Location of Study: Toledo, Spain
Program of Study: Summer Study Abroad
Sponsors: Nanovic Institute for European Studies, College of Arts and Letters, Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures
Blog URL: http://sites.nd.edu/sla2018/meloro-john/
A brief personal bio:
My name is Jack Meloro and I am a sophomore History and International Economics double major, with a concentration in Spanish. I grew up in New Jersey, about half an hour outside New York City, and now live in Zahm House. At school, I spend most of my time participating in the bands at Notre Dame, especially the marching band. I also work as a research assistant and as a peer advisor for first-years. In my free time, I love watching movies, eating, and obsessively cheering on my sports teams.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
This SLA grant is very important to me as I continue in my academic career. I know I am going to pursue the history honors track, where I will have to do extensive research to craft a thesis. This will require for me to return to Spain and work in the Spanish archives. In order to navigate the country and historical documents by myself, I need to work on my language skills in Spain this summer. Specifically, going abroad this summer is vital for me to improve my conversational skills and to get acclimated to the culture so I can return next year. In addition, two career paths I am considering are historian or diplomat. Either one of those careers will be well-served by being fluent in a second-language, and I know that a study abroad experience is invaluable to my fluency. Finally, I love Europe and European culture. It has always been my favorite place to visit and I consider it a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be able to live and learn in a European country.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
The most important thing for me to achieve this summer is advanced proficiency in Spanish. As I said, I am strongly committed to improving my ability to speak with people in Spain. However, I also believe that the cultural experience is a similarly vital one for my study abroad. The first place I will experience this is with my host family, where I hope to forge a long-lasting relationship with my hosts. They will also help ingratiate me into the Spanish culture. Secondly, I plan on using much of my free time to go museums, discotecas, or simply explore the city. I want to take full advantage of living in a foreign city. I also hope to use the grant as a springboard to visit a few other cities during my time abroad. I want to go to at least two other Spanish cities while I am living in the country. In that way, I can get a feel for the country as a whole, not just the one city I am living in.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
My specific learning goals for this summer: 1. I will be able to watch Spanish tv shows or movies and understand the dialogue, so I can use them to improve my Spanish. 2. I will be able to compare and discuss the differences in the pace of Spain’s lifestyle to that of America’s. 3. I will be able to eat dinner with my host family and hold a normal, flowing conversation. 4. I will learn techniques to further my Spanish my education back at Notre Dame so I can apply it to my future.