Friday, February 11, 2011


So hey. It's been what, like a month and six days? Yes I do think we can safley say that I suck at blogging. I'm back though now. And on a good day! It's the half way point! I have been here for 5 months, and I have 5 left to go! It's a little of a bittersweet thing, I really love Italy, and as the time passes I worry that I haven't done anything in all this time. I worry that in the next five months I won't do anything either. I have still not seen Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice..... and I've been here so long. It feels like I no longer have so much of a life in America as I have in Italy, but even then, I don't have a complete life in Italy either. I talk to other foreign students and it's the same for them. So here is my message to all future foreign students: THIS IS HARD!!! Don't go abroad thinking that it's going to be all fun. Everyone has these thoughts that can't be expressed into words and can only be partially understood by otehr foreign exchange students. It's not just feeling divided, it's feeling (no matter how bad you wanted to come in the begining) that maybe things would just be easier if you hadn't come. And yes, many of us foreign students feel horribly depressed, I have felt sad and have dealt with my foreign friends feeling so down that they try to push away their friends, the family, the culture, just looking for something stable in this experience. So let me tell you, nothing is stable. You have got to learn to go with the flow of your host country, everything can seem different and stupid, you may not understand the culture or the language, but we foreign students accept it. Foreign exchange students are saints. We deserve to be appreciated. Seriously. But enough of the part that normal people will probably entirely skip (hopefully future foreign students won't, but hey they can't be included in the normal person catagory, we are crazy for wanting to put ourselves through such crazyness).
So now, on to the part that you like to be reading...... FUN THINGS!

1. I am going to Trento soon! Trento is in the north, my host dad is from Trento. It is supposed to be very green. Now excuse me for knowing absolutely nothing else about this place, but I am going there. I'll tell you about it later. Promise. (BTW this is for exchange week, a special program specific to AFS Italy that sets students up with host families for a week in other parts of the country to see the different cultures, which trust me is WAY different throughout Italy)
2. I'm going to Germany!! To Koln. To learn German. Crap. German? I can't even say a frase in German. But I will have fun anyway. I hear we might go to a chocolate museum. God I hope so. I'm going with my school, but I really don't know anything else about it... once again an adventure.

Anyways, I really cant think of other things I want to include in that list. Hmm. Well I can talk to you about my language, because it's important. And maybe useful. Yeah. So people in America always ask me if I can speak the language yet. The answer is yes. Am I fluent? I don't know. I don't think so. I understand really almost everything of people's conversations. I can answer any question you ask me. I structure my sentances well and people understand me. I can have long discussions about culture, people, problems, and just complicated topics in general. Politics and history are a little hard because I don't know all of the specific vocabulary, but usually when a person is lecturing me on something I understand it all. Now, does that mean I can keep up in school if I can understand everything now? Um, no. I do not understand teacher lectures. In Italy they never take written tests, just oral tests. That means to get your grade you have to memorize many pages of a textbook and repeat exactly what they say outloud to the teacher. I can't do that, because it is hard enough to understand and translate, bu then to memorize it all and repeat it in a language where half the time I have no idea what I'm saying? yeah, like that's gonna happen anytime soon. Well, actually to tell the truth I kind of prefer it this way... XD
Hmmm, what else... well I am losing my skill to make sentences with nuances in English. I lost a lot of my vocabulary fast, so now I am trying to say something serios without making it sound harsh, I just can't. My word choice sucks. I am the laughing stalk of all my English speaking freinds. My goal has been reached.
Also, I eat too much. Not just pasta. Everything. I swear I didn't like cream cheese this much when I was American. So much bread. So many good places to eat. I love Italy. Next blog post will be a list of foods I can't live without. Meaning the cause of my death when I return to CA.
I love Italy. It is starting to feel like my home, my foreign home, but nevertheless, it's a home. I am happy here. I'm just not Italian. So foreign, but I like it. Italy is nothing like me, you can't label someone with the perfect country for them, being at home here is a matter of looking past so many flaws and just liking it anyway. Which is why we tend to stay in the same place we grew up in I think, for me America has it's farmilliar flaws. Now as Italy's flaws get more farmilliar, I can start to love it in the same way as America. But different.
Now since I have made this post at school, there is no spell check. Sorry. I have reread this many times to try and hide the fact of how much my English sucks. Sorry. It still sucks. The bell just rang, no more badly needed correcting. Live with it. I am off to go do something Italian. Ciao ciao!!!!


  1. Hi Emily,

    You don't know me, but I just stumbled upon your blog, and I had to comment. I lived in Italy for just 4 months last year, and I can relate to so many of the feeling and emotions that you talked about in this post. I value the honest way you talk about how difficult living in a different country and experiencing a different culture, truly is. How I felt about the culture changed almost daily at time. (Okay, sometimes hourly...) And I loved how you talked about accepting the flaws of another culture. Great perspective.

  2. Ciao! Mi manchi!
    Sono daccordo di tutto che cosa hai detto, anchio vorrei scrivere il mio blog cosi' bene come hai scritto tu, ma io sempre non riesco a scegliere le parole piu' appropriati. E' meglio scrivere non speso, ma con parole giusti :D
    BTW. Hai tanti amici italiani oppure anche per te tutti italiani sono molto simpatici, si puo' uscire insieme si puo' divertirsi tantissimo ma io non sento mai, che ciascuno potrei essere mio amico vero, gli studenti stranieri sono i migliori! :)
    Te ogghiu bene!(Ti voglio bene in dialetto leccese :D )
    Baci! :*

  3. Hey! I was wondering if we could talk a little bit? I'm going to Italy next year and I really need some help! Hope to hear from you! Thanks :)