Victoria Gordon-Brown

Victoria Gordon Brown Bio and Pic
Victoria Gordon Brown, Class of 2025

Language: Italian 
Location of Study: Sorrento, Italy
Program of Study: Sant’Anna Institute
Sponsors: The Albert J. and Helen M. Ravarino Family Italian Scholars in Italy

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I discovered my enjoyment of talking to others in their native languages whilst on a Model United Nations trip to Spain three years ago. I’ve been avidly pursuing language learning since. Speaking French and Spanish has inspired me to extend my knowledge and conquer another romance language: Italian.

Thanks to my previous engagement with other romance languages, I was able to appreciate the nuances of Italian. After hearing about the SLA grant, I knew that I had to apply. As an international student, I already know that I enjoy immersing myself in other cultures and learning through living, so spending just over a month in another country is the perfect opportunity for me. However, unlike my college experience, this time I get to have the added challenge of speaking a different language.

I chose Sorrento for both the town and its surrounding coasts’ incredible beauty. Because Sorrento is a smaller town, there will be fewer tourists than the classic city tourist destinations. This will allow me to gain a more authentic experience of Italian life whilst still being able to reach Pompeii in under an hour and Rome in under four, thanks to the European train systems. Moreover, the Sant’Anna Institute aims to provide a safe, wide-ranging learning environment, making it the perfect place for me to develop my Italian.

This summer, I hope to make great strides in my Italian speaking ability through the classes I will be taking as well as through real-life interactions asking for directions or speaking to vendors at markets. Along with improving my conversational skills, I’m excited to better understand Italian culture by experiencing it first-hand rather than from a textbook. I hope to connect both with my peers and locals to gain richer insights and expand my cultural knowledge.

In the future, I hope to have a career that involves travel and networking in the business world. Knowing different languages and being able to interact with people from other cultures can be very beneficial in business for building relationships. Studying in Italy will give me opportunities to practice these skills.