Looking Ahead at the Semester to Come

As I begin my semester abroad I have a few goals that I would like to achieve. First and foremost, I want to become comfortable speaking Italian with other Italians. After one week here I have found it difficult to speak with natives because they talk so much faster without having to think about it. While I obviously cannot expect myself to speak as fluently as a native speaker, I hope to grow more comfortable with my conversational Italian skills by the end of my four months here in Florence. I have started to work towards this goal by simply ordering my food in Italian at restaurants as well as speaking Italian with my coworkers at my internship. Academically, I would like to dive deeper into how each country’s individual economy impacts the global economy. After a brief glimpse of this in my studies in Germany last May, I am quite intrigued and hope to be able to continue connecting economic happens throughout the world. Additionally, I am interested to see the diversity of global markets and learn about how to successfully navigate a business all over the world. By the end of this semester, I hope to have a better understanding of how to determine different marketing strategies for the same products in multiple parts of the world. Professionally, I am looking forward to noticing differences in the work culture in different areas of the world. I hope to be able to identify some differences, adopt  some aspects of Italian work culture to bring home, and also enlighten my colleagues here if I know of a different way to do something that I feel may benefit them. Ideally, I will be able to do this by establishing strong relationships with my colleagues at work so that we are all comfortable sharing cultural norms amongst each other.