Travel Log 1: “Laying a Foundation” by Samantha Prevot. Belle Harbor, New York

I have always felt a strong desire to travel and see the world, and I have struggled somewhat through the years on my road towards discovering who I am. I have always looked at the study abroad experience as one that could fulfill both my wanderlust, and my need to find myself. The workshop made me realize this even more as we began to look at the study abroad experience through the lens of a rite of passage. By learning about the different stages of a rite of passage (Separation, Liminal, Incorporation), I now see myself as a liminoid going through these stages and while I am abroad I will be in this state of Liminality where I will guide myself, along with the help of a mentor, through the process and grow and learn about myself as a person while traveling and seeing more of the world as I’ve always wanted. The experience has become much more to me than just going to another country to take university credit electives.

In Becoming World Wise, Richard Slimbach brings up this point about making the study abroad experience as significant and meaningful as possible. In the introduction to the book, Slimbach writes, “Without the requisite understandings and skills to learn with and form those in our field setting, we will tend to accumulate novel experiences but without stepping much outside our comfort zones. When this ‘cocooning’ occurs, we can’t expect much deep learning to take place.” This particularly resonated with me because in the workshop we discussed how important it is to step outside of our comfort zones while abroad in order to get through the separation and liminal phases of our rite of passage. If we focus too much on what we left behind and hide in the comfort of family and friends through staying at home on Skype, we will never be able to grow and move on to the next phases of our journeys. At times, I have found it difficult to step out of my comfort zone. So while abroad, my goal is to prevent the “cocooning” that Slimbach talks about from occurring and I will try to remain open-minded to as many new experiences as possible. I want to absorb as much as I can of my new environments and learn as much as I can about the cultures different from my own because then I can begin to self-reflect, which is another important concept in rites of passage, and as a result grow as a person.

Slimbach also spends a large portion of the introduction talking about how studying abroad should not only benefit the student. He writes, “Ultimately, that is why we cross the boundaries of nation, culture, religion, and social class: to create what Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam calls ‘bridging capital’ – acts of friendship and solidarity rooted in a common reverence for human dignity, local knowledge, and the moral good.” In the workshop, we talked about how our rites of passage should not only benefit ourselves, but the community as well. To me, that community should be the one you are entering as you study abroad, as well as the one you are returning to at home at the end of your program. Those acts mentioned in the quote from Slimbach, as well as the acts of community service he mentions, are ways that myself and others can benefit our communities while abroad and upon returning home. While there, we can volunteer and reach out to others in order to integrate ourselves further into our host communities and make new connections and good friends. Upon returning home, we can help “local knowledge” by speaking to our loved ones about our experiences and passing what we have learned on to them so that they can become more informed and wiser. As we learned, your loved ones are a part of your experience and you should keep them informed and continue to include them as you go through your journey, instead of cutting them out completely.

The travelogue I have chosen to read is My Love Affair With England: A Traveller’s Memoir by Susan Allen Toth. Although it is on the older side, I had a hard time finding books on Amazon that appealed to me, and that I felt like I could relate to, until I read about Toth. She is an American journalist that fell in love with England after travelling there, and continued to visit throughout her adult life, and had a wide variety of interesting and amazing experiences that she details in the book. As an aspiring journalist, and as someone returning to London after visiting years ago, I felt as though I could relate in a way to Toth and her memoir.


Works Cited:

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

Toth, Susan Allen. My Love Affair with England. New York: Ballantine, 1992. Print.



Travel Log 1: “Laying A Foundation” By: Stephen Sharo, Hillsborough NJ

The Rites of Passage workshops provided me with a surprising amount of information. When I originally thought of the theme of Rites of Passage I imagined a rather simple, uncomplicated theme. Unbeknown to me a Rites of Passage was much more specific than I had anticipated. One of the concepts covered in the workshop that highly resonated with me was the fact that there is an actual Declaration of Human Rights. I was always under the impression that human rights were only an abstract guide as to how humans were supposed to be treated. I was very shocked to learn that there was an actual document that laid out the basic human rights that everyone should receive.

Another part of the workshop which resonated strongly with me was the “Crossing Borders” video. The video demonstrated the borders can affect the way in which we see people. Each of the students had their own presumptions about how the students from the different country would act and behave even before meeting them. However the relationships the students formed with one another broke down the stereotypes held by some of the students prior to their journey. By the end of their journey, a handful of student from two vastly different cultures realized they had more similarities than they could have imagined and became very good friends. I think that the video was probably one of the most impactful moments from the workshops.

In his introduction to “Becoming World Wise” Slimbach discusses multiple themes that we covered during the workshops. One of the themes mentioned directly relates to our coverage of tricksters in the liminal phase of the Rites of Passage. In his introduction Slimbach states, “Without the requisite understandings and skills to learn with and from those in our field setting, we will tend to accumulate novel experiences but without stepping much outside our comfort zones. When this “cocooning” occurs, we can’t expect much deep learning to take place,” (Slimbach, 224-225). As soon as I read this passage from Slimbach I immediately thought about our discussion on stepping outside the comfort zone in order to get the most out of the study abroad experience. As a study abroad student we have to ensure that our liminal phase remains in a heightened state of awareness. The liminal phase is where we are supposed to be the most open to new experiences. It seems that Slimbach agrees that isolation during the liminal phase can greatly hinder the learning experience study abroad has to offer.

I will use discussions and Slimbach’s view of the comfort zone in order to help shape my study abroad experience. Since this is a once in a lifetime opportunity I want to try to get the most fulfilling experience possible. Throughout the several months I have to remember our discussion through the workshop and continue to step outside of my comfort zone in order to get the most out of my study abroad experience.

Another interesting topic covered by Slimbach which we also discussed includes the improvement of the entire community rather than a change solely for the individual. Slimbach states, “Global learning must be not only in the world but also for it. Educational travel should leave the world a saner, stronger, and more sustainable place,” (Slimbach, 249-250). As discussed in class, the Rite of Passage should improve the community in addition to the individual. The journey taken as a Rite of Passage changes not only the person, but the world around the person and that is what makes a Rites of Passage such a significant experience.

The travelogue I chose is Travel Adventures- 23 Days on the North and South Island by: Greg Hung. After some research I decided that the author would provide some great insight from his travels. Greg Hung was a seasoned traveler from Canada and decided to leave his home and travel the world. As an experienced traveler I thin
k he can understand and appreciate the unique opportunities offered by New Zealand. Moreover the fact that he had traveled to both the 612h2b7rhskl-_ux160_North and the South Islands of New Zealand cover a lot of the areas I intend to visit.



Works Cited

Hung, Greg (2014-09-18). NEW ZEALAND – Travel Adventures – 23 days on the North & South Islands (Kindle Location 80). Greg Hung. Kindle Edition.

Slimbach, Richard (2012-03-12). Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning (Kindle Locations 224-225). Stylus Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Travel Log 1 “Laying a Foundation” By Abby Spooner, Marlborough MA

In the weeks following our workshop I have found myself already riding the metaphorical rollercoaster we discussed on the first day. As my departure date creeps closer this is one of the ideas from our workshop that has stuck with me. During this time I find myself wanting to cling to these last few days in the comforts of my American habits as if I am even lower in the “not good” section of the graph than the image depicts. Although holding onto every last bit of what is safe and comfortable may be my initial instinct, Slimbach and our workshop taught me that these thoughts are nothing but tricksters attempting to keep me in my Old Status.This concept is the part of the workshop that I have reflected on the most. Based on what I know about myself and what I learned during our weekend of study, I know that this transition is going to be the most challenging part of the experience for me. I am excited to go abroad. However, I am also hesitant to leave home and more specifically, Quinnipiac. Classes have just resumed at school and as my friends get back to their normal routines, I am home preparing for my adventure. It is difficult not to be a little envious of them; they are comfortable, secure, and content, while I am confused, anxious, and terrified. It is as if I am stuck between the desire to return to Quinnipiac as usual, and the craving to get out in the world to explore, learn, and create. Although I feel vulnerable when considering the upcoming changes in a few short weeks, I also feel inspired and enabled to handle the forthcoming challenges through the physical and mental preparation associated with this rite of separation.

The words of Richard Slimbach have been particularly helpful and encouraging during my time preparing for separation. An idea of his that sticks with to me is his subtle concept on cultural strangeness. This idea incorporates all aspects of the ABC model, honing in on our emotions, actions, and thoughts of and towards another culture. Slimbach states, “‘half strange and half strangely familiar.’ Instead of indulging a sentimental longing for an irrecoverable past, we should treat the complexity of our contemporary situation

as offering a “teachable moment” that is truly extraordinary” (Slimbach, 4). In this instant Slimbach is encouraging us to not linger on our own perception of “strangeness” but rather feel, behave, and think as if a participant in the new culture in order to fully benefit and learn from such an experience or “teachable moment.” This critical attitude that Slimbach is encouraging parallels the ideas laid out in the ABC model of reflective practice. In order to change our critical attitudes we much first let go of our idea of “cultural strangeness”. Based on these lessons I plan to not look at my new culture in New Zealand and compare it to my American one. I may find similarities and differences. However, these anomalies are not what are important to notice. Slimbach is emphasizing that it is more important to learn rather than observe. The instant we begin comparison, we are no longer a participant but rather a critic and our behaviors, thoughts, and emotions are no longer able to touch and feel the culture in the same manner. This is also a concept that is emphasized as a major goal of the liminal phase. By preparing for the liminal phase during the separation phase, the transition will hopefully be a smooth one. A quote that I feel brings these ideas together is by Carlo Goldoni. He said, “a wise traveler never despises his own country.” By combining Goldoni’s idea with Slimbach’s and the concepts of the ABC model and the Rites of Passage model I am able to infer a deeper lesson from all these academic sources: If a wise traveler never compares his own country to the country they are visiting, a hatred for ones own country can not be achieved. Rather than submerging to the strangeness of this new country compared to our own country, a traveler must embrace their new experience through pure emersion in a liminal phase where achieving a heightened awareness for learning is the ultimate goal. This is done through feeling, thinking, and behaving as the new culture does.


IMG_6492As I prepare for my own journey and attempt to embrace cultural strangeness I have found that perfect mentor for the experience in my chosen travelogue. I have chosen a book titles “The Long White Cloud” by Kristen Faber. The book is a recollection a mother of a family of five makes following their yearlong experience moving from the suburbs of the United States to the North Island of New Zealand. I am interested to learn howher, her husband and their three young children adapted and to a new culture that began strange, but has since become home. I can only hope my upcoming adventure follows a similar path.

“Laying a Foundation” By: Erin Foley-Dedham, MA

As my departure date draws nearer, one concept from the workshops has begun to resonate deeply with me: tricksters. When it was first introduced, I thought that there was absolutely no way that I would fall victim to these “faux amis” (sorry, I had to slip in some French here). Paris has been a place that I have wanted to explore since sixth grade, when I began my French studies. How, then, could I allow anything to stand in my way of that? As I spend more time with my parents, however, I realize that even the most innocent relationships can become tricksters. As an only child, I am very close with both parents, but especially my mother. At Quinnipiac, I text her the minute I wake up until the minute I go to bed. Being six hours ahead, however, will make this an impossible feat. In order to ensure that my travels are unhindered by happenings at home, my mother and I must arrange a time to talk at least once a week.

Another concept that ties in with tricksters is the liminal phase. Personally, I believe I have been stuck within the liminal phase for years. Choosing to take French over Spanish in middle school commenced this period. I left my monolingual status to transform into bilingualism, which will be complete upon my return. For as long as I can remember, French has been a part of my identity, yet I never really knew how it fit in. I am not French, nor is any of my family, yet I have felt a connection to the culture and language for as long as I can remember. Slimbach discusses the feelings remaining after field research “[that leave one] with an appetite for the deep connections and intercultural insights that are possible through the global-learning experience” (130). My field research has been studying French culture, language and customs in a classroom all these years, but my hunger for experience will soon be satiated in exactly nineteen days.

