The Washington Post magazine recently published, http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/studying-abroad-life-is-the-key-lesson/2014/07/31/c5cdbc3c-06af-11e4-bbf1-cc51275e7f8f_story.html, a wonderful reflective and insightful essay by a Georgetown University student. It’s about her experience in Seville, Spain and I think it would make a terrific handout for a workshop either before or upon return for any student discussion group.
Here’s an example of the students’ insight:
“There’s a poem by Gail Mazur called “Why You Travel” that encapsulates why you should study abroad if you have the opportunity. The photographs of you traveling, wherever you are in the world, show you “having the time of your life, blistered and smiling. The acid of your fear could eat the world.”
That’s exactly it. To confront that fear. To face the newness and difference of everything and everyone. To feel yourself changing while still holding on to who you are.”
Learning how to cope with difference and the challenges of staying in touch with “who you are” are exactly what a student will confront while abroad in any country. It’s what I learned in India and what students I’ve traveled with have had to deal with. And it is what a faculty member or program director must help a student muddle through during their time in-country…