|(Photo by slizzuli - aperitivo, Nightlife Florence )|
by Nick Signoriello
It’s hard to believe that the semester is coming to a close after a great but quick five months. We have all made new friends, tried new foods, and experienced Italian culture in one way or the other. As the last couple of weeks come to an end, I am finding myself thinking even more about the things that made life difficult for us in the beginning of the semester that now, we are accustomed to.
Before you came here, you heard a lot of talk about “Culture Shock,” because it is a very true and real thing. As someone who has already studied in Italy previously, I can tell you that the culture shock of returning to the U.S. or whichever country we may come from, may hit you harder than when you came to Italy. I’m going to try to give you some examples so you’re not in complete shock when you get back.
First of all, I am sure you noticed how much smaller everything is in Italy, so when you return everything is going to seem really BIG. I believe another thing that may strike you is the first time you go to an American ATM and all the currency is green and not colored coded by how much its worth. Also, at stores the cashier is actually going to hand you the money instead of putting it on the counter in front of you. Oh yeah, and the first time your mom says be home for dinner at 6, you may react by giving her a strange look about how early dinner time is in the U.S. It is, although, going to be a relief when you only have to look twice when crossing the road because there aren’t a million vespas flying on the street from every corner. Basically when you get to the U.S. you’ll start being IDed again, you won’t have to plan a day ahead when you do your laundry anymore because we have the technology of dryers, and lastly, don’t be embarrassed if you say “grazie” instead of “thank you” at the first store you go to.
These are things that may seem like a joke now but will actually really affect you. As we get ready to leave, I hope you take a look at all the things you spent the semester coping with and are now accustomed to and appreciate the experience you have had. One day, you’ll be wishing you could return here and live it over again.