Choosing a few things I like about my host country is definitely a challenge, considering I love so many things.
One of my absolute favorite things about living in Italy is the food culture. Italian food is one of my favorite types of food, even before coming to Italy. The Italian food here is so much more authentic and has unbelievable flavors. I also like the different courses in an Italian meal. The “antipasti” part of the meal is very unique to Italy. I love how they start their meals with cold appetizers. It is much better than something fried or super carb heavy like appetizers in the United States. I also like how there are no side items with main courses of a meal. This gives you the option to either choose your own side, or to just completely opt out of a side.
I also like how everything in Italy is very relaxed, especially in the evening. It is acceptable to have a long dinner and just enjoy your meal and a glass of wine. I feel like everything in the United States is much more fast paced, and you don’t get to truly enjoy yourself. Along with this, I love how much entertainment and people are on the streets at night. This creates a great atmosphere and gives my friends and I more the reason to walk around and sight see in the evening!
The last thing I enjoy about Italy is the fact that almost everyone speaks English. Before I came here, I thought that I would need to learn Italian in order to be able to communicate with locals. After my first few attempts at Italian, I realized everyone speaks English, which is very comforting in a foreign environment. The Italian people also understand that you do not know their first language, and try to help you learn it!
Natalie is a current student at Clemson University studying at John Cabot University in Italy during the Summer 2016 term.