Intercultural Experience

Intercultural connections allow for the greatest probability of learning. Whether you’re exchanging traditions, languages, or beliefs, there is always a flow of information present. I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to be immersed in a different culture. My goal is to continue opening my mind to new ideas and ways of life because that is my favorite way to grow. When I first came to Arezzo, I was in a culture shock because I felt so out of place. However, over time I became assimilated and I have noticed the mannerisms that have changed in order to conform to this new lifestyle. I know many people shy away from change, but I find comfort in change. If you replace the word change with metamorphosis or transformation, change is not as scary anymore. Working in Italy was a huge change for me, perhaps the biggest form of change in my life. I was moved by the relaxed nature of the Italian workplace. In America, working is your life and most of the adults in my life are classified as workaholics. However, in Italy, working is still very important, but it does not control your day in the same manner. The first day that I worked with Piero and Lucia, I was greeted with coffee at Piero’s house. Later that day, I was invited to his family’s land where I met his children, grandchildren, and pets. I was shocked because everyone was so inviting and sincere. It was my first day and I already felt a part of the family. In America, people are nice, but not in the same way. I think that Americans are much more private and serious when it comes to working. However, I prefer the Italian way because it makes the workday seem more meaningful and enjoyable. I have also noticed that the leisurely way in which Italians work allows them to be more intentional with their time. They truly take a slower approach, not because they don’t work hard, but because they truly craft every move. I think that I will take this mindset with me because this strategy is better for my mental health. When I work too fast, my work loses its meaning. I value the stress-free environment that Italians create. They encourage breaks which is a good thing because it allows your mind to reset and create the best ideas possible. I hope to learn more about the Italian way and embed their strategies into my life. 

Piero Lacomoni and his wife Barbara

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