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Being Social in a Foreign Country

Cameron Clark
February 19, 2019

Don’t worry guys! I made it to Rome safe and sound. Sorry for the radio silence, I was caught up in the whirlwind that is Rome and its culture. Also if you follow me on instagram (@cam__clark), sorry not sorry for all of the posts. By God, this city is photogenic. Although I have been having an extremely fun time that means I’ve also been having a reckless financial time. (Only joking… kind of) But above all else, I’ve been super thankful for this opportunity and the gifts I’ve been given. The most cherished gifts lately have been my social skills. Although teachers might not enjoy my talkative nature, it has seriously saved my skin multiple times and made this trip exponentially more fun. So this is a friendly reminder that the world doesn’t have to be as scary as you imagine it. Talk to someone, what have you got to lose?

ARRIVAL

It took me 14 hours to get to Rome, which is actually pretty quick. With this abundance of time, I made some friends along the way. On my first flight (SAC to LAX), I met a man that owned an Italian Restaurant in Yuba City. Very cool, especially considering if I hadn’t reached out and made conversation, we would have been strangers. We had an awesome conversation about the importance of business and customer service. Not going to lie, the second flight (LAX to LHR) mostly consisted of movies, sleep, and food. Once I got to London, however, I talked to another student in the IES Abroad program. I saw her IES Abroad badge and we started chatting about our travel experience and plans for Rome. When we landed, a couple other kids from IES Abroad met up to maneuver the tricky Roman airport. And guess what? With our combined knowledge and effort we made it to the pick-up location in no time. All of this was possible because I started a conversation.

SETTLED

Another benefit of my extroverted nature was getting to know my host family. The more I talk with Susanna, Marco, Ariana, and William the more I feel like I’m a part of something bigger: a family. I truly feel blessed to be in their lives and stay in their home. Granted, I know this is how it should be, but I know a lot of people that would be afraid to interact. Listen! You are only hurting yourself. As a result of my conversations, I know more about the food, the language, and the cinema! I feel the exact same way about making friends here. In the beginning, I knew absolutely no one and now I have a group of ten people that I hang out with. All it takes is making a dumb joke or starting a conversation. Is it scary at first? Sure. But the positives always outweigh the negatives. I would rather know that I don’t want to hang out with someone than be left with the thought that I missed out on a great friend because I was a big ole chicken. I know that if I didn’t make a joke or start a conversation, Italy would be monumentally less exciting without people to experience it with.

Clarity and communication is essential when it comes to school and internships. By clarifying what your teacher or supervisor means, you allow yourself to succeed significantly more. The more information you have the better! At my internship, I got to know what my supervisor expects of me in the course of an hour, not to mention the astounding personal conversation we had. Everything is better when you ask a question or make conversation. What is life if you don’t know the people in it?

FUTURE

Now, I know my first post is a little later than expected, but I needed to take it all in. Rome is a wonderful and beautiful place. I was in an awe-inspired trance for the first week. To be honest, I still, and will continue to, take it all in till my last day here. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” -Ferris Bueller. I affirm Mr. Bueller’s philosophy and would add that the same is true when it comes to interacting with the people around you. As my late Grandpa Joe would say, “You don’t ask, you don’t get.” Plus, it would be pretty lame to miss out on all the cool people you come across in the world just because you didn’t ask a question.

(Special thanks to Julia Cohen) 

Cameron Clark

<p>I'm an adventurous writer that loves to stay active whether that's in the gym or outside. My hobbies include photography, music, and comedy. In writer fashion, I enjoy immortalizing these memories with narratives.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2019 Spring
Home university:
Azusa Pacific University
Hometown:
Fair Oaks, CA
Major:
Film Studies
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