The “eve of departure” for the 2015 Global Perspectives Program is rapidly approaching. And as I contemplate another departure, I’m struck by the fact that this is the 10th year of the program. For me, each year brings a similar level of excitement and wonder about the journey we will take individually and collectively. Every cohort is different although each cohort believes they are the “best”. Better or best are not words I use to describe the various cohorts for each cohort is unique and brings their perspectives to the journey. Our individual goals and objectives vary; our interactions evolve, a sense of community builds and the experience lasts much longer than our time abroad. Each trip is terrific producing fond memories and friendships that last a life-time. To date, more than 120 VT graduate students participated in the GPP program – future professoriate: global perspectives program. And I have appreciated all of the experiences over the years.
So on the eve of my departure this year, I reflect on the 10 years of the program. I looked back on two previous blogs about departures for GPP 2012 and for GPP’13. In both of these blogs, a theme emerges about observation and reflection. I quote: “As a part of the experience, I ask the Virginia Tech participants to keep journals and to write about their observations and personal reflections. As I challenge myself daily, I encourage the GPPers to see new things and to see things in new ways (e.g., the doors and windows) and to see the unobvious.” When we meet at “Hotel St. Josef in Zurich, Switzerland at 3pm (1500) on Sunday May 24, 2015” I will once again talk about looking at the windows and doors, markets and stores, streets and sidewalks, and more. And I will encourage us to look for the unobvious and see things through a different cultural lens.
The eve of departure always tends to coincide with VT Commencement Ceremonies. This seems fitting inasmuch as commencement is also a beginning – a beginning of new journey. GPP’15 is a beginning, a new journey and one that we anticipate.
The fourteen plus Michael and me will travel different routes to Zurich, spend the next 12 days together and on June 4th we begin our return and re-entry. Please read follow the GPP Switzerland blog, read about the VT participants and UniBasel group along the way, and follow up on social media (Facebook, twitter @gppvt or @kpdepauw, and more). Please check out #gppswiss15.
A new way to follow our trip and join in the fun – http://tripvis.org. Stay tuned, there’s more to come.