Culture & Psychology Summer 2017 Student Blog Series 6: 17 and 18

We’ve reached the end of the road for this blog series! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading all of our student blogger’s experiences in Italy this past summer!

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Day 17: Free Day in Rome

Student Blogger: Krystyna Griswold

For the free day in Rome, myself and many other students visited Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer home. It was a large lake with mountains surrounding it and many activities for us to do. I decided to go kayaking with a couple other people for an hour. We paddled around the lake for a while, but then another student and I ventured away from the group and floated in the middle of the lake alone for a good 20 minutes. This was the most relaxing and peaceful part of the entire grip for me. It was so nice to sit quietly and enjoy the nature around me, which wasn’t something we’ve done a lot of in Rome and Florence.

For me and the others that went to Castel Gandolfo, this was a psychologically healing day, which was much needed. The whole experience changed my personal perspective of the world and made me want to continue travelling after the program ends, which I think will help me grow as an individual. Overall, Castel Gandolfo and the trip as a whole was immersive and eye-opening. Going to the lake was the perfect most relaxing way to end the trip and I’m so thankful to have had this opportunity with Dr. Earnest, Dr. McClain, Consuelo, and my fellow classmates.

Day 18: Farewell Dinner

Guest Bloggers: Dr. McClain & Dr. Earnest

Tonight, we held our farewell dinner at Ragno D’oro restaurant. The restaurant was just a short walk from our hotel in Prati. As we walked in and saw the long table reserved for us, it dawned on me what an enormous group we have at 26 students, two professors and their spouses, and Consuelo (our beloved OPC). Despite the size of the group, I know I’ve had the opportunity to share moments with and get to know each person. Prior to departure, Dr. Earnest and I shared our hope that so far away from home, we as a group would function as a family in Italy. As we sat down for our final meal together, I was already feeling nostalgic for all the memories we’ve shared. It felt like family to me.

The dinner, as expected, was delicious. The menu included a pasta dish and I had spaghetti carbonara. I savored every bite of speck, a smoked, cured ham that might even be better than bacon (bold claim, I know). The main course was a dish called saltimbocca alla romana, which was made traditionally with veal.  I enjoyed it, but could tell by the looks on some students’ faces that veal was outside their comfort zone. However, as usual, students impressed me by being adventurous and trying something new. My favorite part of any meal, we finished off with a dessert of cookies and sorbet.

Dr. Earnest and I want to thank each student for your open mind and enthusiasm in learning how culture influences our psychology. A special shout out is called for Consuelo, who guided us to new territory, always with a smile!