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Miles and Smiles Away... How Italian Culture Differs from American Culture


From being in Italy for over a month already, there are a few things that I couldn't help but notice. There are lots of different cultural norms and expectations. Here are a few!

In Italy...

- They do not put ice in your drink, no matter what the drink is. If you ask for ice, they will probably assume that you are American

-Multiple courses for dinner. Italians will eat an appetizer, then a pasta dish, then a main dish.

-Pasta and meats are always separated

-Slower paced. You can sit in a restaurant for hours. They will not rush you out. Dining is about the experience, not about quickly moving tables to make tips

- Italians do not tip

-If you tip, you are American

-You have to ask for the check when you are finished

- It is rude to eat in class

- Italian university classes do not have one professor per class. They have multiple professors per class, and this manipulates what days and times you have class on a weekly basis

- Europeans talk much quieter than Americans

-Wine is…
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On the morning of La Befana I was woken up to a loud parade right outside of my window. I had no idea what was going or what La Befana even was, but I definitely couldn't say no to loud music.

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Welcome to Florence, Italy!

Ciao and Benvenuto!

On January 2nd, 2018, I took my suitcase and headed on a flight to Atlanta, Georgia. Then to Paris, France, and finally to Florence, Italy. I mean, Firenze. That's what the locals it.

I was exhausted after approximately 20 hours of endlessly traveling. When I landed in Firenze, my only focus was to find my study abroad program coordinators. Luckily, there was a huge sign that said ISA (International Studies Abroad), and from that point on, I didn't feel lost anymore, I was finally able to breathe.

I got in to a taxi with a few other people in my program. The conversation was flowing great, but I couldn't help but to stare out of the window the whole time. I could not believe that I was finally in Italy...

I got settled in my apartment and met my roommates. My apartment is located right on the Ponte Vecchio and I couldn't have asked for a better location. Then I ate what was possibly the best pizza I have ever had in my entire life, during a welcome …

About me

~Thank you Mom and Dad for giving me the ability and the support to study abroad. I can't say thank you enough, and I really do appreciate everything you both have done to get me to where I am today. I am forever grateful~

Hi! My name is Erin, and this blog is all about my study abroad experience in Florence, Italy, Spring of 2018. I am currently a junior at Stockton University in New Jersey, and I am looking forward to finishing my degree and becoming a teacher. In my free time, I love traveling, writing, blogging, horseback riding, and eating. I also have obsessions with my dog, my cat, candles, anything that is purple, and chocolate.

I grew up in a small town in New Jersey, and I have traveled occasionally with my family. However, this is my first, solo, trip abroad.

I hope you find this blog humorous and helpful for your future travels.

Let's begin this crazy adventure.