California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Fitting in with the locals

    Whenever you’re about to go on a trip, planning what to pack can be one of the most important details. This is especially true when you’re going to study abroad. Depending on which culture you’ll be immersed in, packing can get pretty specific.

    “I didn’t do any research about the culture of Austria and what to wear. I had a travel backpack, and I brought basketball shorts and T-shirts for the summer months. When it changed seasons, my parents shipped over my winter clothes,” said junior Matt Trueblood.

    The length of your trip is a determining factor when deciding how much to pack.

    “I studied in Austria for 10 months,” said Trueblood.

    Usually when traveling, fitting in with the locals can be difficult. Most times we just throw on clothes and look like typical tourists.

    “My style didn’t really fit in because not very many people wear basketball shorts outside of the gym and that was mostly what I packed,” said Trueblood.

    This is definitely true when you’re a college student. Being fashionable isn’t always at the top of everyone’s priorities and being in another country just makes it that much harder to get ready in the mornings.

    “It was pretty apparent that I was foreign from the way I dressed,” said Trueblood.

    As time goes on, your style may adapt to the culture that you’ll be living in.

    “I started shopping there since I only brought a backpack, so obviously I started to buy what they had available. My style became more European,” said Trueblood.

    What you should pack depends on where you will be studying. If you’ll be in a program that takes you to more than one place, it might be more difficult for you to pick up on the local style.

    “I will be doing the Oxford program that mainly goes to England, Italy, France and Turkey,” said sophomore Sara Anderson.
    In these cases, you will probably be packing differently than if you were living in one country for the entire semester.

    “I’m planning on packing really light, outfits for school and outfits for going out. I’m going to try to pack more versatile clothes that will mix and match,” said Anderson.

    It’s important to understand the culture of the place you will be visiting so you have a better understanding on what to pack.

    Each culture has its own sense of fashion. It’s good to be prepared for what that fashion sense is.

    “I’ve been to Turkey before, and their values are more conservative than those in America, so I don’t want to dress too flashy.

    I won’t be wearing very much makeup and just be more minimalistic,” said Anderson.

    Each culture has different values when it comes to how to dress.

    “I’m going to Kenya, Africa for about six and a half months. In their culture, I have to cover my knees, so I’ll be wearing a lot of long skirts and pants. I was told don’t show your knees because it makes your peers in Kenya uncomfortable, ” said junior Alexa Boldt.

    Regardless of where you are in some cultures, dress is still strictly enforced.

    “I’ll be staying in a house with some Kenyans in a village for the first three months and then staying in the capital city with a family for the last three months,” said Boldt.

    This is a perfect example of how knowledge of the culture you’ll be visiting is important. The last thing you want is to get off on the wrong foot with a host family because of something you’re wearing.

    “I want to represent the United States with class through the way I present myself and how I dress in these cultures,” said Anderson.


    Lindsey Walton
    Staff Writer
    Published May 8, 2013

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