Be a Traveler, Not a Tourist

Labas! I’m Caitlyn, a third year student from Gordon College majoring in Psychology with Neuroscience and Pre-Law minors. I’m super excited to have the opportunity to keep the Study Abroad Lithuania blog updated as I spend my spring semester alongside 19 other North American students at LCC!

Each semester the study abroad program at LCC provides the cohort with a theme for their time in Lithuania. This semester ours is:

“be a traveler, not a tourist.”

The goal is to travel with the intent of learning about the culture and people who call that destination home–rather than simply going somewhere for a day just to be able to say we did, we want to invest in the full experience of whatever culture we visit, taking away more than a stamp on our passports or a photo on our phone. As a group, and personally, we hope to explore that idea during these next four months in Klaipėda and beyond, giving you glimpses into our adventures along the way!

Going along with that is the program’s overarching theme, “be a risk taker.” Sometimes, traveling vs. tourism is not easy, and it often involves putting ourselves in uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations. One such challenge we have been faced with so far is the language barrier, and though the majority of us chose to take an introductory level Lithuanian course, we still face problems when out and about in the city. We’ve come to learn that studying the language, whether in the classroom or around the country we will call home for the next four months, is part of being a traveler vs. being a tourist.

Lithuanian word of the week: keliautojas–traveler, one who wanders and explores.

 

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