Name: Enle Lien
Location of Study: Siena, Italy
Program of Study: Dante Abroad
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and Albert J. and Helen M. Ravarino Family International Scholars in Italy Program
A brief personal bio:
I am an international student from Guangzhou, China who is in her third year at Notre Dame. I study Italian and Russian, with a minor in Philosophy, Religion, and Literature. As you can probably tell, I am interested in all three of those disciplines in humanities! One interesting fact about myself is that I was an architecture major during freshman year. Thanks to this experience, I developed an interest in how the built environment impacts our interaction with the world, how political ideology often finds its expression in architectural style, how architecture and poetry as two distinct art forms resemble each other in unexpected ways, etc.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
I am an Italian major, so obviously my language skills in Italian are of utmost importance to me. More practically speaking, I need this SLA grant to fund my summer studies in Italy because otherwise I would have trouble completing the requirements for two majors and a minor. In terms of more immediate academic goals, I will be writing my senior thesis on Dante, Primo Levi, and Osip Mandelstam. Ideally I will be working with both Dante’s and Levi’s texts in the original, just like Osip Mandelstam did with the Divine Comedy. If I want to understand the famous essay by Mandelstam on Dante, I definitely need to at least be as good at Italian as Mandelstam was! No experience besides actually studying Italian in Italy will be able to help me the most in the regard of improving language skills.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
I want to take an intensive language course and maybe two additional cultural courses. The language course will help me review Italian grammar comprehensively with a more practical approach. The two cultural classes will give me the opportunity to use the gained language skill in an academic context. The SLA grant will also provide me an experience of cultural immersion in the beautiful city of Siena, Italy. I want to participate in cultural or sports events that regular Italians attend. I want to know Italy through personal experience and not just through books. I want to visit other Italian cities where great writers lived and where famous battles were fought. I want to witness the remains of history in everyday life.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. At the end of the summer, I will be able to communicate in Italian with native speakers on academic topics such as literature, film, art, etc.
2. At the end of the summer, I will have a nuanced grasp of the Italian language to read The Divine Comedy in the original for my seniors thesis.
3. At the end of the summer, I will regain confidence in speaking Italian at least to the level (Passage to Italy) before I studied abroad in Russia in fall 2016.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience: