Name: Avani Rao
Location of Study: Alicante, Spain
Program of Study: CIEE
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and Nanovic Institute for European Studies
A brief personal bio:
I am a sophomore studying Accounting and Philosophy, and I live in Breen-Phillips Hall. I have two younger sisters, ages 16 and 14, and my family lives in New Jersey. I really enjoy listening to music, reading, and spending time with my friends. I started learning Spanish in middle school, and have continued taking classes all through my college experience.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
The SLA Grant is very important for me to gain fluency in Spanish, because I have only conversational proficiency as of now. I have been studying Spanish for a long time, and am really looking forward to being able to accomplish this long-term goal. Even though I have studied Spanish for a long time, I feel that I have hit a wall in improving my Spanish, so an immersion will help me get to the next level and make real progress. In terms of my career goals, I think that Spanish is a vital tool in communicating in the business setting, and will definitely help me to reach out to more people. Therefore, the SLA Grant is important for fulfilling my personal, academic, and career goals.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
Right now, I am conversationally proficient, as stated, but I hope to gain both a linguistic fluency as well as a cultural immersion through my time in Alicante, Spain. In terms of my linguistic fluency, I would like to be able to communicate my more complex ideas and thoughts without apprehension or confusion on the word usage, and for it to become a more natural process. I can think somewhat in Spanish now without translating it to English in my mind, but I hope to improve that process through my time in Spain. In addition, the cultural aspects of Spain are very important to me, as I am very excited in developing a new perspective and understanding of a different culture that can enrich my knowledge of the language as well.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. At the end of the summer, I will be able to speak to native Spanish speakers about complex thoughts, specifically current events and philosophy.
2. At the end of the summer, I will be able to identify cultural differences and how they affect my perceptions and perspectives in everyday life.
3. At the end of the summer, I will be able to appreciate the contributions of Spanish literature and culture in my academic experiences.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience: