Clash Of Cultures: Italy vs. Germany

Meet Ruben from Italy, one of our 1st Semester international business students who is specializing in Responsible Business. Let’s get to know about his first impressions of Germany.

During the course of time, it is easy to forget how good we have it in the cultural society we are living in, things that we take for granted are often perceived as a major gain compared to other lifestyles, once you’re looking from an outside perspective.

Karlshochschule scholarship Werner-Stober-Stiftung 2018

As a ‘Change Maker & Care Taker’ Ruben was honoured with a scholarship from the Werner-Stober-Stiftung, which will cover his University fees for all three years at Karlshochschule.

Rubens’ four main differences between Italy and Germany

1. Freedom of the road (Autobahn)

The German Autobahn is amazing, it’s usually in good shape and most importantly it’s free. In Italy, you have to pay for the highway, and you’re less connected to it. In Germany, you get on the Autobahn within minutes and in Italy, you have to drive through small cities with bad roads for a long time. Driving there is more stressful when I came back to visit my family, I’ve noticed that most roads are still not fixed.

2. There ain’t no rust on the happiness bus (Public transportation)
In Germany you always hear people complaining about the transportation system, it’s either too late, too expensive or the ticket inspector was too strict! But if you look at it from the Italian perspective, you see how less control can start a chain reaction with consequences. You can’t find ticket machines there, if the ticket shop is closed then you can’t get a ticket, so you just don’t pay because nobody checks the ticket anyways. If people don’t pay, there is no money to renew the buses or roads they are driving on and that is a big problem.

3. The earth is what we all have in common (Sustainability)
Circling back to the study program of responsible business, Germany is a prime spot to consider when studying topics regarding sustainability. We do need to keep in mind that there is still a lot to do, to shift the world towards a more sustainable living style. When looking from an outside perspective, Germany is more responsible with sustainable practices in comparison to Italy for example. Keywords here; recycling, solar panels, waste separation.

4. 100% Bio, wrapped in plastic (Consumer behavior)
When talking about customer behavior, it is interesting to see that Germany focuses more on fresh and healthy products at an affordable price. The system of ‘Pfand’ is extremely smart, I hope more countries like Italy will use a similar system in the future. Although it is weird to sometime see an item like a cucumber marked as Bio but then wrapped in plastic, overall Germany is on the right track.

Let’s take a minute to appreciate the delicious food that is available to us thanks to beautiful Italy, and maybe next time we think first before we start to complain again, we all have the power to slowly do our own part towards a more sustainable and tolerant world, so let’s use our time wisely.

If you want to learn more about the Clash of Culture episodes, please click here!

Article by Mona Frühauf *MF (Karls Storytellers)

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