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Looking Back

kevin-rutherford

Looking Back

By Kevin Rutherford

After departing Bangkok, I spent 24 straight hours either in a plane, or waiting for a plane to arrive, which meant I ended up spending 19 hours on a plane, with five hours of layover in Doha, Qatar. Coming home, I landed in Boston and travelled home, unable to sleep from the night before. In the end, I ended up staying up 50 hours and almost passed out while standing up.

To say that I was able to experience all of the countries I visited would be an extreme understatement. In reality, I scratched the surface of many of the cultures that I visited and am only beginning to truly understand what I did for almost a full month in Asia. While it seems insane now, I was able to visit five countries and touch down in a sixth, all while being able to see various cultures in an area about as wide as the United States. There is no way that a handful of blog posts could adequately describe all of the experiences that I was able to have over there and I am truly grateful that I had the opportunity to do so.

Still, we were not immune to being isolated to world events while over there. The Brexit vote provided ample opportunities to ask every British person we encountered what they thought about it. We also were not immune as Americans, as people asked us constantly what we thought of the political election process and asked who we would vote for. One month away from home is an incredible time to spend away from anything but there was also not much of a culture shock when returning home. I might have spent the first few days sleeping oddly but I quickly fell back into my old routine.

In the end, I would certainly recommend anyone who would be interested in studying abroad to do so. It might look daunting on paper, but there are always ways to ensure that you will be able to receive some money to help to lessen that cost. Through the generosity of the Walton Scholarship and a grant from the graduate student government, I was able to fund part of my studies. Through that and some savings that I had over the years, they helped to ensure that future students will be able to benefit from what I did, both at Arizona State University and the City University of Hong Kong.