JWU Student Blogs

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Positano, Italy is a city on the Amalfi Costa which is very touristic. It is one of the most touristic places I have traveled to in terms of having the most comfortable in relations of language and people. Everyone either spoke English or Russian which I am fluent in and every square of the location had shops that tried to upsell their merchandise. Positano is blesses with being picturesque and having a beach which attracts tourist to. In my eyes, it has been taken over as a touristic city that is beautiful and unique in its own way but at the same time lost its raw beauty and characteristics. I learned that although it can be welcoming to us as tourist to be in the city where we can communicate and speak to “locals” freely, it is not the “real” Italy that we came to see. Each city has its own advantages and disadvantages but what is important is to put ourselves outside the comfort zone and explore the culture and the real life of locals which we traveled to see. Although it is healthy to have a balance of both, it is important to travel to places where it is not touristic in which we have to challenge ourselves to communicate with the locals and see the real life that they live. We are in Castellammare di Stabia for two in a half months and I appreciate being in a small towns which is not situated to tourist on which every corner there will be someone that speaks English, there is probably only a handful that do and I appreciate that much more after traveling to those ones that do because I came here for a cultural experience in which I have to step out of the comfort zone and emerge into the culture. As much as it can be frustrating at time, it is also one of the most rewarding experiences and we have to stay true to why we came here for and not be lost in what we feel comfortable with. Life is all about learning and challenging ourselves to the fullest; study abroad experience is one of the most rewarding and enriching cultural wise where we learn not only about the world we live in outside the books but about ourselves and who we really are and what we want to imprint in this life.

- Katerina Shevchenko