Mediating Cultural Exchange – Study abroad, volunteerism, tourism

Alexandra Korey

Last year I had the fortune of teaching art history at the University of Georgia Study Abroad program in Cortona. Like most study abroad programs, students come for one semester in Italy, which is three or four months. When they first arrive, they grapple with culture shock, they question why things are different here, and they sometimes complain about the lack of certain conveniences like being able to order coffee to take out in tall paper cups. In the first weeks, some of my favourite students worked hard to fit in, and asked me things based on their observations. They asked if it was okay to drink beer in the streets since that is in fact legal here but not at home; or if it was okay to go to a church service even if they’re not Catholic. Over time they figured it out and came to love many things about life in Italy, even perhaps prefering cappuccino standing at a bar instead of walking around with a gigantic cup from Starbucks… Read the rest of the Article online at:

Author, Alexandra Korey, Ph.D., taught Art History (Renaissance Italy) in the Fall 2008-Spring 2009 in Cortona. She now resides in Florence and serves as writer and events editor for The Florentine, an English newspaper serving Tuscany, develops digital marketing for The Florentine Press, and social media marketing projects for clients in the artisan and fashion sector at the agency Flod. Korey also edits her Tuscan travel site and blog

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