Tuesday, May 27, 2014


My journey to London actually started in 2008 while I was attending Casper College. My advisor and professor Art Washut mentioned the trip that Chadron State College put on to send students to London to study the justice system. Little did I know that when I started studying at Chadron in the Fall of 2013 would I embark on this great journey. After the Fall semester ended, Dr. Tracy Nobiling sent out an email regarding the interest in the London trip. I began filling out the required paper work and found out we were going over the pond in January! As I look back the months went by pretty fast, I remember putting a post on Facebook that I had 60 days left and that flew by. Now that I home from the 2 week journey in London, that is exactly what is was, a journey. I had only flown one other time by myself and had only traveled to Mexico. I had no idea the great opportunities I would have on that journey. To name a few: meeting life long friends, going behind the gates at Buckingham Palace, #10 Downing Street, and Westminster Abbey. I am now on another journey which I only have been on for about a month. This particular journey came aware to me on April 21, 2014. I was diagnosed with stage 1 rectal cancer. I was told in the beginning of my cancer journey that I would not be able to embark to London but I twisted the arms of the doctors and they obliged. The emotions have been such a roller coaster. The London journey was put in place for me to escape for a bit and truly embrace what life has to offer. Tomorrow, May 28, 2014 I will continue on my cancer journey and undergo surgery to remove the tumor from my colon. So now I would like to thank you all that made my journey to London possible. First of all, Dr. Tracy Nobiling, thank you so much for be willing to work with me since I was an online student and being crazy enough to take 10 college students with you overseas for 2 weeks and getting it all planned out for us. Second, Maria from ISA, thanks to you for getting everything organized, all the coach rides, our oyster cards for the underground, and your advice on what to see. Third, our tour guide, Sarah, thank you for your intense passion on history and sharing that passion with us on all our adventures. Finally, to Constable Richard Watson, words can not explain how thankful I am to you for all the amazing experiences you provided us. Without you my journey would not have been complete. So with that said, I want you all to enjoy the journeys  life brings you.

Global Competence

Am I a global citizen? Part of me would have to say yes now that I have traveled to London and Paris but the other half of me feels like I am not since I have only traveled to Mexico besides those places. The experiences I had over the pond have made me much more globally aware and that countries do things much differently than America. I think that it is always good to get out and experience what the world has to offer. I believe that to be a global citizen you must be globally competent.  There are many things to consider to determine whether you are globally competent or not. There are certain skills, behaviors, attitudes, values, and concepts to think about. One of the big ones is being fluent is other languages. When we went to France there was a major language barrier for me while we were there. This just proved to me that I need to take the time to learn at least one other language.  My attitude has changed drastically since returning but in a good way. When I first left on this trip I knew none of the people I was traveling with and this forced me to have to engage with others and with that I have gained life long friends. My desire to new opportunities and ways of thinking and ideas has broaden as well. I feel like I can do anything now and there is nothing holding me back. So yes I would say that I am a global citizen but there are some things I need and can work on.

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

Now that I have been home for a few days I realize that I am adjusting to the States. I find myself being reminded that I am not in London anymore. While over in London it took me a few days to get comfortable with my surroundings and the massive amount of people. I am a very observant person and I think that helped me with trying to fit in. After a few days I think I began to get the hang of things such as using the underground and referring to things as they do. Another issue I had to get quite comfortable with was using the pound system compared to the American dollar and figuring out which coin was how much. Having the great experience of being in London for 2 weeks I now think that I can think globally. Before I left to go over there, I let my imagination run wild of what things I would see and what it would be like over there. Part of my imagination was true and other things I had completely wrong. This experience has made me much more open-minded about the World and that there is life going on outside of little Lander, Wyoming. When the next opportunity arises to travel abroad I can think back to my experience in London and remember that things may not be what you imagined them to be.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Last Night

Well the 2 weeks of my London trip are coming to an end. Tonight is the last night I will spend in London. A group of us all got together and ate dinner at the pub by our hotel. The consensus seems to be that we have all enjoyed our time here but we are ready to go home as well. I am ready to come home because I am just so overwhelmed with all the people here and having to eat out every meal. I am so fortunate to have met all the people here and the group of students I traveled with. I feel like I have made some life long friends. London is full of so much history and it was great learning about it and learning about the justice system here but I am ready to be on American soil.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Consequences of Local Behavior

While studying abroad I have noticed some local behaviors that can cause consequences. One thing I have noticed is that there is a lot of smoking of cigarettes which can contribute to other peoples' health issues because of all the second hand smoke. Along with that issue of smoke there seems to be a lot of pollution from all the traffic. I guess you will have that when a city has over 8 million people just living here and then another 7 million using transportation such as the bus and underground tube systems. While using the tube we have noticed that when we blow our nose a bunch of black stuff comes out on the Kleenex, I know that sounds gross but it really is and I am sure it can't be good for your health. I have caught a pretty bad chest cold while being here and I am sure the pollution and the underground tubes have not helped. I am sure many cities are like this is the U.S.A. as well but since I live in a small town of 7,000 people I do not deal with these issues. I don't know if there will ever be anything done about these issues or if there is anything you can do when there is such a massive population.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The final week.

This past week has been amazing. I have experienced the Trooping of the Colours, Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guards, Paris, Wicked, the Supreme Court, the London Legal Walk, a lecture at King's College,  New Scotland Yard, and being able to stand and take pictures in front of #10 Downing Street. To begin with, I had a wonderful experience today of being able to go through the gates of Buckingham Palace and witness the Changing of the Guards right up next to Buckingham Palace. This experience was such a special experience and I am sure that if you search Youtube for Changing of the Guards on May 22,2014 you will see pictures of us behind the gates because many of the tourists thought we were quite important to pass through the gates and witness the Changing of the Guards while they stood outside the gates. After that we were able to pass through very guarded gates and stand at #10 Downing Street, if some of you don't know that would be where the Prime Minister resides. Following that we went to New Scotland Yard which is the Headquarters of Metropolitan Police. Constable Watson and a few other Constables gave a lecture on what their duties are. This was a special day as we said our farewells to Constable Watson. If it were not for him, we would not have experienced all the wonderful things that we did. But now back to the rest of the week. Yesterday was Paris and it was an ok trip. The morning was pouring rain but once it subsided, it was nice. We went to the love lock bridge where people put locks on the bridge and then throw keys into the river to prove their love. We also went to Notre Dame which was beautiful! We also walked by the Louvre but the line was massive to even and get in and I've heard it would take months to see all that it has to offer. After that we saw the Eiffel Tower which was breathtaking. We then headed back to the train station and came back to London. Another great thing we got to experience this week was the Trooping of the Colours. This is a ceremony that takes place for the Queen's Jubilee parade. Her real birthday is not on this day but it is tradition to celebrate it then. It was so amazing to see all the soldiers to respect the Queen even though they were just rehearsing. It was a warm day and it is not uncommon for a solider to faint and we did witness this happen. That night the girls and I went to Wicked the play and it was absolutely unbelievable! If you ever come to London you must go see it. Anyway has the week comes close to it's end, it is bittersweet!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Americans are jokes

After being in London for a week I have realized that London has some thoughts about Americans. The first thing I have noticed is that they like to make fun of the fact that we drive on the "wrong" side of the road but really we drive on the right. I rode in the front seat of a taxi and it was a cool experience. There was an instance on the tube where the locals were talking about the "crazy Americans." They also think that we have a huge violence problem because we can't control our gun problem. I can understand these things because when tourists come to visit America I say things about them that aren't always nice. It has really opened my eyes and I hope to be more accepting of tourists to American. Overall the folks here have been very nice.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Some Pics

