The Study Abroad Office sent me a link to a writing contest about being abroad. Winners get money.
I have no desire to write something specifically for this contest, but I’ve spent this entire journal writing about being abroad, and would be willing to put some effort into tailoring one of these rambles into something that could be submitted.
“Try to describe how people, places, or things looked, smelled, sounded, etc. In addition to compelling writing and cross-cultural relevance, your story should be analytical and developed around a theme that flows throughout your piece. Consider the interesting questions that surfaced while you were abroad or the cultural activities you participated in; incorporate your own feelings when you write; examine the biases and cultural assumptions you had before arriving and how they changed during your time abroad; or find the deeper meanings that unfolded through encounters, conversations, and anecdotes.”
And the categories are:
CROSSING BORDERS: What’s your story about adapting to life in a new country? What challenges and highlights did you experience during your assimilation process abroad? How did you participate in the culture and community? What lessons did you give, what lessons did you learn?
IMMERSION: Study abroad is the ultimate opportunity to become more than just a tourist. We’re interested in all stories related to immersion, whether your topic is language learning, cultural activities, academics, or your living situation abroad.
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: Relationships play a significant role in the study abroad experience. Explore the dynamics that developed with host family members, friends, local vendors…individuals with different cultural reference points. How did you embrace differences and work successfully (or unsuccessfully) at building bridges?
So my question to you all is, do you have suggestions for entries in this journal that were especially good or memorable, or that you think apply more to the categories than other entries?