Passport Magazine

A student-produced publication inaugurated in the spring of 1992, Passport is a magazine devoted to communicating the importance of cross- cultural exchanges to the University community. Passport views this theme through the prose, poetry, and photography of students, faculty, alumni, and staff who have traveled abroad or who hail from other countries. In the following excerpt from his article called "Unearthing the Past," Joshua T. Fitzgerald (C'90) presents a student's perspective on how the study abroad experience can shape an undergraduate education.

It was in Ireland that I spent one summer of my life as an archaeologist, sifting through countless tons of dirt, trying to exhume small fragments of Irish history. In Ireland I found a strange and complex mix of the present and the past; it left me with an indelible impression of the enormous importance history has in shaping who we are.... When I was not on my hands and knees in the middle of a cow pasture, digging, sketching, and sometimes cursing, I was imbibing at the local pubs or travelling around the Irish countryside. I thought I knew a lot about history, and about culture, for I was a clever American Civilization student from the University of Pennsylvania. My intellectual bravado was not from arrogance so much as from ignorance. I brought with me a fine collection of ideas, but as the summer continued, these ideas became fused with experiences, and a new understanding began to construct itself in my mind. It was far from the omniscience I thought I had, but it was far richer and more valuable, because it was real.

To index for Penn's International Dimensions.


January 12, 1993
Volume 39 Number 17

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