Name: Claudia Torres
Location of Study: Siena, Italy
Program of Study: Scuola Dante Alighieri
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 a sophomore from Phelan, California, majoring in political science and Italian. I live in Lyons Hall and am an enthusiastic member of Notre Dame’s Italian Club. I enjoy singing with the Celebration Choir on campus and working at the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures. Whenever I am home, I like to go hiking with friends and playing music with family.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
As a political science and Italian major, I would like to eventually get into a career that combines these fields of study and in which solidifying my grasp of the Italian language is necessary. I have recently committed to the Bologna program for the spring 2018 semester, so mastering the language this summer would offer me the advantage of being able to immediately immerse myself in Italian culture upon arriving in Bologna. The SLA Grant is very important to me because it gives me the opportunity to improve my Italian and learn more about Italian culture. Learning a language is an excellent way to develop skills that are useful in any career path. Furthermore, I will be working at a refugee center in Rome immediately following my time in Siena this summer, so my hope is that I will be able to use the Italian that I develop in Siena to effectively communicate with the people I work with.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
While in Siena, I hope to be able to hold meaningful conversations with native Italian speakers. I hope to be able to talk with my host family about things other than food and the weather. I hope also to interact with the locals on a daily basis and develop friendships with Italians. I would like to improve my speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills so that I can more effectively express my ideas. I hope to talk to my language instructors to come up with ways to effectively practice my Italian outside of class. I will also develop strategies to help me continue learning the language after my summer program.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. By the end of the summer, I will be able to communicate in Italian with native speakers on political topics such as immigration.
2. By the end of the summer, I will be able to read and understand Italian academic texts in their original language.
3. By the end of the summer, I will be able to speak, read, write and listen at a level of proficiency equal to two semesters beyond my current Italian coursework placement at Notre Dame.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience: