We arrived back to the U.S.A this Sunday night. As everyone has been trying to return to their daily lives or playing catch up on their sleep, it has been an amazing journey I will never forget and I have to admit I am missing it already!
I am thankful for this opportunity and my whole perspective on life has changed. I really enjoyed seeing the uniqueness of different countries outside the U.S.A. Now that I am back, I love sharing my experience with people, and one thing I had mentioned before going on this trip was that I wanted to take back the positives things to The States.
I am reminded everyday how America has lost their interpersonal skills to communicate due to technology. In Europe, you do not see people glued to their phone! They are simply gathered at the park, relaxing and having a conversation face-to-face. I noticed going out to some of the restaurants, that we were the only ones who took pictures of our food and had our phones out on the table. We do not realize how attached we are. In my opinion, I think that it was refreshing to see people without their phones.
In the two schools that we visited, I did not see many computers in the classrooms that we went to. When the students took a quiz, they used paper and pencil…not online. I liked this idea because one might say this is “old school” but I have to say this is how you really learn. It is sad not to be able to hear someone’s voice, because we choose to text. So maybe, we can change that by eliminating the use of cell-phones in public and live in the moment. We can check the texts later and enjoy the company upon us.
The transportation system was wonderful! When we were in Amsterdam, I probably saw about eight cars and people traveling with bikes and the train. This method helps promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle. I also noticed that there were a lot of high steps in restaurants and no elevator in schools. If we have the option to walk the steps or a few blocks down the road, we should take it. If we have the option to take the trolley or ride with a friend, we should do this too.
The languages also really impressed me. I was floored to hear so many! I had met an 18 yr. old student, who told me he spoke German, English, French, and is now learning Latin. I am very impressed overall with the education system in Germany. It is common to know more than three languages. How can we bring that here? We should encourage students to take more than one year of a language for better opportunities with not only jobs but with people-personal skills.
Here are just a few examples on the major things I’ve noticed I am happy to share. We can better our society if we do the certain steps of change and participate. Let us start today to change America!