Issue XII: Stepping out of your comfort zone

Issue XII of Global Impressions, consisting of twelve essays and one video, focuses on being pushed, or pushing oneself, beyond personal boundaries upon venturing quite literally into unfamiliar territory. Whether crossing oceans and traversing unfamiliar lands for the first time or returning to home soil, traveling forces us to be brave.  We asked contributors to tell us about a time during their global travels when they were forced to step out of their comfort zone. The stories displayed here tell of confronting cultural, linguistic, and personal challenges, overcoming fear, and taking risks.

The Global Impressions editorial team welcomes submissions to the Issue XIII, which will be published in Fall 2018.   Our theme will focus on First Impressions. Share with us your reactions, both positive and/or negative, upon first encountering a language, culture, or living situation in a different part of the world with which you are not familiar. This theme encompasses submissions from students and alumnae coming to the U.S. and Smith for the first time.  Please use the submission form for Issue XIII to directly submit your essay of 500-750 words.

Issue XIV will focus, as in past years, on the visual, and in particular on photographs. The theme will be Snapshots.  Submit your photo and your short essay directly to the submission form for Issue XIV.

Change by Jessica Aduwo -   Jessica Aduwo '18 is a senior and biology major at Smith College. She plans to become a physician and is… ... Continue Reading
Language is for Listening by Gretchen Walch - I grew up in Northern Kentucky among a large family of over sixty relatives. My childhood soundtrack was country and bluegrass, but… ... Continue Reading
Are We There Yet? by Jennifer Aguirre - “Are we there yet?” We woke up at 4am after a night out and hopped in the van that would take us… ... Continue Reading
To Lead is to Follow: Learning from Others and Listening to One’s Internal Voice by Aiko Dzikowski - “What am I doing here?” The question, no doubt, came to mind as I failed to understand the language used by my… ... Continue Reading
Discovering Solitude by Kaity O'Neil - Despite being an only child, I’ve never felt comfortable being alone in public. If I had to guess, this discomfort is learned,… ... Continue Reading
Pushing Past Regret: Learning to Live Abroad in Uganda and China by Delphine Zhu - I spent two months last summer in Iganga, Uganda working on a public health research project with a medical anthropologist. We wanted… ... Continue Reading
Words at the Tip of My Tongue by Tianhua Zhu - Four years ago, when I was at home in China, getting ready to study abroad in the United States, my family and… ... Continue Reading
Reaching “Ah-hah!” Moments as a Graduating Senior by Teddy Schneider - I began the summer of 2017 fresh out of my Junior year at Smith and terrified of flying abroad, alone. I didn’t… ... Continue Reading
House of the Righteous by Kaia Heimer-Bumstead - One of the first things I told my host mother in Ecuador was a lie. A small one, at the time—there was… ... Continue Reading Danser dans l’Ombre: A Journey through German-Occupied Paris, 1939-1945 by Claire Lane - What is farther outside of one’s comfort zone than being completely displaced in time, transported chronologically backwards through space to find oneself… ... Continue Reading
Flapping in the Wind by Marleni Chavana - Zipping down the road for the first time, the only thing I could think of was that I hated this. No one… ... Continue Reading
Somali Bantus: Their Forgotten Story by Rumbila Abdullahi - My parents often avoid talking about their past. But, behind their unspoken stories lies the truth of my identity. Who am I?… ... Continue Reading
From the Archives: The “Experiment” of JYA in Mexico by Amanda Carberry - “Mexico was a year of vivid impressions,” write four members of the class of 1946 in a reflection on their time abroad,… ... Continue Reading