Travel Log 8: Global Responsibility

The perspective Slimbach takes on study abroad students is not unrealistic. When he says they have gained “little of the new cultural knowledge, language ability, and perspective change that marks a well-traveled mind,” he is not entirely far off. He is saying that as a whole, students from the US who study abroad do not care to know about the place they are visiting, they visit without knowing the language and frequently they do not have an open mind to the change they are about to experience.

I agree with Slimbach on this, having a successful study abroad experience, “requires more than simply “being there”,” (Slimbach 35). Many study abroad students plan to go somewhere to party and travel just to take pictures for social media. Many study abroad students in an effect are collectors of places and pictures. Not necessarily experiencing them for what they are but more to say they’ve been or they’ve seen all there is to see. This attitude toward study abroad students has developed because, for the most part, it is correct. There is nothing wrong with having a good time but I currently sit and write this as 6 rooms of study abroad students blast music at 11:36 at night on a Thursday. In Spanish culture they do not have parties or loud guests into their homes as not to disturb their neighbors but the study abroad students are not respecting the differences in cultures.

In order for study abroad students to put off less of that impression they would need to be brought up in a more global sense. Even at the most basic sense be raised around people different from them. With different backgrounds, different ethnicities and nationalities. By doing this there is not a normal person that resembles ourselves. No one set make up of a human becomes normal to our brains and therefore far less is “weird” or “different” as we have raised our children outside of a comfort zone which then pushes their boundaries to the periphery of what they know to be possible creating a more accepting world of people. This would then give a new generation the ability to study abroad or simply live in a more open minded way.


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