In the Introduction, Slimbach describes many concepts that were discussed in the workshops. First, he describes the entrance into the liminal phase as, “a weakening attachment to family and place and gradually [branching] out…to create and control their own lives” (2). As I ease into Parisian life, I will feel a temporary weakened connection to Boston as I attempt to create my own life and identity, independent from those of my parents, or their expectations for me, perhaps. Both have lived in my hometown of Dedham, Massachusetts for over eighty years combined. While I feel a sense of safety and security here, the world has much more to offer than a small suburb just south of Boston.

One particular statement regarding the ultimate stage of reincorporation is quite important. Slimbach says, “Implicit in this global movement, however, is an issue that strikes to the heart of global learning: how best to balance our educational and self-improvement needs with the developmental needs of destination communities” (9). Although my reasons for studying abroad, particularly in France, is to become more cultured and solidify language skills, I do intend to interact with local natives. After all, what is the point of a trip if you do not have friendly exchanges that may transform into wonderful stories to tell your home community upon your return? Family and friends want to hear all about your travels and the experiences you encountered while there.

travelogue Spring2015      Finally, to assist me in my travels, I have chosen a travelogue titled, The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious–and Perplexing–City. After perusing the travelogue section of Amazon, I came across theenticing cover, which depicts a cup of “café” and a croissant. Nothing says French culture like these staple items. This travelogue follows American pastry chef and cookbook author, David Lebovitz, as he moves to Paris, France. An American in Paris, not unlike my situation, he learns the proper social etiquette and customs necessary to assimilate to Parisian life. I thought this would perfectly guide me on how to compose myself socially, yet also offer insight into France’s renowned cuisine.

Travel Log 1: “Laying a Foundation” by Chelsea Campbell. North Kingstown, Rhode Island

After the workshop, that I truly enjoyed attending the entire weekend, I could not get the idea of studying abroad off of mind. It didn’t feel real to me that I was leaving the country for four months starting in January until after the workshop. I didn’t know what a Rite of Passage really was until the day of the workshop. What resonated with me was the activity where we created the timelines of events that occur throughout our lives that can be looked at as a “Rite of Passage”. A Rite of Passage ends in the creation of a new “status”. Until this activity I did not think of little things such as being a big sister, going to college, receiving my license, etc. as Rites of Passage where I formed a new status afterwards. However, looking back from what I learned, they each fit into the Rite of Passage formula. You begin in your old status, there is a rite of separation, you remain in the liminal status until you come across the rites of reincorporation back to society with your new status. I didn’t think of the life events that the formula as anything else but a life event. The activity resonated with me because it made me realize how much truly affects my identity and status and in life and studying abroad is a huge Rite of Passage.

The second part of the workshop that resonated with me was the video of the international students and the Moroccan students. It was an incredibly eye-opening video that made me realize I need to keep my mind open when I travel abroad and meet people from all over the world. Everyone has preconceived notions about different cultures but stereotyping them is not the way to enter into a situation. The workshop as a whole felt incredibly beneficial because it opened my eyes to how big of a Rite of Passage I am about to enter and endure within only two short weeks, and the way I need to act when going through the experience.

Slimbach discusses in the Introduction to Becoming World Wise the idea of “cocooning” oneself. I found that this pertained to Rites of Passage, a workshop concept we discussed. Slimbach refers to cocooning as, “without the requisite understandings and skills to learn with and from those in our field setting, we will tend to accumulate novel experiences but without stepping much outside our comfort zone” and “when this ‘cocooning’ occurs, we cant expect much deep learning to take place” (Slimbach 7). The idea of cocooning oneself being a hindrance of deep learning is true. Within our Rite of Passage if we do not fully remove ourselves from our old status then we will never leave or enter the liminal status to then finish off the passage to our new status. This concept that Slimbach discusses really stuck out to me. He does not mention it pertaining to the “Rites of Passage”, however, I found it very relatable. When I am abroad I do not want to “cocoon” myself or shelter myself from the experiences I will have. If I do not enter my country with an open mind for deeper learning then those novel experiences that present themselves to me will not be fully taken advantage of since I did not open my mind and step out of my comfort zone in order to learn. I find that it will be so important for me step outside of my comfort zone while in Barcelona in order to allow a deep learning to take place. Not only of the culture and people around me, but of myself. This will allow me to separate from my old status and successfully enter into the liminal status.

