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Europe: Reformation Switzerland and Renaissance Italy
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Journal 4

September 26

Switzerland is very different from the United States. As an American, I can easily look down on Switzerland for lacking some of my everyday luxuries. There are things about this culture I do not understand. Why are the Swiss so strict about time? Do people relax and have fun? Why does everything have to be scheduled and discussed until every detail is finalized? When I ask these questions, I see the Swiss as rigid, uptight, structured workaholics. When I look at these questions from a Swiss point of view, I would probably see life as normal and view Americans as lazy, loud, random people. It is so important to take into account a person’s culture. Most people find it easy to find faults in other cultures when in reality they need to be examining their own. This is where ethnocentrism can easily develop. We begin to think that all other cultures need to cater to our own. I’ve learned how important it is to keep our minds open to new people and societies. I hope that others on this trip are realizing this too.

Ashley Byler