.

The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy


Travel log 8, “Global Responsibility: Part 2” by Erin Schirra, Gold Coast, Australia

As I read the first chapter of Slimbach’s text, I found it fascinating to see the generalizations placed on American study abroad students. It pained me to read the portions of this chapter that I knew carried a validity, and that I could change but haven’t. I also read some of his points that stung because they had been generalized to all of us Abroad students, even though they did not apply.

Even though I do not have “stars-and-stripes patches sewn onto [my] backpack,” I do sometimes feel like I have the word ‘American’ stamped on my forehead (Slimbach 16%). Whether it is in my accent (that people oftentimes refer to as Canadian so they ‘don’t offend me by asking if I am from the States’) or in my inability to walk barefoot around town and the shops because my feet cannot handle the abrasive sidewalk textures, the people around me can usually pick up on the fact that I am not Australian. I do not think that this is because I am ignorant to the cultural norms, or because I am trying my best to integrate a fraction of the American culture into my time here, as Slimbach eludes to.

I do, however, find his statement shortly after to be fascinating in its truth. He writes, describing abroad students as “pampered twenty-somethings who leave home with little preparation, arrive at the program site largely clueless, and rarely break away from the exclusive company of other foreigners” (Slimabch 16%). In the set-up of most programs, Study Abroad students are arranged to live with other Americans, around other Americans, and in buildings that consist majorly of Americans (at least this is the case with my program and many others that I know of). My most frequent contact with Australians tends to be on the bus, running errands, or at townie locations like the beach. I decided that I was not interested in uprooting my normal routines and placing them in a different country with the same ideals. I found that in doing so, I would not leave room for personal growth or ability to experience all that I desired. Because of this, I have put in the conscious effort in my daily actions to not allow myself to be my biggest barrier in cultural immersion. I think that the standards of global responsibility set out by Slimbach greatly apply to study in developing countries, even though I think that certain aspects can be implemented into studying in already developed countries as well, especially cultural consciousness. However, when he writes on the array of poverties, or the presence of starvation, it is hard to title this a global responsibility when its presence mirrors that of my home country. This is why I think that my global responsibility, although similar to my community responsibility at home, entails dropping my coins in the hats of those on the street, or even participating in the ‘Homeless Ban’ rally that occurred while I traveled through a larger Australian city of Melbourne. Regardless of the parallels of this responsibility to those at home, I find it equally necessary to reach out to bridge the gap that exists around the world.

Works Cited

Slimbach, Richard. Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Pub., LLC, 2010. Print.

Travel Log 7, “Global Responsibility Part 1” by Erin Schirra, Gold Coast Australia

It is hard to believe that a mere 23 years ago, 800,000 people were stripped of their life during the mass genocide in Rwanda. It is harder to accept that after our world’s history of war and genocide, no one stepped in to help. This image depicts a side-by-side of the United Nations actions then versus now.


In this image, you can see the discourse in the background of the cottage labeled ‘Rwanda.’ The cottage is clearly in flames and smoking, and people are fleeing from it in fear, pleading for help. Within hearing distance, the United Nations soldier is lounging in the shade of a tree, with clear resources to assist, and a beverage nearby to sip on upon his awakening from his nap. The cartoon then shows the United Nations yelling at a Rwandan soldier for help and assistance, and the aforementioned cottage on fire has transformed into a sustained, well-kept house. This cartoon details the inactivity of the United Nations when Rwanda was in despair, and the call on Rwanda for assistance after all had calmed down.

The preamble of the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ as written by the United Nations contains critical details that support the dis-synchrony between the articles from the document that were broken, and the actions of the United Nations. The first sentence of the preamble states the all of humankind deserves “freedom, justice, and peace in the world” ( It discusses “freedom from fear,” “dignity and worth of the human person,” and “universal respect” before stating the rights that every human, regardless of race, nationality, religion, orientation, gender, etc., has(

This image directly shows the violation of 3, 5, and 7. Article 3 states, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person” ( The 1994 portrayal shows that those of Rwanda do not have this right to life, freedom, or security, as they are being traumatized and killed. The same reasoning applies to the breaking of principle of Article 5, “[n]o one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment” ( Lastly, Article 7 states that “All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration…” ( Because there was a lack of protection supplied by the United Nations, this protection was not available to the hundreds of thousands of victims of the genocide.

