February 10, 2008

Thank you

I want to say thank you to everyone for all of your generous gifts and for coming to say goodbye. I miss all of you very much!

And a special thanks to Tanya and Sandy for freezing their butts off for me!

Very Busy

I spoke with my mother and she told me people were expecting updates. Unfortunately I am very busy getting myself orientated with my new situation. It is a little difficult using my Italian, but I can tell it is improving already. Rome is amazing and I can't wait to write about all of my experiences. I think by the end of this week I will be able to elaborate.

January 28, 2008

01/28/2008

Everything seems to be piling up now. What's funny is that I feel more comfortable about leaving now than I did the past few weeks. I spoke with my home-stay family today. To my surprise, I will be lodging with a French woman, Signora Menin. Actually, it will be her friend and myself for the first ten days. She's not even going to be there! Now I just need to make sure I get everything in order before I leave, and more importantly that I spend every minute I can with my friends.

January 22, 2008

Mailing Address

For those of you who wanted to do the old school mail....

Greg Harding c/o IES Rome
Lungotevere Tor di Nona, 7
00186 Rome, Italy

My orientation material says to "Warn family and friends to be careful when declaring the value of packages; Itaian Duty officers will charge at least 30% of the declared value before releasing the package!" Consider yourself warned.

New Italian Cell 02/11/2008

Feel free to call me if you want if you're willing to pay. Don't worry, I won't be offended if you're not. I don't have to pay anything for incoming calls ;)

011-39-335-786-9311

Home Sweet Home

If you want to visit this is the address you can find me at.

Via Poerio, 49, 00152 Rome, Italy

January 13, 2008

01/12/2008

My primary goal is to learn the Italian language to the degree that I can easily communicate with someone who speaks the language fluently. I am also working towards an Italian Studies major. My inspiration for learning Italian stems from the experience I had when I visited my first time.

As we were entered the streets of Rome in a group of around 30 students, we were overwhelmed by a mob consisting of thousands of Roman citizens flooding the street in celebration of the city winning their national championship for soccer. Trucks loaded with people, flags waving everywhere, screams of triumph and celebration consumed the streets. Police stood guard with weapons in hand, but the worst thing we could see going on was the occasional person getting dumped into a fountain, dripping wet and smiling from ear to ear. I loved the atmosphere, the food, and the architecture, and I wanted to experience more of it.

To achieve my goal I have opted for a home-stay because I think this will offer me a more intimate look into the culture. I also plan on taking several courses at one of the local universities, Roma Tre. These courses will be taught in Italian, so the idea is I am placing myself in the sink or swim position to force myself to complete my goal. In preparation I have been reviewing my Italian book and Cd's from ITAL 1001-1004. (After completing eight semesters of Italian courses, I chose to take a year and a half off to finish my Civil Engineering major. I am a bit rusty, but I believe the break was part of my inspiration to go abroad and not let those courses go to waste.) I listen to Italian conversational Cd's in my car, and have even added them on my i-pod as well. I am planning on attending weekly discussion groups at the Barnes & Noble in Roseville, as well as having discussions with another friend that has completed the Italian Studies major. Additionally I have added a link to an Italian newspaper on my desktop with Google Gadgets (The greatest thing for a computer that I've seen in a long time, I recommend checking it out.) I make an attempt to read a couple articles a day.

Everyone keeps asking me if I am excited to go, and of course I am, but I believe I am more concerned now about getting myself prepared to go so I get the most out of my trip. I am trying not to create any expectations about what my experience will be like, and take it only for what it is.

Senior Poject

For my senior project I will be exploring the effects of my study abroad experience on my personal views and understanding of different cultures. The first step in this project is to take the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). Details of this report can be found on the website http://www.intercultural.org/idi.php. I will be posting journal entries periodically before I leave, as often as possible while I am abroad, and at least one additional entry following my return. Journal entries will be found in both English and Italian, and will concern occurences that I believe affect cross-cultural attitudes and views. I will also posting pictures for family and friends to view.