Another concept that Slimbach discusses in the Introduction to Becoming World Wise that I found pertained to a successful Rite of Passage is how, “the entertainment, food, and fashion industries are becoming more standardized, but without dissolving inherited tastes and traditions. The new combines with and coexists alongside the old” (Slimbach 4). The world may be becoming more Westernized, however, as Slimbach suggests, every place still has its old traditions and ways, they simply coexist with the new. It is the learning of the old traditions and ways that motivate me to deeply learn when I am abroad. I feel that understanding and gaining respect for these different ways in another culture will help shape my new status while in my liminal status abroad. Submerging myself in a different, unknown culture to myself is an entirely life changing experience. If I live the Western life while abroad, do not step outside of my comfort zone, then I personally would view my Rite of Passage as a failure. It is important to me that I recognize and embrace the difference, the coexisting old with the new, while I am in Barcelona so that I can expand my mind and make the best of my passage. The different and old is the experience I am seeking to embrace and learn more about.

The travelogue I chose is called “Spain in Mind” by Alice Leccese Powers (the editor) and is written by not only a non-native traveling in Spain, but forty. The travelogue is an anthology that depicts my host country through an array of non-fiction, poetry, and fiction stories written by American and English writers. I chose the book because it was different compared to the other travelogues out there available. The book is composed of not only non-fiction, but also fiction, and not only stories, but poetry and letters. It includes writers such as George Orwell, E. E. Cummings, Langston Hughes, Henry James, etc. Another aspect to the book that caught my eye was that it also contains tidbits of other travelogues I was considering, such as Driving Over Lemons.


I will be getting more out of my read than just one story and hopefully a eye-opening glimpse into Spain, my host-country, that will make my travels easier and more interesting. I feel I can learn a lot from the travelogue I chose while also remaining very intrigued throughout the book.

(Picture taken from:

Travel Log 1: “Laying a Foundation” by Kari Julien Trice- Tolland, CT

I am about a week away from my departure date and the nerves are starting to kick in. Although I am very excited to be studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain, I am nervous because this is the first time that I will ever be flying overseas and experiencing a country with a different culture than the one that I have always known here. I have not yet packed anything in my suitcases, and I am preparing for my goodbyes to my close friends before my departure.

Although I do feel a little nervous about my study abroad experience, I have felt that some of the concepts we learned in our workshops have helped me to prepare better for traveling to another country. One concept that we learned was the idea of liminality, which is when a person is living between two structured worlds; the old self and the new self. As each of us go through this study abroad experience, we will be going through this process of liminality. Living in a foreign country and being surrounded by a different culture is going to change each of us and shape us into a new person. I think that this experience will positively influence me and shape me to be an even better person. With the liminal status, I will be learning more about myself and reflecting on the experiences that are going to shape me into a new person.

With the process of liminality also comes the stage of reincorporation. This is when the person who has now passed the liminal stage, must return to the community with their “new status.” I understand that studying abroad in Barcelona is going to shape me and change me, and that once I return home, I must take these experiences with me and incorporate my new status into my community. In the introduction of Richard Slimbach’s, Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning, he writes about the process of global learning. “Much depends on why and how we leave, and also how we return. Again that’s what makes predeparture training and postsojourn analysis so important” (Slimbach 270). This experience is going to help me grow as a person and I have to take what I learn over there and apply it to my community when I return.

During our workshop we watched the documentary, Crossing Borders, which follows four Moroccan and four American students as they live together for a few weeks in Morocco. The film shows how they interact learning of each other’s differences, cultures, and similarities. There are moments when the students clash because of the different backgrounds, but also other moments of understanding. “In a world that is smaller and yet more complex than ever before, our educational challenge is to understand and to value both our differences and our commonalities, our separateness and togetherness” (Slimbach 203). I understand that when I go abroad I am going to meet so many people who have different cultures than mine. I hope to learn more about each of these cultures and to expand my mind more than ever before. I think studying abroad will be good for both me and the people I meet because we can learn from each other and understand the differences and similarities we may have.