Capable nations around the world should have stepped in to assist in stopping this genocide, yet no one made this move. The UN did not take charge to send help, regardless of the rights that they detailed in their universal declaration. People around the world are suffering from killings and attacks, the most media highlighted having been the Syrian attacks. One would like to hope that the way our world views these violations has shifted for the better, but I have to conclude that unfortunately, the principles and intentions of the world’s reactions seems to have stayed the same.

Works Cited

“International Reaction.” Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2017. <;.

Travel Log 8: “Global Responsibility Part 2” by Nicole Muckenhirn. Gold Coast, Queensland

Being fortunate enough to study abroad is a huge privilege.  According to Slimbach, Americans in particular who are able to experience this fall into a certain stereotype: “pampered twenty-somethings who leave home with little preparation…. And judge everything by the standards of home” (Slimbach).  This assumption is frustrating.  Slimbach is so quick to call us the “Ugly Americans” but why are we doing anything wrong?  Not knowing everything about the country you’re visiting just means you’ll learn so much more when you get there.  Learning first hand is so much better then researching it on the internet prior anyways.  Yes, it’s ignorant to not know anything at all about the country you’re traveling to, but I have not met anyone who’s done that.  Everyone chose to study abroad in a particular place for reasons that are specific to that country.

Slimbach patronizes study abroad students who “rarely break away from the exclusive company of other foreigners” (Slimbach).  Regretfully, I fall into this category more than I would like.  Meeting people outside of my program is difficult because we’re so isolated from campus.  No other students live in my building and I only have to go to campus twice a week.  Not for lack of trying, all the close bonds I’ve made have been with other foreigners.  I don’t think it’s the worst thing though.  I’m getting to share my experience with other people going through the exact same thing.  And they can become more lifelong friends: these are people that I can visit with back in the states as well. 

I have met so many study abroad students who are guilty of using studying abroad as a 4-month party.  They seem to care about nothing else but drinking.  It’s unfortunate really.  I have one friend who says he has no money to travel, then spends over $50 dollars at the bar.  I think it’s a waste of time to go abroad and do nothing but drink.  We’re getting an amazing opportunity and I personally believe it should be spent exploring, not blacked out in a bar. 

I think for study abroad students to try to break the stereotype Slimbach talks about we need to accept more and complain less.  Not everything is perfect and I feel like a lot of students believed that going abroad would be a picture perfect vacation.  Going abroad is all about becoming cultured in a different place and getting an education.

Works Cited:

Slimbach, Richard. Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Pub., LLC, 2010. Print.


Travel Log 7: “Global Responsibility Part 1” by Nicole Muckenhirn. Gold Coast, Queensland

The United Nations created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 as a guideline for fundamental human rights and their protection.  In article 5 it states that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” (The United Nations).  In 1994 the United Nations failed to step in and help prevent the Rwanda Genocides.  They did not act upon the words which they had written in establishing all human’s basic rights.

Shake Hands with the Devil is a war drama which depicts the horrors of the Rwanda genocide.  The movie follows Dallaire who pleaded with the United Nations to send in assistance in order stop the massacres.  He needed resources to fight and he was turned down by the United Nations.  There are many other particularly disturbing facts revealed in it.  For example, the President of the United States claimed to have no knowledge of the events taking place in Rwanda.  The genocides were a clear case where the United Nations should have stepped in.  The Tutsis and the Hutus were killing each other in alarming numbers.  The United Nations did little to prevent it aside from sending in support to extract their own members.  This lack of action allowed for one of the largest organized mass killings to occur.  Over a period of 100 days, 800,000 individuals were killed.


