The Crusader Online

October 18, 2013
Vol. 55 No. 6

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Travel reveals cultural shifts

For anyone who doesn't know, I spend my summers teaching softball to elementary/middle school-aged kids at a camp near Honesdale. And for anyone who (like me) is from a state where six week-long summer camps do not fit into the norm, then please know that spending every waking moment with the same group of kids and counselors means that, when August comes, it's like saying a year-long goodbye to your family.
This summer, though, I said goodbye to all of the international counselors knowing that, come mid-October, I would be off on an adventure to Newcastle, England, to spend a weekend with them all.
This is only one of the many highlights of spending a full semester abroad. Because I'm here for four months, I'm able to adventure off of this island and know that, should I miss a particular event within my group of friends, I'll have multiple other weekends in my future spent with these people. Essentially, a full semester abroad means I get spare time to take a Thursday through Sunday adventure to England to visit old friends and to make new ones.
Surprisingly enough, the differences between nightlife in Ireland and the likes in England are practically nonexistent, while the comparison between European Friday/Saturday nights and those spent in the States remains drastically different.
What feels most different to me between here and America, though, is the physical landscape. In England, I walked across wet-from-rain cobblestones, heels in hand, with a three hundred year old castle rising up on the left side of the sidewalk, and a line of nightclubs on the right. In order to exit the Riverside club where I spent my Saturday, I had to walk past three of the well-known and most-visited bridges in the city. It blows my mind to imagine tourists coming here to visit these monuments I'm simply hailing a taxi alongside.
As is my habit, and one I'm not keen on changing anytime soon, I also managed to waste away an afternoon shopping in Newcastle with a Scottish friend and another Brit. The day turned into this gargantuan adventure that included my very first full English breakfast (cuppa tea on the side, as well, but even I was not brave enough to try that black pudding nonsense) as well as my first forays into amazing stores such as Primark and New Look. I could barely fit all of my belongings back into my backpack to fly out of Manchester on Sunday evening because the jumper and trousers I bought simply refused to be crammed into the barely-there remaining spaces.
Needless to say, my time in England was well-spent and served as a great reunion for all of us. What surprised me, though, was my knee-jerk reaction to compare Newcastle to Limerick, and both of those to Selinsgrove. All I know for sure is that I am absolutely positive that a semester abroad was the right choice for me.


Student groups starts the conversation

Finding home in new places

Editors juggles friends and school work

Travel reveals cultural shifts

First-year reflects on first homecoming

Graduate describes lifestyle after SU

Chaplain's Corner


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