The bells are chiming and lunch will be served soon, so I’ve been trying to collect my thoughts before we head out on some new adventures this afternoon and evening. Two points I want to make with this moment of reflection.
First, so many of my initial thoughts on education, educational systems, and context that brings us to understand these things have shifted. Being in Switzerland, France, and Italy has given me a different perspective on the ways in which we educate our people. I am happy to see how valued the vocational tracks are and that they have a different route of education. We need more of that in the US, in my opinion.
Second, exposure to different cultures has made such a big impact on me. Not just being around someone from a different culture, rather being submerged in a different culture to witness things through the eyes of the stranger has given me a whole different outlook. It seems that it was such a short while ago when I was contemplating my application and now I sit today in a library/study in a villa in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland typing this post as I look out on the beautiful gardens through the window. The view of the Swiss mountains in the distance remind me of the distance I have traveled; both physically and mentally while on this study abroad.
I am so thankful for this experience as it has brought me precisely what I have needed to shift my thoughts and perspectives on higher education. One thing I know for sure is that I will forever be altered because of this experience. Enhanced in so many ways. So I send a BIG thank you to Dean Karen DePauw for selecting me out of the many who applied.
The bells are chiming and I hear the clanking of dishes, so I must be off! Lunch, a debriefing meeting, and adventure awaits! Chao!