jbright's Travel Journals

jbright

 
What is the most interesting culture you've experienced?

The quiet Greek life. In Patras where we stayed in Greece, we were out of the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities, but close enough to make trips to Athens. Also, we got to see what it was like truly living in Greece when the woman who owned the bed and breakfast invited us out for dinner with some of her friends.

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  • Currently in Germany

British Isles 2010

All the things I've seen, places I've been whilst studying throughout the UK and Ireland in summer '10.

Day 4: Initial Impressions

England Ormskirk, England  |  May 17, 2010
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Highlights

  • The group of boys Mimi, Ashley and I encountered on the football pitch raised a really interesting idea: apparently, one of the reasons British people seem to want to visit the States is to live the 'American Dream.' As none of us knew what that meant, the young lads informed us that it was health, wealth, and happiness. They didn't seem to know if there was an 'English Dream' though!

 most of all, it's just different from what I'm accustomed to 

I love being in England. And I love learning all about the British culture. European history, cultures, and languages have always been of interest to me, which is why I chose to study Global Studies (or International Studies) and Tourism & Hospitality. In fact, my Global Studies concentration is European Studies. 

Since I've been here, I've really enjoyed going about the towns and being able to see how their culture has survived through their architecture and customs. I even love the subtle differences in British English terms and American English terms. 

Interestingly enough, many of the British people I've encountered on this trip--other students, people about town, cashiers--have remarked about our accents and have expressed their own desire to visit the United States. This to me is astounding. I've heard before that many other countries view ours as one of opportunity and 'the good life,' but not until I got here did it really hit me what kind of impact our media and our way of life has impacted others. One group of young boys I talked to--about 15 or so in age--were especially interested in what me, Mimi and Ashley had to say about the United States. They asked us about what sports we watch, what celebrities we like, what music we listen to (etc.).

I believe that their fascination with America is quite similar to my fascination with the UK and Europe in general: it's different from what I was born into; if I wanted more information, I had to search for it and ask questions and figure out how to relate what was foreign back to my previous knowledge; I want to learn about it because it's new and exciting, but most of all, it's just different from what I'm accustomed to.

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The first day when we arrived, everyone was tired. Most people had been traveling for 8 and 13 hours, and yet when we arrived at Edge Hill we were promptly taken about the campus. That first day I not only got to meet almost everyone of my group, but also was introduced to many British students who lived in my hall. They were so much more welcoming and outgoing than I am used to. Even beginning university in the States, people weren't as friendly--even though we were all freshmen and coming to school knowing absolutely no one.

It was really refreshing meeting all the guys and the girls from Lady Openshaw. They even 'inducted' us into their hall family.

All of the Openshaw students I've met seem really great. We Americans have already hung out with them a few nights and since most of them are first years, they're the only people who are actually my age on this trip! I really love that the lads--or 'lids' as I've heard them called--are so open with and loyal to one another. That's not something I've seen as much in the US. Don't get me wrong, American men are loyal to each other, but the guys here seem to have a deeper sense of themselves and just seem more comfortable with who they are. And from what I've seen so far, I don't doubt they'd do anything for each other. It's strange that even though friendship is universal, theirs seem to be completely foreign and unique.

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