Cross-Culture Quality
Sarah, Florence, Spring 2015
March 30, 2015

Sarah - Spring 15 - Florence

When you go to another country it is expected that there will be differences in culture. I had an idea of what I thought Italy was like. I have to say it was not far off from the stereotype that I had in my head. I think that my idea of the Italian lifetime was very influenced by my family growing up. Living in Italy has opened my eyes to how different the culture is from ours in the States. One difference that has really stuck out to me is that Italians appreciate quality; in their food, their clothing, and their lives.

Sarah - Spring 15 - Florence

I am blown away by the food in Italy. The crap we try to pass off as food in the States would never stand a chance here. This is the freshest food I’ve ever had. The tomatoes, for instance, smell like they came out of my backyard. Even the processed food is made with exceptional quality, although it doesn’t taste like my idea of processed food. I got to see first hand just how much care was put into the food when I was given the opportunity to tour a Parmigiano Reggiano, Balsamic Vinegar, and Prosciutto production facilities. An incredible amount of skill, time, and patiences goes into making these products. I have really been able to appreciate and experience a whole new love for food. I cook more here than I ever have back at home, the variety of fresh ingredients is really inspiring.

Sarah - Spring 15 - Florence

Sarah - Spring 15 - Florence

I am studying fashion design, so it is safe to say that I have been very observant of the style and fashion trends here in Florence. Similar to their taste in food, Italians prefer quality made clothing. They buy a few quality staple pieces, take care of them and wear them for decades. In the states clothing isn’t made to last very long or cost very much. I am willing to pay more for items that are going to last me a decade, than pay thirty dollars for a jacket at Forever 21. I have had so much fun scouting out shops with quality handmade clothing. Some of my favorite finds are a Simplistic knee length wool winter jacket, fabulous woolen poncho, and handmade cashmere scarf. I am soo excited to incorporate these pieces in my wardrobe back in the states. They are truly one of a kind treasures to me.

Sarah - Spring 15 - Florence

Interacting with the locals here in Florence has been an experience that in uncomparable to any other. People are so full of life here, they are vocal and expressive. In the states it almost feels like you get caught up with the motions of everyday life, you don’t have a chance to actually live it. It seems to me like more people follow their passions, crafts like cooking,design,shoe making, pottery and many more. They spent more time with family and friends, and every meal is a celebrated occasion. I hope to keep a similar love of life with me when I go home.

Sarah - Spring 15 - Florence

If I take any aspect of the Italian culture back home with me it will be their appreciation and eye for quality. I am going to soak in every bit of culture I can for the remaining time I have here. I am loving my time here and I couldn’t have asked for better.

Sarah - Spring 15 - Florence

 

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Sarah is a current student at Western Michigan University studying at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Florence, Italy during the Spring 2015 term.

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About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.