“We’re Not In Kansas Anymore”

Written by Kaden May 16, 2016

I'm going to have my first taste of dorm life during my time in Italy. I've lived at K-State ACACIA throughout my time at college.

Pizza Shuttle is my favorite place to eat at in Manhattan. I'm going to have to get used to pizza without cream cheese as a topping.

I thought about photoshopping my face on Dorothy, but I thought that might be too much. Also, sorry to my Kansas friends for not helping the Wizard of Oz stereotype problem with this reference.

My family by far is what I'm going to miss the most while I'm in Italy.

Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz had lived her whole life in Kansas.  She lived a simple life on the farm with her family and her friends.  When she traveled to the land of Oz, her eyes were opened up to a whole new world.  She met people that were different than her, traveled to places that were different than Kansas, and overall had experiences that she had never had before.  In preparing to head to Italy, I think my experience will be a lot like Dorothy’s.

One difference that I am going to realize right away is the difference in food.  If there is one thing that I have heard about from people who have been to Italy, it’s about how good the food is!  Pizza is by far my favorite food.  I’ve had Chicago and New York-style pizza, but I have never had real, authentic Italian pizza.  I know I’m going to miss my favorites from back home like burritos, cheeseburgers, and hot wings, but having the chance to eat authentic Italian food is definitely going to be worth it.

Another big difference I’m going to notice during my time in Italy is the change in culture.  I grew up in a small town in Kansas (this should now explain the Wizard of Oz references.)  Don’t get me wrong, I love where I’m from, but there is limited exposure to people of different backgrounds.  I have been fortunate to travel abroad with my family, but I have not had the chance to live in another country.  I am really looking forward to immersing myself in another culture, exploring historic cities, and overall learning more about the world.

A difference that I am looking forward to is expanding my views of the business world.  At K-State, I work in Fan Experience & Sales at the Athletic Department as the In Game Entertainment Intern.  I have also worked as a sales intern at GTM Sportswear, as well as spent two summers working at the local Walmart.  Even though I will not have a job in Italy, I will have the chance to see international business.  One of the reasons why I chose CIMBA is for the opportunity to tour the local Italian businesses and learn how business works there.  The business world is getting smaller and learning more about the global picture of business is something that I am looking forward to.

The biggest difference I am going to notice and what I am going to miss the most are my friends and family.  For my whole life, my family has been there to support me in everything that I’ve done.  They care for me, give me advice, and send boxes of cookies to college with me to help relieve stress.  At K-State, they are just a phone call or an hour and a half drive away.  This is going to be my biggest adjustment when I travel to Europe.  I’m looking forward to making new friends and creating connections that will last a lifetime, but I am going to miss my family back home.

Even though I won’t be traveling to Italy via tornado, I know my experience in Italy will be very similar to Dorothy’s.  Getting to try new foods, learn about global business, and meet new people are all things that I am looking forward.  I’m looking forward to getting to live like Dorothy during my time in Italy.