Above and Beyond

Today we were asked to reflect on our original “Presidential Global Scholars Goals” that we wrote down back at the beginning of December. These goals were both personal goals as well as experience/sight-seeing goals. While I am blessed to have traveled to seven countries in these past months, I find it more valuable evaluating how I have changed rather than where I have gone. After all, I was looking for a life-changing experience, and not necessarily to travel as many places as possible. One of the valuable lessons I learned this semester is the importance of going deep. It is not always about doing as much as possible, but spending a longer time investing in the people and places I visited. Below are the original goals of that I set for myself, and looking at my previous blogs and reflection on Time and What Next?, I think I have far superseded my own expectations!

“As a new honors student, I hope for this experience of studying abroad to push me. I have not yet taken any honors courses, so taking 15 credits worth seems a little daunting, but I am excited for the challenge. Another goal of mine is to push my academic knowledge outside of my comfort zone. I don’t want to be content with easy answer, but want to constantly question myself and others around me. Although I personally do not know any of the professors yet, I hope to not only gain a deeper understanding of their area of study but also to develop individual relationships with them. I know that there is much to learn from the scholars that will be joining us and I want to take advantage of this privileged experience. As a student of Religion and Culture and International Studies, I hope to walk away with a deeper understanding of European culture and society through experience. My goal is to interact with the locals and assimilate myself into their lifestyle and “wear their shoes” for the 3.5 months I will be there. One of my final goals is to get to know and interact with everyone on the trip, especially with my group for our interest projects. Just from initial conversations I can see the great diversity that individuals in the group have to offer. I am excited to provide my knowledge and personal experience to others while learning from them as well.”

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