Ciao! Yesterday concluded our learning journey in Italy. Our immersion into the Italian culture afforded us many opportunities for reflections because each city we explored had distinct features. However, when discussing our take aways from this experience, we focused on two significant aspects we believe will inspire our students; ingenuity and social responsibility.
Venice or Veneza, as the Italian refer to it, is an intriguing city. It is a city built on water. We were impressed with the early Venetian engineers, as they “paved” their streets with water instead of stone. Miraculously, people of Venice primary means of traveling continues to be by boat. For us, this city had bigger implications for our students. Venice waterways are a demonstration of how a group of people’s imagination and ingenuity changed the thinking of how and where cities could be built.
In addition to their innovative spirit, we observed that in a majority of cities visited, the Italian citizens demonstrated some level of social responsibility to each other. During our bus and subway rides, passengers automatically gave up their seats for the elderly and women with children. In many cases they offered to help them get settle. My colleague and I acknowledged that people assist each other in the U.S., but not on such a comprehensive level and it is not a social expectation. Our hope is that as we retell our stories, students will gain a deeper sense of responsibility to the community.
The lessons on the Italian culture will stretch our students’ mind beyond their academic standards. Our students are in for a treat. Arrivederci!