St. James Park

Buckingham Palace

Westminster Abbey

The Last Few Days

So the last few days have been amazing. Yesterday we went to Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey! Westminster Abbey was absolutely amazing, there are no words to describe how beautiful it was and unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures inside but WOW it has been by far my favorite part of the trip. We got to see the tombs of Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, Elizabeth the 1st etc.. Not only that amazing history but all of the coronations of King's and Queens have taken place, the Royal Wedding, and the funeral of Princess Diana,  I can't believe that I have stood on places that are older than the history of the U.S.A. After Westminster, my roommates and I decided to head towards Buckingham Palace. Along the way we walked through St. James' Park. It was so beautiful and lush, there were lawn chairs you could sit on but of course you had to pay for them. Buckingham Palace was pretty neat, I guess I was expecting more and I am not sure why.  Needless to say after walking which felt like 5,000 miles, the girls and I called it a night. Today we visited Stonehenge was amazing, I believe that it is some type of calendar or place of worship, but it is so incredible to me that people were able to move those massive rocks which the big rocks called Sesen (not sure if that is correct) came from over 150 miles away. After Stonehenge we traveled to Bath, England where the Roman Baths are located. This was another favorite place of mine. The environment and atmosphere is great and many people came there for healing which I find very fitting for me at the moment. Anyway tomorrow is our visit to Trooping of the Colors.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Eat up!

Fish and Chips with mushy peas


Cider at the Friend at Hand Pub
English Breakfast

Differences between the U.S.A and London

There are many differences between London and the U.S.A. One of the most interesting differences I find is how multi-cultural London is. I understand that the U.S.A is very multi-cultural as well but I think London appreciates and respects all of the different cultures in a more positive way than the U.S.A. There are over 300 languages spoken in London which I think it can make it difficult for the Metropolitan Police to deal with at times. I live near a Native American reservation and feel that I have been exposed to different cultures but being in London has expanded my worldview of cultures.
Another difference is the cuisine. I have tried different cuisines while living in the states but coming to London I told myself that I would try some different foods. The first morning I ate a traditional English Breakfast at the hotel which consisted of beans, toast, sausage, and hard boiled eggs. It was not very satisfying and I purchased other things to eat for the rest of the mornings. Another meal I tried was the traditional fish and chips but with a side of mushy peas. The fish and chips part was amazing but the mushy peas not so much, one bite of those was enough for me. I have enjoyed experiencing several different pubs at different locations in London and have tried to expand my worldview of what I normally drink and try to venture off and try other things. Coming to London has expanded my worldview.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

:) The First Few Days

Well I have been in London for a few days and love, love, love it! We started out our trip by stopping by and walking through Windsor Castle! So beautiful and such an opportunity to see such old architecture.  Yesterday we went to the Police Station and met up with Constable Richard Watson. The police station is the largest employer for London folks. They have to deal with over 300 languages which is quite impressive to me since I know only one. We have an introduction to what all goes on in the police station and then got to experience a live booking in the custody area. It so different here, the inmates are not handcuffed most of the time and when they are the officer must explain his reasoning. I was a volunteer for Constable Watson and I must say being handcuffed is very painful. We were allowed to see the holding cells for the people being booked and it seems that the officers  working with the inmates have a deeper respect for them compared to the officers in the U.S.A. There was an extremely intoxicated gentlemen and one of the officers sat outside his doors to make sure he was ok. I think that is so great, if you respect the inmates, they will respect you. Today we got to visit the Magistrates Court. We were able to sit in on 2 court hearings, the first was made up of 3 volunteers who are the "judges" and they are not legally qualified but there is a legal clerk helping them with the case. This case was pretty boring to me and seems like it takes awhile in the courtroom when there are 3 "judges". The next hearing was made up of one judge who is qualified but there is still a legal clerk helping out. The defendant has a very long criminal record consisting of over 18 priors but he was on trial for smuggling drugs into prison. Very interesting. Along with being in a new place, I have met my great roommates, Jamie and Cierra, they are awesome! Love  it so far and am looking forward to posting more.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Looking forward to all the things London has to offer!

