Featuring photos from the first day of the Stanford Overseas Seminar: “Going Medieval”

I didn’t realize how big the world is until the summer going into my junior year of high school. All it took was two weeks in Sevilla, Spain for my perspective on everything around me to completely change.

After the Spanish language immersion trip, I truly understood for the first time just how big the world the world is, and by virtue of that, how small I am.

I remember when the light bulb went off in my brain: There are people living all over the world RIGHT NOW. Think about it.

cute bridge

Actual humans, just as real as you and me, driving to work, eating their lunch, going to school, laughing with friends, breathing air, and living their lives completely without my knowledge. 


The world didn’t need me to keep spinning. No, I was far from the center of the universe.


It was a humbling and exhilarating realization. I was hooked.


I quickly became obsessed with travel. I wanted to see the whole world; I wanted to see all the places that were happening without my knowledge. My worldview inflated to global proportions.

Then, something totally unexpected happened.

I went off to my first year of college, and once again, my world shrunk down to the size of a pinhead.

Why? I fell in love.

I fell in love with somebody who challenged me, who made me want to be better, who took care of me, and who was worldly enough for me always feel like I was getting a diverse cultural experience without ever leaving his side.

I fell in love with Mr. Stanley Ford. (HAHA gotcha.)


I fell in love with my school, and love can be blinding. So after the sparkly, shiny newness of starting college fizzled into my new routine, I got comfortable. I had my little desk in my little room in my little dorm on my not-so-little campus. I had everything I needed. And that’s when I knew. I was in “the Stanford bubble.”

Popping Time

Today was my second day on a 3 week trip in Germany with 9 other students from Stanford and 18 students from the University of Freiburg. Despite the fact that half of my genetic makeup originates from this country, don’t speak a word of German (okay, maybe ein word…) or know very much at all about the culture.

Germany is outside of my comfort zone. That’s why I’m here.

I’m here to be reinspired. I want to feel the rush of being abroad again– the thrill of getting lost in a foreign environment, of learning new words, of tasting new foods, of kissing new boys. I’m here to find my next Sevilla, to get completely submerged in a culture and not have a coward’s moment to come up for American air.

And I need this. I need to be reminded that there’s a whole WORLD outside the Stanford bubble. I need to want to see it again– all of it.

I’m here to pop my bubble.

Written by Catherine Goetze

Catherine Goetze www.cathincollege.com Find me on social media! Facebook: www.facebook.com/cathincollege Twitter: @catherinegoetze Instagram: @catherinegoetze SnapChat: @catherinegoetze Contact me: cathincollege@gmail.com


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