Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Process of Preparing for London

   We leave for London in just over 2 weeks! My excitement has now turned into nervousness. Everything thing from what suitcase to bring to getting an outlet converter has been stressing me out. What do I pack in my carry on and what do I pack in my check in bag? How many nice outfits do I need? Can I wear nice dresses? What if it is raining or is windy then I probably should not wear a dress. Should I buy a new pair of shoes and try to break them in before I leave? What purse should I bring?

   These are some of the many questions I ask myself every day.  Dr. Tracy Nobiling has been very helpful in trying to prepare us for this adventure across the sea. She has filled us in on everything from pub culture to giving us a study abroad checklist. She has told us many stories from previous years, both good and bad, but mostly positives to try and calm our nervousness and to give us an idea about what to expect. Traveling with a small group of only 10 students will hopefully give us an advantage over larger groups and be a little less stressful.  
   It is sad to say that I have only picked out a suitcase and a backpack to bring. I did come to the conclusion that I will use my small backpack as a carry on and also as a means to keep by purse in. I have to keep in mind that my small backpack has to be less than 18x14x8. One of my many fears is buying too much stuff and I having no place to put it. I need to realize that I have to leave room in both my suitcase and my carry on plus maintain a 51 pound or lower weight for my suitcase.
   I need to start packing, or at least decide what clothes I am going to bring. This will alleviate my stress levels some.  I need to also realize that even if I forget something I can more than likely just buy it while I am there. Communicating with other students has been a big help in making some decisions thus far, and I am excited to enjoy this experience with them. Hopefully, by my next blog I will be more organized because it will be almost time to depart! Below is a picture of the London study abroad group for 2014!
Front Row from left:  Jordan Staman of Crawford, NE; Jessica Orose of Rapid City, SD; Charlotte Carlson of Falcon, CO; Cierra Herrmann of Scottsbluff, NE;  Jamie Henry of Torrington, WY.  Back Row: Nick Yardley of Gordon, NE; Michaela Linders of Rushville, NE; Josh Keating of Romeoville, IL; Mary Miller of Saratoga, WY; Dr. Tracy Nobiling.  On video screen from Lander, WY, Chloe Titus.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Positve and Negative Viewpoints of Globalization

   Globalization is an ongoing concept that has been happening for many generations and will continue until the end of time. Of course, it has both negative and positive viewpoints. In the world we live in, it is common to see products from one country in another country.  Importing and exporting of goods and name brands are spreading like wildfire in the concept called globalization. Interacting with other countries has caused global competition and loss of culture, to name a few. 
   Positive viewpoints would include greater array of foreign goods, developing countries having the benefits of current technology, and global competition encourages creativity. You walk down the street in any city, or walk into a random store, and there is definitely something in there that is from a different country. Developing countries have the benefit of using the current technology that has been invented by others without the stress and hardship of developing it themselves. Global competition encourages creativity because most people want the best of something. When inventing something you need the creativity and good use of innovation to try to make it the best product of that kind due to others trying to make a profit off the same product.
   Negative effects include outsourcing, loss of culture, and greater spread of disease.  Outsourcing has huge negative effects, one of the reasons for this that it may be cheaper to make a product in one country rather than the country it is currently in. Therefore, the manufacturer may move to another country causing those workers to lose their jobs. Globalization is causing an interest of sharing cultures and innovations which leads to a loss of culture. If we, as a planet, are interacting more than ever then we are making the journey to other countries. For example, if I were to contract a disease in the states and go on a vacation to a foreign country, I have the chance of bringing that disease to a country that was not yet exposed to it.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ethnocentrism and it's Impacts