With less than a month left till I embark to London, I am excited to see their culture and all the wonderful things London has to offer. I will have the opportunity to see many great things such as: Windsor Castle, a Criminal Courts tour, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Stonehenge, the Roman Baths, the Supreme Court, London Legal Walk, and Oxford. Along with all of those great outings I will have the incredible opportunity to visit a history museum, art museum, and a park. Paris will be a day excursion in itself. I am so thrilled to see the Eiffel Tower in person! With a different country comes different cuisine, I am a true American and I like ice in my drinks, so I am not looking forward to drinks without ice. I am also not looking forward to the direct 9 hour flight but hopefully I will be able to get some rest because as soon as we land the adventure begins! London here I come!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Justice Systems: Similarities and Differences

I am so excited to see all the different justice systems in London and see how they differ from the United States. Among the two countries, there are similarities and differences between the justice system.  The Supreme Court in the United States is a separate branch of government and has final jurisdiction over all state and federal courts. The Supreme Court in the US was established in 1787 whereas the UK did not establish a separate branch until 2005. Another difference between the two, is that in the UK the Supreme Court does not have the power to overturn policies passed by the legislative branch.
Our legal statues differ as well as those in the UK. In England the laws are not officially codified whereas in the US the laws are codified and are many times are signed by an executive such as the state governor or the President.
In the US jury selection is so important. The attorneys on the case are allowed to analyze and help with the selection of the jury. In the UK jurors are selected at random and a cross-examination to determine if they are suitable or not is not required. The type of selection that the UK uses is to create a jury that is fair and democratic. I find this so interesting because the time that is spent on jury selection in the US is very consuming but I think it is important.
The way criminal cases are handled in the US and the UK differ as well. Around 95% of the criminal cases in the UK are handled in lower courts and by unpaid judges that are not certified to practice law, only the most serious cases are heard before a professional judge. In the US both civil and criminal cases are treated the same. The UK does not have a written constitution. That is so mind boggling to me because in the US we do the best in our justice system to make sure that we uphold the Constitutional rights of our citizens.
After doing research on the similarities and differences between the UK and the US Justice systems I am so excited to see it in person. I hope to have an open mind about the way the justice system works in London and come back with ideas to help better the justice system in the states. Only 30 more day!!!

Chile.Patricio. Differences between the American & the English Court System.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Ethnocentrism: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

While getting ready to study abroad I have thought about the positive and negative viewpoints on ethnocentrism. Many people have told me while preparing to go abroad to enjoy the culture over there and be ok with it not being American. One of the advantages of ethnocentrism is that the group or individual is immune to external influences. The positive part about that is that people that value their traditions will not be influenced or accept practices that they do not believe in. There are negative viewpoints as well. There is no diversity in the group. Another negative consequence is that the group or individual may miss out on the positive aspects of other people or groups because they choose to evaluate or judge another person or group. I think it is ok to have your own beliefs but they should be balanced and that you should be open to other peoples' views and values.
As I think about going, I am excited to see the way of life over there and even the girls that I am going to room with since I have only met them via the internet. It will also being interesting to see how the people in London view us as a group and individuals since we are from America. I look forward to stepping out of my own box and be willing to try new things and listen to the viewpoints and values that people have on life in London.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Common American Stereotypes

As the time gets closer to fly across the pond, I sit and ponder about how the only other country I have visited is Mexico. I never really thought about the common stereotypes citizens of other countries may think about me since I am an American citizen. Some of the positive stereotypes of Americans are generosity, friendliness, optimistic, and hardworking. On the other hand people from other countries can have negative stereotypes of Americans as well. Some of the negative stereotypes of Americans are that we lack education, that we have a gun-loving violent culture, are arrogant and boastful. Many nations view the U.S.A as one of the most powerful nations, but with the condition that we are arrogant, cold, and blood hungry.  After doing some research on the common stereotypes of Americans I can understand why people of other nations have the belief that we have a gun-loving violent culture because of our homicide rates and other gun related crimes. I come from a small town and with that background comes many of the positive stereotypes of Americans but I could also see where people of other nations could view me as gun-loving since I am an avid hunter and live in the country. As I embark on my trip to study abroad I hope to impress the citizens of the other nations and have them believe the positive stereotypes about me.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

So this is my first blog to write for my study abroad program through Chadron State College. As the time gets closer I feel many things: excitement, fear of not knowing anyone that I am going with, and pure joy of being able to attend this great opportunity!