Travel Log 14: “Global Connections & Rites of Separation” by Samantha Prevot. Notting Hill, London, England.

In Becoming World Wise, Richard Slimbach says, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within.” The “world within” relates to our inner selves; our ideas, impulses, and so on. Slimbach says our “world within” is invisible to others and has a great impact on our social relationships and our relationship to the natural world. Slimbach also says, “The sudden vulnerability we experience as we arrive in an unknown place…renders us acutely aware of who we are, or at least of who we’re not.” Studying abroad is a learning experience, and throughout the past three months, I’ve found this out for myself. When I flew to England in January, I could only imagine where the semester would take me, and I came out of the experience a wiser, more well traveled person.

Before coming to London, I had never flown by myself before and suddenly, here I was flying by myself across the Atlantic Ocean to spend an entire semester in a city that I had only spent one week in before four years ago. Since then, I have traveled to two other countries, Sweden and Ireland, as well as to other parts of England like Stonehenge, Oxford and Brighton. Traveling on my own, or with one or two friends who are my age, gave me a new sense of confidence. In general, I think I’ve found a new sense of independence. I have lived “on my own” at Quinnipiac for the past couple of years, but being here in London took that feeling of being “on my own” to another level. My parents were no longer two hours away and able to answer my calls whenever I needed them. Now, we had a seven-hour plane ride and a five-hour time difference separating us. This was the longest period of time I have spent without coming home, and because of that I think I built up more confidence in myself and became more independent and less reliant on others. It’s hard to explain, but I just think in general I became more in touch with myself, with my “world within” as Slimbach says. Traveling to new places, studying in a brand new university system, and living in a strange city gave me time to reflect and I think I’ve grown and learned more about who I really am and what I want from life. I have also learned valuable life lessons from experiences such as having my phone stolen. Through experiences like these I have become a stronger and wiser person.

In addition, I think studying in London has helped my growth as a member of the global community. I’ve always been open to learning about different people and cultures, and being in a diverse city like London has helped me meet so many new people not only from England but other places around the world. Getting to know them has helped expand my knowledge of the world and has developed my open, positive attitude towards others. I also think, as I have mentioned, volunteering helped reopen my eyes to the joys of helping others and “fighting for similar social values and basic human rights” as we described in our definition of global community. I am definitely bringing this restored outlook with me when I return home and I am also bringing with me a newfound feeling of global awareness and a stronger feeling of global citizenship, as well as a stronger desire to travel and see the world than ever before.

Tomorrow, I am getting on a train to Paris with my mom and leaving London behind. The girls that I live with, and have become very good friends with, are all leaving too either for home or for other countries that they have planned trips to. We have talked many times about how time seemed to go by so quickly and how sad we are not only about leaving London, but also about leaving each other. We have formed such a close bond in these past few months as a communitas, going through the same Rite of Passage journey. We have made so many amazing memories together and now we are all going our separate ways and returning to our respective parts of the United States. As a group, we have tried to spend as much time as possible in the last couple of weeks, going on our last few outings to dinner, shopping, etc. before our semester is officially over. Today, I went to see major landmarks like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace for the last time. Thinking about how these are my last few hours in London for who knows how long puts a knot in my stomach. But at the same time, I keep thinking about my family and friends that are at home who have been missing me while I’ve been gone and I can’t help but get excited about returning to them. I also think about my home, New York City, specifically my town of Rockaway Beach and I get so excited about being able to go back there and see all of the places I’ve missed going to while in London. I can’t wait to get back and roam the streets of Manhattan, or just walk on the beach near my house. I also can’t wait to see my friends and family and tell them all of my stories from my adventures abroad. I know there will be an adjustment period where I will feel weird not taking the tube every day, seeing famous London landmarks on my way to class, seeing my friends that I’ve made here, eating in London-only restaurants, or simply just walking down the street to Tesco. But once I am settled in again at home, I will be so happy and I will be able to look back at my time in London fondly without being sad.

