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And So We Go.

Adam Phipps ’11

Departure.

I’m finally here. After three long weeks of Christmas Break, my trip to study abroad in Milan begins. I know why I’m going abroad this Spring semester: to pursue film studies courses through another culture’s point-of-view. I know what airport I’m flying into, where my apartment is, who I’m rooming with, and how much I will have to spend in the first week. I have the equipment necessary to shoot video for this blog. I’m as ready as I can be for this trip, which starts tomorrow.

But to be honest, I have NO idea what to expect over there.

Don’t blame Wabash. David Clapp in the Off-Campus Study office has helped me get all the way up to this point, including helpful tidbits and factoids that will prove quite helpful once in Italy. Howard Hewitt in the PR department hooked me up with video-editing software, with which I can develop some nice footage into quick, informative, and realistic insights into the fashion capital of the world. More than anything, my liberal arts background will help me adapt and adjust my own assumptions, which I will improperly and inevitably apply.

There is simply no amount of preparation nor any pre-designed method that can make the transition from one culture to another fully seamless. The "acculturation process", a fancy phrase for the transmission, acquisition, and understanding of another culture compared to my own, is not a switch that I can just flip. It is, as noted, a process, and it will take time.

In view of this, I am nothing less than excited. This journey will not only aid my studies in film, but also broaden my understanding of Italian cultural viewpoints, identifying what specific ideals or customs I assume as standard for people of all nations. My personality will take on a new Italian twist, and my creative writing will persist and flourish. Above all, Italy will change me, and the change will benefit me for the rest of my life.

As the author D.J. MacHale states in the prefaces of his grand Pendragon novels: Hobey ho. And so we go.