Varying Cultures!

The Italian culture is more conservative in almost everything they utilize: roads, housing, electricity, water, cars, and even food portions. The air conditioning is not regularly used as in America, so I decided to sleep while completely drenched in sweat the first few nights as I thought I would be charged a wholesome amount for electricity, but I was informed by my professor later on that it was fine to use it overnight as long as I turn it off in the day. The driving in Italy is very sporadic and pedestrians usually walk across the street even when there is a red light for them! In the states, you would be easily ticketed in the United States and potentially run over for doing something similar in Italy. One of the most shocking habits is Italians and their schedules. They open the stores whenever they want and close when they want. You are never sure of when they will actually open, so it is best to not even bother looking at the sign telling you their schedule. I walked into a hair salon one day and they told me they were closed while cutting a mans hair right in front of me. I asked what time the man would be open in the morning and he told me “10 am… No, no maybe 11:30…”, I came out confused, but realized that this is Italy after all. “Italians don’t live to work, they work to live” after all as Dr. Merrick says as when I first met her during orientation. The delivery of medicine in Italy is much easily obtainable as many locals and tourists can go to a nearby pharmacy and tell them what symptoms they have upon their illness to the pharmacist as long as the symptoms are not too severe. In the states, you are required to go to a doctor for a diagnosis of your symptoms. Subsequently, Italians and their free health care system allows for a much better system of health care for everyone than the United States as everyone is open to testing, medicine, and treatment. After experiencing Italy thus far, I realized how large the world really is. This was my first time traveling out of country, and I am really appy I took this huge leap to learn how different our cultures can be and the many things I am missing out on by just staying in my own country. It has led me to grow a burning desire to travel abroad again before I go to medical school one day and I would like to thank Dr. Merrick, Dr. Fields, and the FUA staff for this amazing experience they have helped me create.

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