There is a quote from Kate Douglas Wiggin that says, “There is a kind of magicness about going far away and then coming back all changed.” This is so meaningful to me at this point in time because I can tell I’ve changed since leaving for England in January, and it excites me that I get to return to New York as this new and improved version of myself. I also think about all of my friends and family back home and if they have changed at all either, in addition to whether they will be able to notice the changes in me. My mom is visiting me right now, and she hasn’t brought up anything about me seeming different to her. I wonder if she’s thinking it, but isn’t saying it out loud. I am excited to continue traveling with her and try to show her parts of my new, changed, “world within” that right now seems invisible to her. As sad as I am about ending this chapter of my life, I am just as filled with anticipation and excitement about what lies ahead for me now that I’ve had this life-changing experience.


Travel Log 14: “Global Connections and Rites of Separation” by Jenna Paul. Cork, Ireland.

It is hard to believe that in less than two weeks I will be back in the United States at home. I am so incredibly sad to be leaving this wonderful country in Ireland. I have learned so much about myself as a person and the world all around me. Having this opportunity for global learning has taught me so much. Studying in Europe has really given me a different outlook and perspective on life that would not have been possible without this experience.

Thinking about the quote from Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning by Richard Slimbach, when he states, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within (54).” Studying abroad lets a person feel scared living in a new environment, nervous meeting new people, and anxious being away from home. But with all of that comes experiences that are just not possible at home. For example, while studying in Ireland I got the opportunity to live on a farm, milk a cow and collect chicken eggs. I then ate cheese that came from the same cows I milked earlier in the day. I also had the opportunity to take an international business class while studying abroad, which meant I was in a class full of international students. I talked to people from all over the world weekly and learned so much about the global markets. Another quote by Slimbach that I really related to states, “As such, we have the unique opportunity to connect an inner journey of self-discovery with an outer journey of world discovery (47).” It has been the most amazing time for me to find myself in an unknown world. These experiences wouldn’t have been possible without living in this new world that I have found here.

Becoming a member of the global community has taught me so much and I can only hope that I have inspired the people I met while being here. It is hard to know if what you leave behind is just as great as what you have gained, but I can only hope that I have changed and inspired the friends I made while being abroad. Looking forward I will be bringing not only the memories I have, but also the knowledge and understanding of what I have learned back to America. I hope I can then inspire and teach my family and friends at home and show them everything that these global connections have given me.

Leaving the friends I have made here will be one of the hardest things for me because of the fact that I am not sure when I will get to see them again. We will for sure be having a good-bye dinner and will be talking about the memories we have made this semester. I will make sure to take a walk around this beautiful city and go to my favorite parts to say good-bye and take picture so that I will be able to look back and remember these wonderful times.

I am feeling so sad to be leaving and wish I had more time here in Ireland. I have just been taking every day in and loving each moment I have while I am here. I think it will be hard to go home, but once I am home and able to see friends and family I will feel a lot better.

The quote that expresses how I am feeling is, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”-Albert Einstein. This quote shows how even if it might not feel right to be moving on, it is. Even though I don’t want to leave Ireland right now, I have to and it will all be okay in the end.

TL 14 “Global Connections & Rites of Separation” by Kait Shortell Paris, France

I believe there is a very insightful message in Richard Slimbach’s statement, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within.” (p. 54). The first half of the statement refers to ‘global learning’ and the value it holds on a worldly scale, as the individual enters and eventually finds an understanding and meaning on their own, of what global learning is. This is only possible, in my opinion, when we are given the right tools and information to come to that understanding. The ‘global learning’ that occurs ‘within,’ I believe he is referring to us within ourselves. This is only a possibility if we are willing to open our minds up to the information we receive about the world, and other countries, with an unbiased mindset. To be receptive to global learning, it starts with the simplest of understandings, which we can find when we look within, and see that we are all human, and borders are man-made.

