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Reverse Culture Shock?

Today was a pretty ordinary day in Rome (which is not ordinary at all).  My architecture class met at Il Vittoriano which is also known as the Wedding Cake to tourists or the typewriter to Romans.  I suppose I am still a tourist as I still refer to it as the Wedding Cake.  Look at it and tell me it does not look like an oversized Wedding Cake!

The Wedding Cake

The Wedding Cake

We learned that it was built after Italy was unified by Victor Emmanuale II and Camillo Cavour in 1861 when they decided to make Rome the center of their new country.  It took forever to complete, however, and was not officially finished until 1930!  They destroyed some of medieval Rome while building it, kicked people out of their homes to make room for it, and dug so deep to make it that they found the remains of a mammoth.  No wonder people don’t like it!  My teacher also said it was too white for Rome as “Rome is not a white city.”  That being said, it was still pretty cool.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

After our field study, I had film class.  We filmed the scene that I am not directing, so I was able to relax and watch the process this time.

Then, we had our Italian class.  We had our second meeting with the director of the program who came in to talk to us about our return back to the USA.  He cautioned us that we would have “Reverse Culture Shock” when we returned.  He said we all may be a bit depressed because “no one will understand us”.  I, personally, think it is a bunch of bologna, but he seems adamant that we will experience some form if it.  It is not just the director of my program that has mentioned this, though.  So far, my parents have received something from IES Headquarters and I have received an e-mail from Penn State on the topic.

I am still very skeptical of the whole term as I honestly did not have the “culture shock” I was told I would have when I got here.  I think it may be a product of traveling a lot when I was younger.  I have learned how to appreciate other cultures from a young age.  I will, however, let you all know if I am “shocked” in any way when I come home.  Don’t worry.

Tomorrow is my last day of classes for the week as I am skipping my Italian class on Thursday to go on my last international destination during my time abroad, Croatia.

Note: This post was originally published on April 26, 2011 in a blog entitled “Romeing Around Europe” which chronicled my study abroad experience.  #TomboftheUnknownSoldier #Travel

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