   For you that don’t know what ethnocentrism is, according to Wikipedia, it is the tendency to believe that one’s ethnic or cultural group is centrally important, and that all other groups are measured in relations to one’s own.  There are both positive and negative viewpoints of ethnocentrism. Positive viewpoints would include that you are proud of who you are and where you came from and have a sense of society. It can be negative because you may be locked on the viewpoint that you have the best cultural group and you are not openly willing to understand another’s culture.
   If you are to stay within certain cultural norms less conflict within the group and tension is to arise because you believe in the same concepts. Also, ethnocentric groups are less likely to be influenced by external forces because of their strong beliefs within their culture.  If you feel a part of society you then have a sense of belonging. There is nothing wrong with thinking your cultural groups are centrally important, but once you start comparing it to your own is when it becomes somewhat dangerous.
   Negative viewpoints of ethnocentrism include lack of diverseness and innovation.  If the group is the same they lack diverseness, and this can lead to lack of innovation. If everyone is the same how are they to grow as a group? Lack of innovation and diverseness can lead to misinterpreting outside groups because of unwillingness to communicate. Unwillingness to communicate can lead to lack of knowledge of other beliefs of different cultures.  Ultimately, this may lead to hostility towards others.
   There are definitely good and bad qualities to ethnocentrism, but learning to balance your beliefs with others is the main goal.  When I depart from London, I am going to get culture shock, as most people in the group will. It will not be what we are accustomed to; therefore, we need to embrace it while we are there and not be judgmental and comparative to our own. I love learning about other cultures and actually experiencing it is going to be incredible. It is going to be an amazing experience and I cannot wait!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Stereotypical Americans

   Americans have both good and bad stereotypes, but we are mostly known for our bad stereotypes. No matter where we go we are normally picked out immediately as being U.S Americans. We are obnoxious, we like to talk loud, and make ourselves known. This is considered very rude in other countries, but we Americans, are unique.  Violence is not uncommon in America. Our police officers carry guns and other weapons, normal citizens carry around pocket knives and even pepper spray. Especially in Nebraska, almost every male carries around something that can be used as a weapon and we, as Nebraskans, don’t think twice about it, because we consider it normal. Of course, in London these things are illegal. Bad manners, oh man! I don’t even know where to start. Growing up in a military family has allowed me to live in many different states, and even different states having different norms of manners. Not all people have horrible manners; to me it depends on how you were raised. When I think of good American manners I think of being friendly and making conversation with the person sitting next to you and standing close when having a conversation, but these may not be good manners in London.

   To beat these American stereotypes, we need to remain respectful of our surroundings by talking quietly, yet staying engaged in the conversation. Violence is not a stereotype of each individual American, but rather of the country as a whole. Don’t bring pepper spray or pocket knives with you to a different country and your problem may be solved. Avoiding obnoxiousness can include talking quietly, as listed above, and not attracting attention. Not attracting attention to yourself will lessen your chances of being a stereotypical American. Nothing screams American tourist like bad manners. Get some manners people! Even living in America I notice how horrible our manners are and I haven’t really been exposed to another’s culture before. Researching appropriate and inappropriate manners for a country you are planning on visiting will help eliminate this problem.

   On a positive note! American positive stereotypes include generosity, friendliness, and being optimistic! Americans are considered to be very generous; we like to give things to people in need! To show friendliness, Americans like to communicate with people and are open-hearted. “I’m just living the American dream” is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about optimism. Americans like to dream big even if the dream seems unrealistic; to Americans, no dream is unrealistic! Go big or go home. (:

Who Am I and Why Did I Decide To Participate In Study Abroad?

   My name is Jessica Orose, and I am currently a sophomore, but I will be a junior at the time of departure. I am a Criminal Justice major with an emphasis in Juvenile Justice and a minor in Psychology at Chadron State College.  When I was a senior in high school I came to Chadron on a school visit, during a conversation with the professors, London got brought up. Not even five minutes into the conversation I knew London was where I wanted to study abroad! I love learning about new cultures, and traveling the world. Why not do both of these things while also getting school credit for it?! It will be something incredible to add to my résumé and remember for the rest of my life. Going to London will allow me to expand my knowledge of different ways the criminal justice system operates around the world. Understanding and being exposed to another culture allows me to have a worldly view, which will lead to figuring out what defines those people, for instance: values, religion, and interaction within the culture and their customs.

   Not only will I have the opportunity to go to London, I will also be visiting Paris for a day!  The time of departure, May 11, will be here before I know it. Honestly, I have not made a list yet of what I would like to do yet, but going to the London Eye would definitely be on the list, along with visiting the Windsor Castle. I am up for anything though! I know that anywhere I go I would just be blown away by the oldness of the city (compared to the United States) and its amazing architecture. Just keep in mind, London was founded in 43 AD.  It’s going to be unreal! I am beyond on excited for this experience and that I get to share it with you. (: