My experience in Italy has influenced my development of the characteristic of understanding. Understanding art, culture, relationships, and myself. Italy has taught me how important it is to understand an idea or concept, and has taught me the skills I need to be more understanding.

The characteristic of understanding was used when looking at art. My first encounter with art was the frescos in Arezzo. Kirk explained the history of the art and why certain figures were used within the art. It takes an understanding of historical context, ideas of that time, and background to look at a piece of art. You must first understand the art before you can find the meaning within it. I learned to understand how a piece of art can be so effective within a church. It can bring a sense of reality to the spiritual world, which allows for a relationship between the viewer and the art. I had to understand how art can talk and engage a viewer, but it takes the characteristic of understanding to realize this idea. Through listening to Kirk’s lectures about different artworks I have gained an understanding of how to look at and interpret art. It takes the characteristic of understanding to be able to really look at and enjoy the value of art.

My characteristic of understanding was developed through understanding different cultures. Traveling to Italy has taught me the value of understanding a culture before visiting. I am so thankful for everyone who taught me the different aspects of the Italian culture because it allowed me to have a better understanding of the Italian people. It is important to understand the customs of different cultures to make sure you don’t offend the people in the country you are visiting. It also allows for a better understanding of how that certain culture operates. For example, the Italians are go with the flow people, which is important to understand when trying to make plans. They are flexible and enjoy spending quality time with friends and family. This meant meals last longer than meals in America and it is important to understand this so that one can be respectful of the culture. Being abroad and in Italy, I have grown a new passion for understanding more cultures and how they operate. I think it is fascinating to understand how cultures are similar and different from one another.

My time in Italy has also influenced my understanding of relationships. I have made so many great friendships while being in Italy and it has taught me how to understand and appreciate authentic relationships. Understanding a person for who they are is important in building any type of relationship with someone. I got to know people in Italy on a deeper level and really got to understand who they are as a person. Understanding a person is so important, but prior to this trip, I did not realize this. Having a good understanding of a person and the relationship between you and that person creates a healthy friendship that can continue to build. I have a better understanding of every person on this trip with me and it makes me appreciate each person individually. I want to take my new understanding of relationships back home to Norman with me and continue to understand and appreciate the new friendships that I have made.

Finally, Italy gave me a better understanding of myself. Italy taught me to look for a better understanding of myself so that I can understand the world around me. In Italy, I gained a better understanding of what I value in life. It allowed me to understand that I find happiness in being around people. I understand that I have a new passion for traveling and understanding the world on a deeper level. I also understand that it is important for me to take time to reflect on my day and what I have come to understand and appreciate during that day. I have Italy to thank for giving me a better understanding of the world around me.

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