Through the Italian Language Department at Western I had the opportunity to attend the University of Siena in Italy over Summer in order to take 3rd year Italian. This post is a small snapshot of my experience.
Initially, it was my heritage that inspired me to study Italian language and culture through courses at my high school in Calgary. Attending Western University in London Ontario for post-secondary I chose to continue my studies by taking Intermediate Italian as my elective while pursuing my Health Science degree. It has now become so much more.
As my skills continued to grow in university in first year, I found myself wanting to fully immerse myself and engage in a holistic approach to my Italian studies. I was accepted to take 3rd year Italian at the University of Siena in Italy for the month of May 2013. In regards to academics, I was able to learn first-hand from Italian professors and truly be exposed to the language. Outside the classroom, I stayed in an Italian residence which forced me to speak Italian constantly – whether I liked it or not!
The university course in Siena itself was intense with classes 5 days a week and classroom hours at times reaching 7 hours a day if you include the conversation class. But the experience was priceless and I encourage anyone interested in doing an Italian exchange to jump on the opportunity. The people from all over the world I met and connected with along the way are now my lifelong friends, and I enjoyed the course so much that I am currently considering further studies in Italy in the coming years. Who can complain when you can do your homework in a gelateria or with a fresh espresso in hand! 😉
In my time spent studying in Siena, I furthered my passion for the Italian language and culture and I have been inspired and motivated to add Italian as a language minor to my Health Science Degree. What I found most important was being able to engage in Italian outside the classroom during my exchange because not everything can be taught through a textbook or a lecture. I gained a new sense of pride for the Italian language and culture, and towards keeping it alive and growing as a part of my identity.
If you have further questions about my experience and are considering studying abroad in Siena please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to share my experience with you!