Tuesday, 29 September 2009

I am clever

I found out last week that I won a BUTEX Scholarship. BUTEX are an organisation

which fund students who travel abroad. Every semester they pick a handful of
applicants based on a short Essay. here follows the Essay that won me the
scholarship and money for lots of camera lenses YESSS! I'd like to thank Tosh
for helping me with the grammer on the doorstep of work 45 minutes before the

OH YEAH and i'd also like to take this oppourtunity to tell my contextual studies
lecturer to fix up, Nearly failing me on my last essay, PSH.

I think he didn't take to the fact I wrote 30% of it in rhyme, He spends every
lesson talking about these Creative thinkers throughout history but when someone
tries something progressive it's a(n almost) fail grade.


The Title of the Essay was: Why should all students study abroad?

To which my answer was:

"To be a student is to direct ones energies and zeal towards a particular subject.
This can manifest itself in a variety of different ways. In some subjects,
students pursue knowledge, others, skills and some, wisdom.  What brings us
together is the drive to learn; to seek the truth in a pursuit of betterment
of ones understanding of life. This is why I would hearten any
student to study abroad.

It is useful to take a historical look at some of the learners who have transformed
the way we think of the world.  The following scholars all spent time
living, learning and practicing their trade in a different country. Artists such
as Picasso and the cubist painter Jaun Gris were both Spaniards who moved to
France. The Poets T.S Eliot, Hilda Doolittle and Ezra Pound all moved from
America to live in England.  Further examples can be seen in American
writers: Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein all spent
time practicing in Europe.  James Joyce acts as a model expatriate
deliberately turning his back on Ireland. The last three words of his seminal
book ‘Ulysses’ “Triest, Zurich, Paris” signify his nomadic lifestyle. 

Sigmund Freud remembered the time he spent studying in Paris as a crucial catalyst
in turning him towards the field of psychopathology, which consequently lead him
towards developing psychoanalysis. Charles Darwin’s five-year voyage upon
HMS Beagle was absolutely intrinsic to the development of the theory of natural
selection and the writing of ‘The Origin of Species’

It is interesting to wonder how different our world would be if Freud or Darwin had
never travelled. So what was it about travelling and studying abroad which did
so much for these figures?

My understanding is that when someone travels away from their home they experience a
different culture. When they compare this culture with that of their homeland
they gain awareness of both the differences and similarities between them, this
grants them a new perspective. I believe this perspective is a very important

Not only does this new perspective give us authority to understand, comment and
build upon the cultures of both home and abroad. It also illuminates the
position within society and the world of which the traveller belongs, this can
allow them to make decisions on where they wish to go and who they wish to
become.  This is something that I feel is crucial for those of us, who are
still discovering themselves.

I believe the quality that unites all students is the urge to learn and seek truth
about the world. The experiences of another country of course widen our
horizons, but the perspective that this brings also equips us with an astute
sensibility towards the particulars that we will face for the rest of our lives
allowing us to grasp a more informed and grounded perception of truth.

I would like to end on the last and possibly most important reason I feel students
should study abroad, which paradoxically is the reason I do not know the details
of, the unknown reason.

As with every other prospective traveller, for me, foreign countries hold an
abundance of unknown quantities. I do not know the particulars of what I, nor
anyone else will learn while they are away, and I shall not even begin to guess.
As the one thing I can honestly say I have learnt from my minor
excursions into the expanse that is the world, is how much more I have to learn."

No comments:

Post a Comment