Since I will be traveling to Barcelona, for my travelogue I chose A Guiri’s Adventure: Barcelona Through the Eyes of an American. This book follows the travel of Greta Paa-Kerner and her experience living in Barcelona. I hope to learn a lot from reading this book and that I can apply what I read here to my personal experience when traveling abroad. With this final week of being home, I am preparing myself for an unforgettable experience.


guiri adventure

Works Cited

Paa-Kerner, Greta. A Guiri’s Adventure. Digital image. Amazon. Web.

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


Travel Log 1 “Laying a Foundation” Athena Rine, Northport NY

Recently it feels like every conversation I have eventually leads into the topic of studying abroad. All of my friends and family are so interested in what I am doing and excited for this new journey in my life. I have noticed one common question that seems to come up extremely frequently. “Are you going with anyone you know?” Everyone is a bit surprised when I say that I’m not. I do know some people’s names, I’ve had a few conversations with each of them since I found out we are going together. I also have a roommate who I have been keeping in contact with, but I definitely wouldn’t say I’m traveling with any of my best friends.

This got me thinking about communitas and what we were taught in the QU301 workshops. In my life transitions thus far, I have almost always had someone very close to me by my side experiencing the same transitions I have. For example, all throughout grade school and graduation I had my best friends from home. A few friends from home even came to college with me, so I walked into school and dorm life already knowing some people and had a nice safety net to fall back on. Now here I am going to Spain for 4 months and I don’t even know much about the people whom I will be sharing this experience with. This scares me a little, but knowing and recognizing that I have communitas helps. Whether I truly know them or not, they are there and will probably face similar challenges and ups and downs. As my departure date draws closer, it has been helpful for me to keep in mind that I am not alone. I am excited to get to know my communitas on a new level, different from any of my other friends back home or at QU.

Another thing that stood out to me from the workshops is how well the rites of passage formula fits so many situations. When it was first presented to me I was a bit hesitant to accept that all life transitions have an old, liminal, and new status and that challenges, mentors, and communitas are present in each scenario. But the more I thought about it during and after the workshops, the more I was able to understand how successful rites of passage occur. I already feel that I am more capable of identifying each of the stages and I am prepared to recognize them throughout my study abroad journey.

In the introduction to Becoming World Wise, Slimbach states “Although the potential for acquiring a truly global education has never been greater, actually achieving it requires more than simply “being there.” Much depends on whether our field experiences are structured in ways that promote meaningful intellectual and intercultural learning.” (Slimbach, 7) I felt that this quote really applied to the workshops and this course as a whole because from what I understand, the whole point of it is to enrich the study abroad experience by being aware of the changes you are experiencing as well as understanding cultural differences. Different than just vacationing in another country for a few days or even weeks, study abroad requires acceptance of and immersion into a foreign culture. It’s more than just sight seeing and learning because it really involves a change in the student’s life. I feel that knowing the rites of passage formula along with its components will assist me in analyzing my transition and make it as meaningful and successful as possible. I also think that my heightened awareness in the liminal stage of my transition will help me to appreciate the differences between my home country and Spain. I want to take in as much as I can about life in another country because this experience will probably be the closest I ever come to understanding it.Spain From A Backpack
The travelogue I chose is called Spain from a Backpack. I chose this book because the description seemed the most exciting to me out of all the ones I looked at. When I read the first few pages online it was written in a very vivid and relatable way and had me wanting to jump on a plane and get to Spain. It tells about cultural events and experiences from foreigners’ perspectives. There are multiple authors in this book telling about their individual experiences, which I thought would be fun and attention grabbing because it will enable me to get more than one person’s view on things.

Travel Log 1: “Laying a Foundation” by Mitchell Trulli , North Reading Mass

Initially I was hesitant to sacrifice an entire weekend to a hybrid class such as this one, I eventually signed up because my mother has always encouraged me to do new things and seize every opportunity available. Initially waking up so early had me regretting my decision although by the end of the first session I was intrigued by the massive amount of information that could be taught within such a short period of time. The sessions helped open my mind as to how tough it may be to assimilate yourself with such a different culture. I had never spent such a long time in a foreign country so the only foreign experiences I had were as a tourist, which as I can expect now will be much different than a student. I was surprised at how rites of passage are present in every culture and even in my life although I could not recognize them as such. Breaking down the different stages and analyzing them was quite enlightening to me and changed my view of how society works. One of the most enlightening experiences in the workshops was the film we watched of the Americans visiting Morocco and how different the cultures were.
While reading Becoming World Wise Slimbach begins to discuss how Western culture has affected everyone across the world and even the small group of people watching the news half a world away in the Viatnamese village. “More than likely they will experience a weakening attachment to family and place and gradually branch out (Slimbach 2) He continues to explain how similar everyone across the world is but how unique they all are at the same time, especially in relation to rites of passage. At one point everyone begins to separate and become worldly, university students study abroad, high school students take a bridge year, people studying religion typically engage in service trips. We all separate and begin a transformation at one point in our lives. Slimbach also explains the importance of engaging yourself during these experiences to fully absorb their worth. “We will tend to accumulate novel experiences but without stepping outside our comfort zones”( Slimbach 7) There is unlimited potential when immersing yourself in a global community and to fully engage yourself you must step out of your comfort zone as that is where true personal growth occurs. I will remember this as I am greeted with uncomfortable and new situations during my time abroad.

I chose to read Iberia by James A. Michener. Iberia is a book depicting the travels and adventures throughout Spain written in a unique way through James Michener’s eyes. The book explains the more common aspects of Spain such as the bull fighting and painters but also the undiscovered beauty in the landscape and culture that most people pass by without noticing. I hope this book helps me discover aspects of Spain that I would otherwise have overlooked. The reviews continuously focus on his ability to make readers fall in love with Spain.51dcOx0xZXL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Travel Log 1: “Laying a Foundation” by Kathleen Flynn. South Berwick, Maine

While initially I was worried about sitting through workshops early on a Saturday and Sunday morning, I found them to be extremely interesting. Not only did I learn more about the process of ROP that I would be going through myself, but the workshops also excited me even more for my upcoming international experience. I have always believed that studying abroad is an experience that can go in either direction based on how the student acts and reacts to it. After the workshops, I felt even stronger about keeping an open mind and pushing myself out of my comfort zone to reach the full potential of the international opportunity. However, because of how open-minded I am I hadn’t really thought about how going abroad may affect me negatively, especially during the liminal phase. The workshops really showed me what to expect and how to overcome the inevitable “tricksters” that everyone runs into. I never thought that I would be one to become stuck because of tricksters, but the workshops showed me that things such as mentors or communitas could help me through. I think that understanding the fact that “tricksters” are a part of almost anyone’s liminal phase will calm me when I encounter them myself in Florence.

After seeing the way that the workshops inspired everyone to fully experience and immerse themselves during their study abroad, I think it’s very important that every community engages in Rites of Passage. The reason is that by doing so, members of the community acknowledge significant changes that would normally go unnoticed. With community engagement in a member’s transition, it strengthens the bonds between members and there is something to be learned by everyone. I found it interesting that a lack of formal rites of passage was prominent in areas such as the U.S. and how that affected those societies. Without active participation in rites of passage, “society has no clear expectation of how people should participate in these roles and therefore individuals do not know what is required by society” as stated by Grimes. The roles Grimes was describing are those such as being an adult. This concept made me wonder that if ROP were more important to communities, then maybe it would not be as acceptable for young adults to still be living off the support of their parents as many do today.

