Bonacci, August



Name: August Bonacci


Language:  Italian

Location of Study:  Siena, Italy

Program of Study: Dante Alighieri Institute

Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and Albert J. and Helen M. Ravarino Family International Scholars in Italy Program

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A brief personal bio:

Good evening, my name is August Bonacci and I am a Sophomore living in O’Neill Hall majoring in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) and Italian with a minor in Business Economics. I am from Michigan and enjoying singing, running, golfing, and especially eating. I sing with the Liturgical Choir and (the pretentiously named but joyfully constituted) Our Lady’s Consort, a small group of undergraduate and professional singers employed at University events on and off campus. I also volunteer to facilitate seminar style discussions about literature at a local middle school through the Junior Great Books Program.

Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:

A facility with the Italian language is critical to my academic, intellectual, and professional goals. In an academic context, a second language unlocks another world of meaning and beauty in literature. I want to read Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarchan sonnets, and share in Mina’s nostalgia as she laments “Se telefonando, io potessi dirti addio, ti chiamerei!”

In a broader intellectual context, I want to be able to experience Italian culture and art in its most fruitful form, and similarly use the language to draw out nuances in human interaction and experience. With a second language – I am led to understand – one can better synthesize the world and explore human perception qua human limits and potentialities to learn.

What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:

My main expectation is for immersive interactions with locals in an environment that will develop my conversational and cultural competencies in a way that is not possible through Notre Dame classes that meet two or three times a week, Italian club events, or even conversations with the CSLC Italian language tutor, Guido. The scope of my language acquisition and cultural empathy is critical to my academic, professional, and personal intellectual development. Ultimately, improving my command of the language this summer will facilitate more rewarding academic experiences in my Junior year Italian class on Dante’s universe, throughout my junior year study abroad experience in Rome, and as I discern on what to write my PLS senior thesis (probably Dante).

My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:

At the end of the summer, I will be dreaming in Italian.

At the end of the summer, I will be able to speak extemporaneously in Italian at a level I can now only attain with google translate and much labor.

At the end of the summer, I will have a good general understanding of how Italians interact with each other in a political community and how this is different or the same as it is in the US of A. This is a very broad goal, but I want to know things like how their constitutional republic operates, how a state functions within the European Union, the social affects of immigration, the role of the church, and how all types of people feel about social and political issues.

My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience: