Schools Training

3 Tips To Thrive When You Study Abroad In Italy

9 AUG 2013
Career Path : Travel and Tourism

The first thing you need to know, Italians approach time in a much different way. The first thing you’ll experience is that shops open and close when they will. Except for businesses like hospitals and introduced American conveniences like 24 hour gas stations, Italy works on a polychromatic schedule.

How does this work? How can a society function when things are posted all over the internet and printed materials? Italy greatly values personal relationships, which you should really take to heart before you study abroad over there. If you want to find what time a business opens, you need to ask neighbors and friends of the business. As such, we come to the first tip.

Tip #1 Be Nice. Make friends with your host family, your dorm, or any local Italians really. Prepare to be social as it is better to stop and chat than be on time. You might have to learn how to politely dodge conversation so as to get to class on time, because the University doesn’t work on idyllic Italian time. However, if you are late to a friend’s house because you had to catch up with someone you bumped into, that is a legitimate excuse.

Tip #2 Just eat it. Food is also approached differently in Italy. Expect to be bombarded with food as the Italians live to eat and not vice versa. Italians pride their cooking and use exceptional ingredients; freshness is holy. The Italians also don’t eat on the go, in favor of large sit down meals. Food is very important and plentiful. This leads to two problems, when you are bombarded by so much good food, or when you are confronted by someone giving you their prized lasagna that tastes awful.

Try not to fill up on junk food or pick up McDonald’s on your way back from school, but rather have a small snack to get your appetite going, and then prepare to go home. If your host family or a friendly neighbor gives you something you don’t like, sorry but you have to eat it. You can say you are allergic to a food, and this will get you off the hook, but the person will still take tremendous offense. Don’t worry, it happens to everyone!

Tip #3 Make Espresso a habit. One great advantage of being a study abroad student is you have the ultimate antidote to the exhaustion of late night family parties, keeping up with your studies in an English university in Italy, and the constant socialization. Many of your Italian friends will enjoy accompanying you to a local cafe (they are everywhere) and getting a piping hot espresso. Energy drinks are hard to find, coffee is about to be your new best friend.

Visit John Cabot University for more information for making your studies go smoothly, such as study abroad scholarships.