the nikku

reflecting on ESL/EFL and its relation to faith

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The JetSetters



It seems nearly everyone in my generation has a patron country - England, Ireland, China, Russia, Wales, Guatemala, Norway. And some of us have a bad habit of thinking that we are special because we travel.

Recently a column in the Argus Leader wrote about how the growing trend towards internationalism is simply a part of our time in the world. We are no more special for being jetsetters than our forefathers were for being pilgrims, or soldiers, or survivors of the Depression. We are simply who our times call us to be.

I have heard comments from friends like, "But no one here understands", "Things are just so much better there", "The food is so great". We are not - or rather should not - be traveling around the world collecting souvenirs and exotic foods. That isn't to say there isn't a place for tourism or souvenirs, but a study abroad, or living abroad, is more than just a vacation.

Now that there is a growing need for international cooperation - in spite of what our foreign policies, exported commodities and movies say - we are traveling in order to understand and cooperate with the cultures of the world. And "surprisingly" we're finding that we have more incommon than we thought.

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