This editorial cartoon depicts movie goers exiting a filming of Hotel Rwanda.  The movie goers contemplate how the world could have stood by and done nothing to help.  Then, showing their great capacity for care, wonder when the next movie about another countries misery will premiere.  The Rwanda Genocide was made profitable for those who felt no impact by the massive amount of death.  This cartoon shows how people will pretend to care, but not about actually doing anything.  When something doesn’t personally affect you, even mass death, it can easily be turned into a form of entertainment.

There is a line in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that stands out to me.  “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution” (The United Nations).  With everything happening in the world today this is especially important.  The Syrian refugee crisis is leaving many people seeking asylum and being denied.  It’s sad that over and over we see this disregard of human life from countries who stand by, offer little to no aid, then deny asylum.

Works Cited:

The United Nations. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 1948. Print.

Travel Log 8: “Global Responsibility” Part 2 by Mitchell McGowan. Gold Coast, Australia.

The reputation of study abroad students has vastly changed over the last few years. Students look at study abroad as a method of traveling and partying in a new place. The experience has changed from an alternate way of learning to finding a place to take the best picture for Instagram.

I have seen multiple examples of this wasteful mentality while studying here in the Gold Coast. There are students here who just skip classes and party every night. While I understand that it is their right to do whatever they want with this opportunity, I cannot help but feel like it is a waste.

To me, this study abroad experience is all about experiencing things we may not find back home, and using those experiences to help facilitate a growth into adulthood. We are meant to explore the world around us, and meet new people that will inspire us to change the world around us. Slimbach explains that students should be exploring the world, rather than spending our time in a classroom or a bar. He writes, “More and more are venturing off the beaten path of study-abroad-as-usual with a passion to discover meaning in their life by helping to mend the brokenness of the world.” (Slimbach Loc 568).

I believe that this mentality has arisen among study abroad students because we have been blessed with an opportunity most people do not get. We share pictures on social media and tell our friends how great it is to be abroad, which is something that we should do. The problem is when that is the main focus of our semesters. Since arriving here, I have recognized how lucky am I for having parents that sacrificed a tremendous amount to send me to Australia. I know that my parents would love Australia, but they may not ever get a chance to see this country. I feel as though I owe it to them to explore this country and learn everything I can, so that when I return I can share a piece with them. Non-stop partying like some of my fellow students, to me, would just be so disrespectful to said sacrifices made on my behalf.

I think the best way to change that mentality of students is to just take a step back and realize we have once in a lifetime opportunities. I think we should go out and travel and work with the local people and give back to the people who sharing their culture and traditions with us. It is a shame that we come over and have a reputation as kids who come and trash the neighborhood only to leave in a few months. We need to recognize that not everyone gets the opportunity we have, so if someone is going to squander it, they might as well stay home.




Works Cited:

Slimbach, R. (2010). Becoming world wise: a guide to global learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Pub., LLC. LOC568

Travel Log 7: “Global Responsibilities” Part 1 by Mitchell McGowan. Gold Coast, Australia.



The above cartoon was used to represent how the world reacted to the atrocious genocide in the small African country of Rwanda. Close to 800,000 Tutsis were killed by the Hutu militia, leaving millions more displaced in neighboring countries. During the entire conflict, most of the Western powers kept away, allowing the genocide to continue. It wasn’t until media attention required the super powers to step in and try to maintain peace. By that time, the Tutsi rebels had fought back and almost completely re-captured the country.

The illustrator of the cartoon wanted to show how the foreign super powers kept a distance from the entire situation even though they knew that innocent people were dying. The woman is dying of starvation and dehydration, causing her to shrivel up on the ground like Rwanda was. The country at the time was scarce on resources, causing people who were not murdered to die of disease and famine. As she reaches out for help, the powers brush it off as she is waving to them. To add insult to injury, the nations just wave back, which was the artists way of saying the powers knew what was happening in Rwanda, and they chose to just wave back and refuse to help.

