Thoughts from Places: Salzburg 2014 GCP

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Photo Credit: Debby Ng

Days 1 and 2 (+ the four days in Munich)

11 hours on an airplane across the Atlantic.

7 days removed from the San Francisco Bay.

6 Universities and Higher Education intuitions.

3 trips to the dessert table during dinner.

1 Schloss Leopoldskron

Innumerable amounts of memories, scenic views, and intellectually engaging conversations with friends, faculty and colleagues

I have a feeling that these two weeks in Europe are going to teach me things that 14+ years of formal education never could. But that’s the goal of going abroad, right? This isn’t an attack against the brick and mortar of classroom education, but rather a celebration of all that this whole experience can bring. 6 days doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but I’ve learned so much.

First things first: beer is cheaper than water in (Europe) Munich.

^ That is just one of many pro-tips I have to offer

Secondly, beauty can be found at nearly every turn of the head. And we are talking about all kinds of beauty here: from the old world charm of the city of Salzburg, with it’s cobbled streets and lush green fields set before the snow-covered peaks of the Alps, to the bustling city life of Munich.

But besides the touring, sightseeing, coffee breaks, beer and alcohol combos, lack of sleep, dehydration, late nights, long talks, sore feet, laughs, packing, re-packing, searches for Wi-Fi, and general sense of being in a completely foreign place, we 14 Salzburg Scholars were here for one sole purpose: to attend the 63rd Global Citizenship Program (GCP) hosted by the Salzburg Global Seminar.

Preface / Plug for Salzburg: world-class thinkers, educators, and world-changers lead GCP. The program is extremely well coordinated and the Schloss Leopoldskron provides everything from regal room accommodations, umbrellas and bikes for guests to freely use, and five course spreads that satisfy the hunger pangs of any student.

Finally, I’d like to share some thoughts about the subject of Global Citizenship and some of the ideas that have been floating around in my head since starting on Monday.

I believe that Global Citizenship starts from within the individual. A Global Citizen must look critically at how he/she functions within such systems as family, local community, society, and the world. This type of reflection is described as “mental mapping”. When one has this map, it is easier to be oriented in a world that is increasingly globalizing, and will better aid in the recognition of differences between cultures with greater sensitivity and awareness.

There is so much in store and I can’t wait to finish out the rest of this trip. See you soon!

 

– Matt

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