Seton Hall’s Language Resource Center will be hosting “Maximizing Study Abroad,” a program geared towards enhancing your cultural and linguistic experience when you study abroad Feb. 24 from 2-3 p.m. in Fahy Hall , Room 203B.
Coming from someone who has studied abroad (check out my blog to read about my adventures in Florence, Italy,) this event will likely be a big help for anyone who is planning to or may study abroad in the future.
When I was in Florence, one of the most fun and interesting thing I did was take a cultural immersion class, where I taught Italians to speak English and talked with them about American (or really, northeastern,) cultural values while they did the same for me.
I wish I could have had such a program before I went, because while I thought I was prepared for culture shock, nothing can truly prepare you for the full experience of living in an entirely different place. There are moments you’ll never forget, like standing in a grocery store near a breakdown trying to figure out what the different beauty products were and ending up accidentally purchasing self-tanner instead of liquid body soap anyway, so the more you try to soak up and learn before you get there, the better.
And, while we’re discussing study abroad, I have to take the opportunity to hammer home just how great study abroad is, and I completely recommend should do it. No, it’s not all fun and games, it never will be when you spend 4 months so far out of your comfort zone.
I didn’t speak any Italian when I went to Florence, and I definitely hated being stereotyped as an American college girl (there are a lot of them in Florence, and a large amount of them give the United States a really bad rap,) but I managed to carve out a niche.
I found some great people, like my sweetheart cooking teacher, who taught me to make incredibly delicious food from scratch (and taught me not to be afraid of cutting up whole chickens and squids,) and my gruff , berate-you-until-you’re-almost-broken photojournalism professor. They were there for me in the best and worst moments in Italy, and along with my immersion class, I made a place for myself as an American attempting to understand Italy.
The experience was enlightening, frustrating, comforting, mind-blowing and at some points, downright bizarre, and it was a dream come true.