Travel Log 8, “Global Responsibility Part 2” by Mike Raimondo. Florence, Italy.

While studying abroad I have developed new knowledge and attitudes that have allowed me to analyze perspectives on studying abroad itself. The idea that someone lives out their four months in a foreign nation with the mentality of an entitled consumer is somewhat sad. After overcoming the initial culture shock in my first week or two in Italy, I was able to accept the circumstances and fully ingrain myself in the culture. Since then, I have learned many phrases in Italian to allow me to get through daily life. I have also developed a certain kind of respect for the people and culture of Italy. Rather than carrying out my daily life through the eyes of an American, I routinely ask myself, “what would an Italian do in this situation?” This exemplifies what I believe Slimbach was trying to get in this chapter. He warns that if I do not continue to keep up the integration I will be subject to, “an American college experience in a different time zone” (36). This struck me hard in that I suddenly realized that I know many individuals abroad in other countries that are not getting the same cultural experience that my friends and I are. They have developed a routine that is largely similar to Quinnipiac, partying nightly at American-friendly clubs, eating at American fast-food chains and sleeping in all day rather than walking around the city or talking with locals are experiencing. My friends and I were introduced to an Italian “apertivo” by Italian natives and now it is something that my friends and I have come to enjoy. I believe this attitude develops in students because they came into the experience with the mindset that abroad will be a “4-month vacation.” This leads them to act as if they are entitled to be living there because they are “students” but are a consumer meaning they act as a tourist who is there to have fun. Class is another important aspect to this in my opinion. I have been paying close attention to my classes in order to receive a European perspective on education and the concepts in which I am learning. A way that I feel students can overcome the mindset of vacationing is by removing themselves from American places and people. The culture that someone can experience is profound If he or she just allowed it to be experienced.

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2 thoughts on “Travel Log 8, “Global Responsibility Part 2” by Mike Raimondo. Florence, Italy.

  1. Mike,

    I am glad that you are having such an enriching experience, filled with Italian lifestyle choices and local activities. Specifically, I think it is a great idea for study abroad students to ask themselves the daily question in which you mentioned: “what would an ____ do in this situation?”. I believe that this a great and easy way to spread cultural awareness amongst study abroad students, reminding them to step into the shoes of their culture.

    Although everyone loves a good vacation, I agree that study abroad is much more than this narrow-minded concept. It certainly is important to dismiss this mindset, in oder to fully emerge oneself into the host-culture’s daily routine. I wish you the best of luck in the rest of your endeavorers, and hope that you continue to gain interest in more of what Italy has to offer!

    Like

  2. I think it is really cool being able to see you around Florence and then read your blogs! I agree, you have become very aware of your surroundings and are doing a great job immersing yourself in the culture! I also agree with how you pointed out that we need to continuously immerse ourselves in the culture throughout our whole study abroad experience. I think it will certainly enrich our experiences abroad.

    Like

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