To me, there were two massive violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The first being a violation to Article 1, which says, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in spirit of brotherhood.” (UN Web). While the document says that all people should be treated equal, the genocide clearly showed the world that the super powers viewed the Tutsi people as lesser beings. They idly sat by and watched over half a million people be executed. The world vowed that events like the Holocaust would never happen again, yet years later we have situations in places like Rwanda and Syria, where people are begging for help and foreign nations refuse.

Another violation was made on Article 3, which states, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.” (UN Web). It is easy for a country to help provide another country that needs help. These people had a basic right to live, yet they died because foreign nations couldn’t send food or medicine. What does it say about us that we complain we do not have rights, yet we do not stand up for the people who are not even provided food, water or shelter? The article that may be the most important and most basic idea to follow was simply neglected by so many people.

Ultimately, it was on the Western foreign powers and the United Nations to help protect and save the refugees in Rwanda. They wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and they abandoned it when it did not pertain to them or there was nothing to gain. While it is obvious that genocide is a crime against humanity, there are still countless numbers of innocent people being killed in the Middle East, with little to no intervention from the Western world. Refugees are fleeing at alarming rates, but no one is coming to their aid. How many times do are we going to ignore the people who are facing constant danger, until we finally step in and help?

Works Cited:

Rani, Y. (n.d.). Political Cartoon. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from

Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2017, from

Travelogue 8: “Global Responsibility” Part 2, by Breanna Hegarty. Galway, Ireland.

Before reading Simbach’s Becoming World Wise I had always considered myself to be socially and culturally conscious. Throughout the year I would volunteer for numerous organizations, ranging from food banks, child cancer to environmental cleanup. Also when possible, I always offer up what little money or food I have to those on the streets without food or shelter. Yet while reading chapter one Wise for the World I realized that I only make small local contributions, and they are just that, small and only aids an already strong nation. Yes, each of these contributions are still meaningful, yet in a way they are more luxury than necessity. Most of the money I raise for child cancer, goes to research, meanwhile that money could have saved thousands of lives from hunger or homelessness in another country.  I am blind to the troubles of the world around me and I make little to no effort to become aware or to fulfill my global social responsibilities. This is even shown in my decision to study abroad in Ireland. Instead of going to a developing country where I could learn the language and aid the community in becoming more developed, I chose a country that is already developed, that spoke English and has all the same amenities and luxuries as America. There was little effort or new knowledge that I needed to obtain before coming to this country, and that was primarily one of the main reasons I chose it. My choice, although has meaning and good reasoning behind it, was a lazy choice, and laziness makes you ignorant, and ignorance is a luxury that others have to pay for.

One way in which I intend on diminishing this ignorance and to start taking action towards my global responsibility is through knowledge and awareness. Simbach states “we learn to serve with the people, without doing things for the people” (p.20). I know I am unable to go to each developing country and offer my physical aid, so I will do the next best thing and bring awareness and try to acquire aid through this awareness. One of my primary downfalls is that I know little to nothing about the world around me and the crisis’s that are arising, which is why my first step is to begin watching and reading the news and to do research on current crisis’s such as the one in Syria. With this knowledge I will then use my skills acquired from school, as a marketing major, and spread awareness to others and to help them stop hiding behind their ignorance the way I did. I have also already started a monthly donation with World Vision, in which my money will go to those in need in Syria, for food, shelter and other necessities.









This is a picture I took of a statue by my school. Everyday I would pass it and would think of how I want to be like her, breaking free from the mold. Yet now when I pass it, I will think of me breaking free from ignorance, striving to do better and to be better.



Work Cited

Slimbach, Richard. Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Pub. LLC., 2010. Print.

Travelogue 7: “Global Responsibility” Part 1, by Breanna Hegarty. Galway, Ireland.


In this cartoon, the illustrator Charlie Nebdo depicts the 1994 Rwandan Genocide as being no more than a mere game for the world. The text is in French and translates to “Tutsi Crush, the Rwandan Genocide finally fits into play on smartphone!” I chose this cartoon because when watching the film “Shake Hands with the Devil” all I could think about was how little human life meant to the United Nations and how we were all disposable and the soldiers, such as General Romeo Dallaire, were mere players in the game. Even the Rwanda president, Paul Kegame, realized this later on, he states “General Dallaire had no control, he was a pawn for the UN.”

