Location of Study: Siena, Italy
Program of Study: Dante Alighieri Siena
Sponsors: Ravarino Family, College of Arts and Letters, and CSLC
A brief personal bio:
Hi, my name is Lucia West. I’m a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame pursuing a degree in Neuroscience and Behavior in the College of Science and, thanks to the SLA grant, a minor in Italian. I am pre. med and I hope to one day study medicine or conduct research at the University of Turin in Italy, the institution where Sergio Canavero, a very intelligent (and recently controversial) neurosurgeon, studied and practiced for many years. I have a passion for mental health, brain development, and helping others. I volunteer at the Robison Community Learning Center with the Youth Development program and I am really interesting in pursuing a career in pediatric neurology or pediatric psychiatry.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
The SLA grant is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to cultivate my language skills and pursue a minor in Italian. My schedule wouldn’t give me the flexibility to pursue a minor previously, but since I can receive credit studying abroad this summer I have enough time to pursue Italian and Neuroscience. Studying abroad is an invaluable experience that helps provide individuals with a wider perspective of the world. The past two summers I worked in summer camp for foreign exchange students and I am a firm believer the only way to fully understand a language is through full immersion. The growth I saw in my campers from a short 2-3 weeks was incredible. Not only did their language skills thrive but so did their confidence and world views, they were no longer reserved and quiet but curious and excited to learn. After working so closely to help others maximize their language learning experience I decided it was time for me to pursue the same experience for me with my language of choice and explore the culture of the world.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
As a result of this summer experience I hope to gain confidence, independence, and fluidity of conversational language exchange. I have heard great things about the Dante Alighieri summer program and I look forward to the growth in my language skills. During the semester I feel my life revolves around science (which isn’t a bad thing) but I’m very excited to stimulate my brain in a different way this summer getting in touch with my linguistic and verbal abilities. I hope to gain a greater perspective of the world. Growing up in Southern California I can note stark differences in the way people carry themselves and view the world in South Bend, Indiana, thus I am very excited to experience the way people interact in an entirely new culture.
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 scientific and academic topics.
2) At the end of the summer, I will be able to describe the northern Italian Culture, from the family dynamic to the educational institution modalities.
3)By the end of the summer, I will be able to write in Italian clearly and with sophistication.
4)By the end of the summer, I will able to understand colloquial slang common to Northern Italy.