I studied abroad in Luxembourg from January to May 2014, and it was by far the greatest experience of my life. I grew into a self-sufficient and independent woman, made lifelong friends, and saw so many amazing and beautiful things in over 10 different countries; however, the most important part of my study abroad experience was the opportunity to experience cultures different from my own.
Miami University has stellar study abroad services, from helpful and friendly advisers in the study abroad office, to scholarship opportunities, to the copious amount of program choices available; yet, study abroad still isn't feasible for many students. With the lack of programs that accept Miami-issued scholarships as well as the added costs of travel and living expenses, many people financially can't afford to study abroad. I thank the universe every day that I had to opportunity to experience Europe, and it angers me when people take that privilege for granted.
Therefore, Britton Perelman's article upset me for a number of reasons.
Rome and the Colosseum were built by hand thousands of years ago, and it astounds me that both are still standing. Even with modern technology and tools, our current society fails to build such extravagant, impressive structures that can stand the test of time in the way that Rome and the Colosseum have. But this is all aesthetic; Miss Perelman completely ignores the complicated, bloody and impactful history that comes with the Colosseum, which I find very superficial and rather callow.
As far as Miss Perelman's critiques of her hostel go, I urge her to remember she is a visitor to another country whose citizens are generously and graciously accommodating her. It's unfair to critique them so harshly for simply trying to make her comfortable and help enhance her Italian experience as best they can.
And finally, it's hardly fair to compare a place with such a rich history to a Hollywood movie. Lizzie McGuire's experiences were fictionalized and should hardly be taken as reality. Her "Rome" was a Hollywood production, where lighting, camera angles and heavy film editing affect the way things are presented.
I hope Miss Perelman can use my response to her article as a learning experience, as a way to recognize how fortunate she is for the opportunity to experience Europe. I hope she can understand how her privilege gives her a unique opportunity to explore other cultures outside from her own, and I hope she keeps this in mind as she continues her study abroad experience.