Two concepts that were discussed in the Introduction of Becoming World Wise are the importance of facing challenges during rites of passage and of carefully reflecting throughout the process. Slimbach discusses the difference between simply “being there” and actually achieving the full potential of a global experience. The difference depends on how much we push ourselves outside of our comfort zones. When we don’t do this Slimbach states, “’cocooning’ occurs, (and) we can’t expect much deep learning to take place” (Slimbach, 7). This idea is also something we discussed in our first workshop where the challenges of the liminal phase were highlighted. It is from facing these challenges head on, even while they may discomfort us, that result in new learning. Because rites of passage are all a learning experience in which we grow from, reflection at all phases is key. The reason for this is that careful reflection forces us to think about events from the past and present and connect them to one another to shape future events. During reflection we can observe the growth in ourselves during the study abroad process as discussed in workshop two. Slimbach also mentions this as “predeparture training and postsojourn analysis” (Slimbach, 9). In the reflection before departure we “consider the ultimate purposes and practical learning strategies needed for us to enter deeply into our host culture;” while in the postsojourn process we integrate our “experiences and insights from the field into our ongoing academic and personal lives” (Slimbach, 9). Both concepts I have discussed will be extremely important to me during my abroad experience as I can only push its learning potential to the amount that I push myself to overcome various challenges. Additionally, reflection will help guide me through discovering the growth I have made since first leaving to coming back home.

As my travelogue, I have chosen to invest my time reading, “Ciao Pussy!: A Memoir of Florence,” to learn more about the city. This memoir covers the travels of the author Susan Kelley and her husband as they live in Florence for a few years, and depicts the fascinating people they run into along the way and finding themselves among the amazing culture of Italy. I chose this among all other travelogues of Florence because although it was longer, the reviews all felt she made the experience “come alive” for them with her humor and insight.


Travel Log 1: “Laying a Foundation” by Doug Beebe; Long Island, NY

As I sit down to write this travel log I begin to look back at all of the experiences that I have had this summer and over the past few years. All of us have gone through such huge life changes, from packing up and going to college and starting a new life away from home and now packing up and moving to another country for a couple of months. Last weekend I was able to go up and visit all of my friends before I left to go to London and being there was such an odd experience, I felt as though I was an outsider and didn’t belong, that I was supposed to be in London, instead of there (at Quinnipiac). I am now frantically trying to get all of my things ready to leave for London because I of course left it for the last minute! I am so excited to get to London now, though, and listen to all the British accents, hear the hustle and bustle of an amazing city and to ALWAYS remember to look left while crossing the street.

The main point of this course, at least as it pertains to me, is to truly understand what the Rite of Passage is by experiencing and learning about it simultaneously. One of the most exciting parts of this whole experience is being able to immerse myself in the culture of a country that I have never been to before. Being able to delve into their culture and experience it, rather than seeing it as a superficial vacation spot. Rite of Passage, on a simple level, is certain ceremonies that help to transform us as people into individuals inside this new culture. Although, before we are able to go through the Rite of passage, we need to create separation between our past life, the one at home, and our new life, my future few months in London. Spending those few days at Quinnipiac, like I mentioned before, really helped me to create that separation from all of my friends who are extremely important to me by giving us all a sense of closure that that was the last time they would see me for a few months.

Slimbach mentioned in his introduction that, “What’s important is that we should discover things that are new to us and feel the same wonder and elation as if they were new to everyone else” (Slimbach, 4). I felt that this quote did a great job of helping to explain the Rite of Passage because we are going through all of these different ceremonies to create a life change, and we should embrace these ceremonies and enjoy them as though everyone else is experiencing them for the first time as well. When I hear this quote, I see myself sitting in London looking at the architecture of a building or observing people doing something that I’ve never seen done before and being truly amazed as if no one has ever seen this before and I was the one to first observe it. It is really important for us to embrace these moments as part of our “transformation” and to not be afraid to be amazed.

              I really struggled trying to find a book that would work for this class and surprisingly there Absolute Beginnersweren’t many books that were written about people moving to London that related to me in any way. I chose to read Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes because it seems to be an interesting book that focuses primarily on the protagonist traveling to west London and really exploring the 60’s artsy culture that lies within that area. I felt that the title to this book worked perfectly for this occasion because we are all absolute beginners in our prospective cities.