Embarking on writing his autobiography, the English poet Wordsworth says: “The earth is all before me.” He could have meant it literally, for Wordsworth was an awesome traveller – a mountain climber, a boater, a horseman, a very fast walker (“of military speed”), and an explorer of many cultures and languages, both ancient and modern.
Here at Brock, two hundred years later, the world is all before you too. Whether you choose to go on an international student exchange for a term or a year – and Brock has exchange agreements with dozens of different countries – or whether intellectually you are “moving about in worlds not realized,” a part of your university education should be a getting out of yourself and an immersion in something that’s older or bigger or fundamentally different than you are.
Travel is certainly one way to get that experience. Learning a new language is another. Falling in love. . . well, the poet Shelley talked about “a going out of our own nature,” and he associated such an experience with love. International exchanges give you the opportunity for all three! And if not amore, then at least cultural insight, respect, understanding. Surely these are a byproduct of travel. Surely these are desirable ingredients in a complete university education.
The bloggers on this site are just some of the many Brock students who have chosen to study abroad for part of their undergraduate education. What they bring home at the end of their travels will be unique to each, but what will be common to all will be the formative, deepening, enriching experiences of studying, serving, and learning in new lands.
An international experience? Don’t leave university without it.
Dean of Humanities