For my personal growth as a member of the global community, I would have to say that I came to an understanding that awareness and knowledge are probably the most important aspects of being a global citizen, for me personally. To be aware and have knowledge of what is going on in the world around me, and to know that we do not live in a perfect world by any means is important. I also believe that being aware and knowledgeable, of the world that is much bigger than the one I live in, allows me the ability to connect with the stories I hear and things I learn about, whether it be the traditions of Moroccan culture, or the values of the French, or the war between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes, just in the simple fact that we are all human.

This understanding has allowed me to grow to have such an appreciation for the meaning of the word “difference”. But, with hat said, I also have come to realize that awareness and knowledge are not the key to becoming a global citizen for everyone. I believe every person should be different when it comes to what helped him or her understand and grow into a member of the global community. Moving forward, I now have a desire to learn about the world around me, because I now know why it is important, and that is all I need to drive myself to stay informed and aware.

My departure from Paris caught me off guard a little (or a lot ), so I didn’t leave Paris to reincorporate into home as gracefully as I had originally thought I would. I was able to have lunch with the friends I had made from my French class, kind of a farewell and one last meal altogether. It was incredibly hard to walk away from them after hugs good-bye. The same night I had my last dance class at the Schola, where I had to part ways with the French girls I had come to admire and enjoy dancing with so much, as well as my instructor. That dance class was truly my saving grace, and meant so much more to me than I could ever express. As I parted ways with my new friends, the girl I became very close with even began to cry. The last good-bye was one last long talk with my home-stay Madame, who will always be very special to me, which was also a very emotional good-bye. In her parting words, she thanked me, and told me she would no longer wonder what it would be like to have a daughter. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to say any good-byes to the places that had become meaningful to me because my departure was so abrupt, but if I had to guess, I would say it wouldn’t have been a good-bye to those places, but more like a ‘see you later’.

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Travel Log 14: “Global Connections & Rites of Separation” by Bryan Riemer. Cork, Ireland

In order to become a ‘global citizen’ I first had to make ‘global connections’. Now this does not necessarily mean that I just had to meet people from other countries and have a conversation with them, it is more about how I can recognize their cultural differences and allow those differences to have a personal positive impact. I hope to be able to read about a country that I have been to and/or met someone from and have a more globally precise opinion on the situation rather than an Americanized opinion. Once I make ‘global connections’ I can then move forward onto becoming a ‘global citizen’ which involve me having an intellectual conversation with those I met from other countries and having someone I can possibly stay with when visiting their home country in the future. Since I am an American and was raised believing that certain countries are worse than others I will always have a small bias, but the more I learn about those countries that I was taught were bad the more I will be able to make a personal opinion. And only when I am able to make an informative opinion about global crisis will I be able to consider myself globally citizen.

The only solution to solving any problem is with multiple minds working on it at the same time. As Albert Einstein once said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it” (P.51). I see this quote as a good explanation of the quote that I was asked to analyze and discuss which is, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into the world within.” (P.54). Einstein’s quote pairs well with this quote because anyone can travel abroad and have experiences that they may never forget but if those experiences are not shared with others then it is almost as if they never really traveled abroad in the first place. This is also true about any problem an individual may have. If the individual can’t communicate their problems with others then how do they expect to solve them?

To properly separate myself from Ireland I have chosen to walk through the streets of Cork and take a picture of any place that I have been to during my time abroad. I will do this over an afternoon and hopefully enjoy this experience. I will not just take the pictures and move onto the next location, I will remember all of the times I spent there and how those experiences changed my overall thoughts of my time studying abroad. For most of these places I will most likely go inside and grab a pint or a snack and get one last mental image of where I have spent the last four months of my life. Prior to leaving I will also try and say goodbye to all of those that I have met and befriended while in Ireland.

In order to accomplish this large task of saying goodbye to everyone I have befriended I was thinking about coordinating a farewell dinner for everyone with the best fish and chips in all of Ireland, Jackie Lennox. I will hope to have a conversation with every individual about how they made my time in Ireland better with their presence and give them my contact information so we can all stay in contact when I return home. I just hope that people will have time to meet considering it is finals week. When I return home I will certainly miss Ireland and will need some time to re-adjust to driving on the right side of the road again. Besides that I will also realize how much I have learned during my time abroad and how I will be able to use my new skills and knowledge in my everyday life.

Travel Log 14: “Global Connections & Rites of Separation” by Jared Walsh. Barcelona, Spain

Slimbach’s quote, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within” is a great concise way of summing up my time abroad. I’ve learned about Europe, but more importantly a lot about myself. The things I’ve done, the interactions I’ve had, and the places I’ve traveled have taught me to be more open minded and accepting. And just as Slimbach says at a later point in his text, “external experience may occupy most of our waking hours, but we ultimately live from the depths of our being—from our intentions, ideas and impulses” (65). It’s not just the externalities, but how I’ve changed as a person.

My global connections have contributed to my growth as a member of the global community greatly. The biggest amount of growth I’ve experienced in my opinion is that I’ve become more appreciative and accepting of cultures. Each country I visited had such different ways of living. It was amazing to be able to experience a little of each of them. It’s changed my opinion on some things and gotten rid of some stereotypes. It’s also given me a general awareness of Europe as a whole, thus making me a better global citizen.

As the time draws nearer, I’m getting excited to head home. While I love Europe, there’s just no place like home. But don’t let my excitement mask my melancholy. While I can’t wait to go home I’m also going to greatly miss this side of the Atlantic. It’s the cliché bittersweet feeling, I know. I’ve had the time of my life while abroad and nothing will ever be able to replace it. The strong bonds I’ve formed with the people and the culture here are something very new to me; I can’t say I’ve had a feeling like this before. Traveling the world with others takes it a step further from just living with them. But that’s why I’ve been adamant that I want to keep the friendships I’ve made abroad. As a sort of ‘goodbye’ I took everyone out to dinner this past weekend when we were all traveling together in Budapest. It was great to reflect on all the times we’ve had while and abroad and gave us a chance to really understand the depth of friendship that has been created and to appreciate that. I think my emotions and actions right now will make the reincorporation phase of this Rite of Passage a bit more difficult than I expected. By this point I assumed I would be perfectly fine picking up my things and heading home, but that’s not the case. The relationships I’ve formed are most likely going to make it a bit more difficult for me to reincorporate because I’ll have that added emotional burden.

The quote I chose to describe my current thoughts/feelings at this moment in the experience is “you will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place,” by Miriam Adeney. This perfectly describes how I’m currently feeling: a bittersweet nostalgia. I know, I haven’t left yet, but the semester is rapidly coming to an end and it’s been evident that my time here is coming to and end. I’ve taken the past few days to really think about my abroad experience—how many new places I’ve been to, how many awesome new people I’ve met. I’ll fully admit that I am excited to head home back to Rhode Island where everyone speaks English! But as I’m packing my things here I can’t help but feel that I’m going to leave a little bit of myself here in Europe. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing! I’ll forever have the bonds between the friends I’ve made during this semester and that is something I’ll cherish.




Travel Log 14: “Global Connections & Rites of Separation,” by Stephanie Schmitt. Florence, Italy.

In his book, Slimbach discusses how following a structured “story” while studying abroad will help students to find purpose for becoming globally competent. Part of the story is that while abroad, students have the opportunity to find their true selves. In chapter two of his book, he says, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within” (54). This means that study abroad does not only teach us about the world beyond our home countries, but about the world that we are not in touch with inside of ourselves. Slimbach argues that when placed in a new country, the vulnerability that comes with the unknown connects us closer to our sense of self. This is in accordance with the liminality phase that we discussed in our workshops. This phase has the potential of bringing heightened awareness and creativity, and although it is uncomfortable, it may bring positive change. As I near the end of my liminal phase, I am reflecting on my experience and realizing that I have absolutely learned about myself. I have realized that I am a very independent person and that I am capable of doing things on my own. Also, I have realized that I am curious about what makes me inherently different from others, especially those who were raised in different countries, and that the beauty of these differences mystifies me and I want to learn more about them.

While learning about myself, I have also been learning about the differences and similarities between American and Italian culture. Slimbach says, “While the story we need begins within us, it cannot be fully realized apart from others” (55). In other words, a study abroad experience devoid of social interaction with strangers is devoid of meaning because we do not learn tolerance and appreciation of differences. Studying abroad has been amazing because it has taught me that American culture is very different from others, but it is important to appreciate those differences and extend respect, understanding, and love across the cultural diversities. I think that this is the most important part of being a global citizen. A global citizen is aware of the differences across the world, but recognizes the value in them. She sees that she can learn from the differences and also looks to identify places in the world where she fits in and can make a difference. The global citizen must use education and reflection to make meaning of global experiences and use that meaning to have a positive impact on the world.

Before we leave, my friends and I are going to go up to the point of the city that overlooks all of Florence and watch the sunset. We are going to reminisce on all of our memories that we have made together as communitas. We will look at where we started on our journey and how far we have come. As I prepare to leave Italy, it is incredibly bitter-sweet. I look forward to seeing my family and friends, but I am sad to leave this new life behind. In order to prepare for my departure, I have been taking walks alone and reflecting on my experiences, going on runs through my favorite parts of the city, and visiting my favorite shops and restaurants one last time. As I reflect on my time here, although I am sad to leave, I am also excited to see what the next part of my life has in store. Slimbach says that when looked at as a right of passage, travels abroad can signify “a profound movement from adolescent preoccupation with social standing to greater independence and self-suffiency” (40).  Although Florence will always be a part of me, I am ready to leave and continue this new chapter of personal growth, both as an individual and as a global citizen.

The quote that defines my experience at this moment is, “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” Although it is simple, it is expressive of my emotions. Truthfully, I have spent much more money than I ever have this past semester and my bank account is seriously dwindling, but none of it matters. The people that I have met, the experiences I have shared, and the personal growth that I have endured has made it all more than worth it. As cheesy as it sounds, I could not put a price tag on an experience like this if I tried.


Travel Log 14 “Global Connections & Rites of Separation” by Kristen Sullivan. Barcelona, Spain

Global connections are an essential part of studying abroad. Richard Slimbach states, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within.” Global learning has been the epitome of the past four months and something that every abroad student should have gone through. I feel like I have had a positive impact and become a part of the new culture. From the first chapter of Becoming World Wide, this is what Slimbach encourages us to do. In addition, I have discovered a new “world within” myself. I have learned so much about who I was, who I am, and who I wish to become. In the past 4 months I have become open to change, new experiences, and discovery. Prior to this experience, I was more sheltered and had little understanding of the world outside of New Jersey and Connecticut. This experience has allowed me to appreciate the world around me for all of its differences. Slimbach writes, “Global learning can contribute to earth healing, but only as it sets our imaginations free to see and experience the world differently” (Slimbach 67). As we talked about in this course, the liminal phase allows for creativity and imagination. After completing this phase, I am able to see the world differently. This course has given me the skills to reflect on this experience and grow because of it. It has allowed me to develop a larger role in my new community and feel like I am a bigger part of it. Although it seems simple now, there were many obstacles I had to go through to feel this sense of understanding and appreciation.

QU 301 has given me the skills to integrate within Barcelona. Unlike many of the other American students, I was aware of potential setbacks I would have during the semester. I was aware that, if I let it, social media would take away from my experience if used excessively. It would make me miss home and would make me focus more on posting pictures than living out my experience. Because I set expectations with my family, friends, and boyfriend, I didn’t feel the need to be attached to my phone and this was a huge part of my easy transition. I was able to create better memories and have a more well-rounded experience because of this.

As I look ahead to the next week, I can’t imagine leaving my home in Barcelona. I have had the best experiences, discovered myself, and made lifelong friends. The thought of leaving is bittersweet. It will be extremely difficult to say goodbye to my new life and the bonds I have created here. I fear having reverse culture shock when I head back to the United States. However, at the same time I feel like I have gotten the most out of my experience. I embraced every opportunity and have no regrets. I am excited for my friends and family to see the how I have changed and grown as a person. Going through this rite of passage has helped me flourish into a mature adult and the person I want to be. I have chased a lifelong dream and through that I have learned so many life skills that I hope to continue to develop back at Quinnipiac.

Coming from a huge Italian family, goodbyes have never been my strong suit. They are normally long and drawn out. Looking ahead to the next week, I realize that I need to spend time with my language partner Silvia. She has changed this experience for me, and I need to ensure that we have a proper goodbye. I cannot thank her enough for everything that she has done for me and the new world she has open my eyes to. In addition, I need to spend this time with my roommates Ashley, Tori, Lovisa, and Jacqueline who have been the backbone of this experience for me. We need to visit all of our favorite places in Barcelona and reminisce about the past 4 months.

I also need to listen to the wise words of Dr. Seuss as he says, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” I can’t be sad that this experience is coming to an end, but rather I need to appreciate all that it has given me and how I can use this experiences and skills as I move forward. I have become such a strong individual and have learned how to rely on myself. It has made me want to not be stagnant and to go out and see the world. It is safe to say I have the travel bug. I look forward to taking this multicultural experience and skills and using them in my future studies and career as a physical therapist. Barcelona will always be a piece of me and a huge part of my life journey thus far. Te amo Barcelona!12194859_10208252543893963_8381209230749582065_o

Travel Log 14: “Global Connection & Rites of Separation” by Nicoline Lovisa Tegnell. Barcelona, Spain.

In Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning, Richard Slimbach states, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within” (p. 54). This is a statement that has come to mean a lot to me during my time abroad. I feel that during my time abroad I have not just been able to see another side of the world, but become another side of the world. I have been able to truly immerse myself in another culture and feel so at home in a place that I have really come to love with my whole heart. I have been able to make new friends abroad, like my language exchange partner, who has showed me local places in Barcelona that I would have never found before. I have become friends with the spice store owner, a store I ran into on a random walk home from class. I visit the store often now and converse with her in full Spanish. It feels so nice to be so accepted in a place so far from my own home. Barcelona has provided me a place to feel comfortable and to become a part of a world I could only imagine prior to this experience. Slimbach also says, “To change the world requires that we change our consciousness, the stories we live by” (p. 44). Because of my time abroad, I have changed so much about the way I think and my independence. The independence I have gained here is something that I believe is essential to being a global citizen and as assent that I now have that I will use to continue to be a global citizen and continue to travel the world. This is all thanks to this experience. This time has given me so many more goals and aspirations, like wanting to change the world by working abroad. I want the connections I have made to help me in my future career. I want to do relief work in third world countries and really become the best version of myself that I can be. I want to now become a part of more than just a few worlds, I want to become a part of so many more. I do not want to just see the world, I want to be the world.

My favorite place in Barcelona is one that has become so close to my heart, Bunkers del Caramel, a local spot that has what I think is the best view of the entire city of Barcelona. I took my last trip to Bunkers a few days ago,


Me and my mom at Bunkers when she came to visit in October. Fall2015.

it was an experience hard to describe. I felt so many different emotions than the first time I went to Bunkers. I felt like I was looking out at a new place than the first time I went because the first time I saw a beautiful view, and this time, I saw my home. I saw a place that I had grown to love more than I could ever imagine and a place I could see myself staying in so much longer than just one semester of school if I had the opportunity to do so. I also plan to have my last meal with Marc, my language exchange partner, and say goodbye to him. I want to go to our favorite pizza place that he showed me, Frattelli La Bufala. I want to thank him for helping me with my Spanish, for showing me beautiful things in Barcelona that I would have never seen, for introducing me to new food, and most importantly, for being such a great friend. It will be hard to part with my favorite Barcelona local but I know we will always keep in touch.

As my time to depart this beautiful city draws near, I am so full of sadness. Although I have had the most amazing past four months, I am not ready to leave this place or these people yet. There are so many more things I want to learn about Barcelona, about Spain, about Europe, and about the world. But, I am so excited to see my family again! To bring closure to my time in Barcelona, I am making an effort to see all my favorite places one last time this week. I am going to my favorite restaurants, tourist locations, and local places. I have also been thanking and plan to thank my favorite teachers here. One of my professors especially, has really made an effort with me this semester and has even made his class so interesting that I am loving art! That is a big step for me. I think coming home will be hard for me but I am ready to make the adjustments necessary to reincorporate myself in the culture at home. I am willing to let this experience change and improve me, and let this make me even more successful back in the United States. A quote that really resonates with me throughout this experience is by Mary Anne Radmacher who says, “I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world”. This quote portrays how much I have grown and changed because of this experience. I am truly not the same person. I am more independent, confident, and willing to learn and adapt to new things. I can never explain how much this experience will always mean to me.

Travel Log 14: “Global Connections and Rites of Separation” by Ben Raymond. Brisbane, Australia.

“If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within.” These are the words of Richard Slimbach as he describes the influence of global learning. I feel as if this quote couldn’t possibly do a better job embodying my experiences in Australia for the past five months. Not only have I become an active member of the world around me through global learning, but I have also found an entire new world within myself – one that I am just beginning to discover. This journey has allowed me to open my mind to not only my host community, but the global community as well; appreciating all aspects of life that are much deeper than the surface. Slimbach writes, “external experience may occupy most of our waking hours, but we ultimately live from the depths of our being – from our intentions, ideas and impulses,” (65). This course has developed my skill to reflect on my own experiences, and furthermore forcing me to fully immerse within the community. Although the primary language in Australia is English, there are still plenty of cultural differences and norms which make it intimidating for Americans studying abroad to become a part of the community. This past semester, I had the opportunity to observe two of my roommates take on Australia much differently than I had. Outside of class and the occasional shopping session, their interaction with locals was minimal. Their friend group consisted of all Americans who were also studying abroad. It was evident that they were not willing to break out of their communitas – which is acceptable if they had no intention to leave the comfort zone. I, on the other hand, came to Australia with a purpose – I wanted to take full advantage of any opportunity that came my way while overseas. Upon meeting several amazing Australian friends, I took advantage of any offering they proposed; whether it be applying for a job, or going to a local concert at an exclusive rooftop bar. I discovered that by saying “yes,” endless opportunities were placed in front of me to become a part of the community. The friends I made over these past months, I will continue to stay in touch with for a lifetime.

My time has come to an end here. Am I sad? Yes and no. Yes because I have to leave behind a life that I just created for myself, along with breathtaking landscapes and unforgettable people. But on the other hand, no. No because I know that Australia has given me exactly what I wanted to get out of it. I believe it is time to move on to the next chapter with the new set of skills and mature mindset I have developed. I can truthfully say that I have ticked every box of what I wanted to accomplish while abroad… and then some. By going through my own rite of passage in Australia, I will be able to use this new skillset in order to become the adult I want to be at home

Now that it is time to say goodbye, my priority is to spend my last few days with my newly made friends – particularly Nick. As mentioned in previous travel logs, Nick has been kind enough to share his Australian world with me: from his friends, to his family, to his workplace. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities he has given me. We will most likely find ourselves at a bar on our last night reminiscing of our past semester over a couple of pints. Although this may not seem too exciting to most, it couldn’t possibly be a better way to end my experience.

Andrew McCarthy states, “The farther I travel, the closer I am to myself.” This quote is meaningful to me because as I made this leap of faith across the world, I began to connect with my inner-self. The only person I became dependent on was myself, where I truly tested my capabilities as an individual. This experience has lit a spark inside of me where I now want to see more of the world end experience more life lessons. The feeling is addictive. With the skills taught in this class, I will be able to constructively tackle any new land I venture to. Furthermore, Australia will always have a place in my heart, as it was the start of a new and improved me. This is not a goodbye, Australia, this is a see you soon.

TL 14 “Global Connections & Rites of Separation”- Taylor Porter Paris, France

Richard Slimbach states that, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within.” (p. 54). Throughout my experience, I have found a lot of truth in this statement. Not only did I learn about other people and cultures, I also learned about myself. I have always considered myself to have an introverted, shy personality. My time here has allowed me to experience the extroverted side of myself that I didn’t know I had. I’ve made friends with groups of people that I would never have had the opportunity to meet at home.

During my time here, I have also rediscovered my appreciation for what I have at home. My entire life, all I could ever think about was getting out of my country and experiencing the world. After 4 months of traveling, all I can think about are the comforts of home that I normally take for granted. I miss the little things, like being able to communicate without constantly being self conscious about my accent, grammar, pronunciation, or if Google translate was correct. Having the opportunity to explore the wonders of another world made me realize that I haven’t even began to explore the wonders in my own back yard. When I go home in 7 days now, the first thing I am going to do is plan my next trip. Except on this trip, I want to travel the U.S and see more than just what the east coast has to offer.

The global connections I have made, through the forming of new friendships and expansion of knowledge, have groomed my understanding of what it means to be a global citizen. The journey to becoming a global citizen starts at the point of building awareness. However, true global citizenship involves taking this a step further; by taking that knowledge and turning it into action. I began my journey at a young age, when my parents forced me to start watching the 5:00 news. I was learning about what was going on around the world but only at arms length. Seeing it on a television from thousands of miles away is only a 2-dimensional view. While studying at the American Business School, I took an International Finance class. This class shaped my understanding of how the world works by showing me how my actions are capable of affecting the global community. On a smaller scale, every time I buy something that’s imported or invest in the stock market or even drive my car, I am making an impact on the global economy. I want to carry these connections forward by pursuing a career that allows me to study global trends.

My emotions as my time to departure draws near have honestly come as a shock to me. I expected to want to stay or to be sad, like what all of my friends are currently going through. However, I’m actually overjoyed to go back home! This terrifies me. I am in fact so overjoyed, that I can’t even enjoy my last week. I started packing so early that I actually had to unpack so I had clothes for the rest of the week. What does this say about my time abroad if I’m this happy to go home? Does it say that I didn’t have a good time, or that I’m not cut out to travel? Maybe I just didn’t do it right. I feel guilty when I talk to my friends who are so sad about leaving because I’m just thinking to myself, “why are they so sad? The U.S. isn’t THAT bad, it does happen contain all of my friends, family and everything I hold dear.” Everyone who I’ve ever talked to about study abroad has told me that I wont want to leave and that everything is better in Europe and I might even want to move here after.

I plan on spending my last day having a picnic under the Eiffel tower with the friends I have made during this journey. It truly seems like the perfect way to end my Persian adventure. I suppose I should be relieved I’m not heart broken over leaving. This should make the reincorporation process easier… right? Or will it be worse because I’m filling my head with all of this nostalgia of what home is like and am setting myself up for disappointment?

In my very first blog post, I used a quote from Clifton Fadiman that said, “When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you feel comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” I used this quote to keep an open mind during my time here. Now that I look back at it, the words don’t make me think about the French culture, but the American culture and how everything about it is in place to make me feel comfortable.

This expression gives me clarity as to why I’m so excited to go home, and how I shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Studying abroad was not supposed to make me forget about my own culture and encourage me to take on another, it was meant to help me appreciate other cultures. For some lucky people, studying abroad has opened their eyes to a new culture that makes them feel comfortable. But I was already lucky because I always had a culture that made me feel at home. So yes, I am leaving France without any desire to assume a new European lifestyle. It doesn’t mean that I enjoyed my experience any less than the people who aren’t as excited to go back.

Excited to be Reunited.

Excited to be Reunited.