Before the start of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide in which over 800,000 people were slaughtered, there were troops from Italy, France, Belgium and Canada. All of whom immediately uprooted and left as soon as “the game” became hard in which they actually had to fight to protect innocent lives. Not only did each player of the United Nations, besides Dallaire and a few of his men, abandon Rwanda in their time of need, but they sent, in total, 250,000 soldiers to retrieve their nations people from that country instead of merely using those troops to fight the Hutus.

One statement that really stuck out to me during this film was “Are all humans human, or are some more than others?” For me a life is a life, everyone deserves their basic human rights to “life, liberty, and security,” yet to the UN only the strong and powerful are worthy of these basic “inalienable” rights. From the very start of the Declaration of Human Rights, one by one you can see how the Rwandan people were not given these rights, and how they were dehumanized by the world. The Preamble states that,

                          Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in

                         barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and

                         the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of

                         speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed

                          as the highest aspiration of the common people.

 This statement right here shows how we have not learned from the past, in which “disregard for human rights results in barbarous acts,” such as the Rwandan genocide, and how the world does not see the Rwandan people as “Common people” who deserve the right to “freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear.” Even today we still have yet to learn from our mistakes, and still have yet to view all as equal human beings entitled to these basic rights, as shown through the world’s neglect to the crisis in Syria.


Works cited

“Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” United Nations. United Nations, n.d. Web. 24 Feb.2017.

Shake Hands with the Devil. Dir. Roger Spottiswoode. Perf. Roy Dupuis, Owen Sejake, James Gallanders. Barna-Alper Productions, 2007.

Hebdo, Charlie. Tutsi Crush. Digital image. How to Write about Rwanda. Olivia Rutazibwa, 18 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.

Travel Log 8: “Global Responsibility” Part 2 Meghan Thorogood Florence, Italy

In Slimbach’s text, he talks about the “consumerist/entitlement” mentality many American students acquire while studying abroad. From his perspective, students learn “…little of the new cultural knowledge, language ability, and perspective change that marks a well-traveled mind” (Slimbach 35). Slimbach is not the only one with this attitude toward students abroad. I have found that popular opinion is that students abroad think they are on a semester long vacation often filled with travels and late nights on the town. From half a world away, people see pictures students post on social media showing what their latest travels were or just them having fun with friends. However, you can’t get the whole story from some pictures on Facebook. To outsiders, yes study abroad students may appear to have that entitled mentality, but they do not know the whole story.


Outsiders looking are not able to see how we, study abroad students, gain new knowledge and perspectives with every experience we have. A simple tweet or update of our Facebook albums does not share how we are learning and changing. Personally, I have experienced so much growth from my day to day activities that no one but myself can see. No one knows how I am challenged everyday with trying to learn a new language and how I strive to conquer language barriers. No one can see how I am learning and adapting to the cultural norms of my host country. No one else is me. Others only see what I put out there for the world to see.


It is difficult to say how myself and fellow student abroad students can travel to discourage this stereotype because I think it is one that is engraved in people’s minds. However, there are actions we can take to hopefully make people reconsider their opinions of study abroad students. One big aspect of being abroad that I have seen is that students just expect that everyone will speak English wherever we go, but this is not the case. We are the foreigners and we should try our best to speak the native language to the best of our abilities, or at least ask if someone speaks English and not just assume. Although I think students do not do this out of entitlement but more out of forgetfulness, it is one step we can take to show the world we aren’t a bunch of entitled college students. Also, I think keeps a blog while abroad is a great outlet to show that you have been gaining new knowledge, and looking at things from different perspectives, and so on. I know many people that have studied abroad and kept blogs and it is kind of like a behind the scenes to their abroad experience. The pictures I see them post via Facebook are beautiful and adventure filled, but their blogs tell of those 1,000 words that every picture is worth.


Slimbach, Richard. Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Pub., LLC, 2010. Print.