In my previous blog I discussed the two classes I’m taking through IES Abroad, the internship seminar and the beginner’s Italian class. I thought it would be fun and interesting to learn Italian while studying abroad to better ease my transition into a new culture. I had heard in the past that Italian is similar to Spanish, and I have taken many Spanish courses in the past. So I thought that my background in Spanish would be beneficial in learning the new language. Knowing Spanish did prove to be somewhat helpful as the languages are similar.
When I enrolled in the IES Abroad program, I was hesitant to take the Italian class. I didn’t want to have to learn a new language all over again or spend a lot of time in class in the summer. However now, I’m so happy I decided to take this course! We learned the basics of the Italian language, but we also learned phrases and questions that would be helpful in adjusting to and living in Milan. I also really enjoyed the weekly field trips. Our field trips pertained to whatever topic we were covering in class. For example, one lesson covered food and what phrases to use when ordering at a café. So, the field trip that week was to a café where we all sat and ordered food and coffee in Italian. IES Abroad set this field trip up with the café owners so they also made time to sit with us and answer any questions we had and shared more Italian phrases with us.
Choosing to learn Italian in Italy helped me fully immerse myself in the culture and the language. Everywhere I go, I am surrounded by Italian and I really enjoy being able to kind of understand what people are saying. Having the real-world experience of the Italian language along with what I was learning in class every week really helped me understand what I was learning. At my internship, all of my coworkers speak in Italian and any emails are also in Italian. I’m forced to practice Italian daily. In general, many Italians have been helpful and kind while I practice this new language. Funny enough, I may try to speak in Italian and they will try to respond in English. We’re both attempting to understand new languages.
I’ve enjoyed my Italian professor the most. She has made learning this new language so easy and every activity we do teaches us Italian but also aids in adjusting to life here. After a few weeks in class, I was able to order food, ask for the check, and talk about traveling and the weather, all in Italian. Yes, the Italian course is additional work in an already busy summer. The ability to really understand where you are and everything that is going on around you is so worth it though. I think learning Italian has made my summer semester here that much more enjoyable. If you’re reading this post and thinking about whether or not you should take the language course, the answer is YES! You will not regret it.
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<p>I'm a rising senior studying psychology at the University of Miami. Traveling is one of my favorite things to do so I am so excited to be studying abroad this summer. I've always been known to have a "passion for fashion," so being able to do a fashion internship in Milan is amazing!</p>