The Drive That Takes Us Around This World

America vs Europe: Young Professionals Wonder Where to Live

 here’s another post from one of our global female bloggers – a look at the forces that drives us around the globe.

by Valeria Fanelli

“If there is something that Europeans should learn from Americans, it is the idea that in life it is never too late,” said Marina Calandriello, an intern at the Italian Consulate of Chicago.

Calandriello, 26, moved from Italy in Sept. 2012, after winning a scholarship and being selected for the internship. She left her loved Italy to pursue the dream of having a great professional career.

When she first moved to the Windy City, she tried to understand the main differences between Americans and Europeans either in politics, either in the everyday life.

“Europeans should be a little more humble in politics,” she said. “But Americans should learn a little bit more of humanity from Europeans.”

Calandriello said she likes the way Americans always challenge themselves and think it’s never too late to restart their lives.

“I met people who would start everything all over at 26 and enroll in medical school. This would rarely happen in Europe,” she said. “That’s a great philosophy of life.”

Calandriello is just one of the many Italians who leave their country to find their place in the world. Their spirit is full of hope and tenacity; they know that achieving their dreams is going to be hard, especially in a foreign country where everything is different from home.

The lack of jobs in Italy is driving thousands of young professionals out of their country.

Searching for Security

“The idea of living and working around the world for my entire life doesn’t scare me,” Calandriello said. “I am fascinated  by living abroad, but to be honest, I would prefer to remain in Europe.”

A life of sacrifices and difficulties is not going to be a guarantee. Indeed her biggest fear is not finding a job and discovering, after all her sacrifices, that she just wasted her time.

“I am afraid to fail. Sometimes I just don’t know which is the right way and I don’t want to keep living my life wondering what if,” she said.

Americans have appeared to Calandriello as very polite and friendly, but after a first approach, she experienced some episodes of individualism and selfishness. On the other hand she said she loved the professionalism that Americans put into their job and she liked that sense of devotion to work they have.

“I was exposed to some episodes of racism and barbarism that I would have never imagined,” she said. “I would have not expected this country to be so racist, especially because President Obama is so appreciated and popular all over the world.”

At the same time, Calandriello said she was very surprised to see how people are truly and totally free to express their opinion in the U.S. She loved the way people took positions during the presidential campaign and showed their political position.

“This would never happen in Italy.”

So far, she is not too impressed by the U.S. and hopes that a return to Europe is her destiny.

“I will never change Europe for the U.S.,” she said.




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