Chaos Attraction

Education Abroad

2008-06-25, 10:56 a.m.

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I don't talk about work much here (believe me, you wouldn't want me to). But I had to sit through a meeting today where they brought in someone from the Education Abroad program to speak. I can't for the life of me figure out WHY, since this pretty much has nothing to do with what we do, and we're not exactly counseling people on how to do that here. I honestly think they feel obligated to have a monthly meeting regardless of whether or not there is anything to talk about at the meeting, and they dragged in whatever speaker they could get.

Even worse on the "not relevant" scale, this guy's talk was clearly designed to get COLLEGE STUDENTS, which we are not, all fired up to leave the country and have a lifechanging experience. Yes, I'm sure that speech would have been inspiring to that audience, but um...I don't think we even HAD any students around at the meeting today. Technically speaking, nobody in the room could "take advantage of this great opportunity," because we are all old and/or graduated already.

So what's the point?

I never felt terribly motivated to want to go abroad as a college student. My friends at the time didn't do it. Most of the program is designed to get kids to Europe, and I've never been interested in going to Europe (or uh, other foreign countries that scare me), so I didn't give a crap. But even if I'd been dying to go, it wasn't an option for me because of my dad. I wouldn't have even dared MENTION the idea because I would have gotten yelled at. My goal in college had to be get in and out in four years, period, not dillydally in a foreign country taking classes that didn't count for either of my majors. And of course it was TOO FAR AWAY for the parents to deal with, i.e. "But what if something happened?" I could never have done EAP, so it was a good thing I didn't really wanna.

(Yes, I know it's weird not to want to go to Europe. Between the colder weather and my total lack of ability to speak foreign languages, I'm just not interested. If I'm going to travel, I want to go somewhere warm where I understand the language, thanks.)

My mom's side relatives are constantly going to Europe like twice a year. Naturally, all the kids do Education Abroad. And these days I do have friends who do/have done EAP. Of course, nobody hates it.

The weird thing was during this talk, I was feeling totally annoyed and resentful at not being able to go. I did not give a shit back in college, at all. Hell, I still don't want to go to Europe. I have a list of places I'd like to go, and Europe is not even on the list. So why the hell was I caring NOW and being all pissed off about it?

I still don't know. I guess it was because he was going on about the lifechanging aspect a lot. Want a better job? Study at a snooty school in Singapore! Have body issues? Go to Ghana and get marriage proposals out the wazoo! Go to England and take classes in watching soap operas and terrorism (I'm not kidding, that was the speaker's example), decide to start majoring in international education!

If I want to do something lifechanging, well, that would certainly do it. That's not even a particular element of life I want to experience, but...I guess I was jealous of people doing something and then having good change come from it.

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