Right after a long and tiring school year, this summer I had the opportunity to spend two weeks in Florence, Italy and study the beautiful Italian language. As I have been learning Italian for 10 months now (8 at the time of travelling) I could join an elementary level language course of 50 hours. The course schedule consisted of both classroom and out-of-the classroom activities, so I had the opportunity to dive deeper into real Italian language and culture beyond academic versions or stereotypes. The course brought a gust of fresh air in my profession as well: by stepping into a student’s shoes, I could observe new methods and critically reassess professional attitudes. I attended 20 hours of morning sessions tailored to my language competence and needs. In the afternoon, I took part in seminars and study visits about motivating topics (such as Italian culture, Italian education system, etc). By the end of the course I gained expanded knowledge about Italian language and culture by observing and absorbing authentic communication practices directly on the spot, supported by local professional tutors.
Having plenty of free time, I also managed to discover the immensely rich historical heritage of the city and the surrounding areas. With the help of Europass I could get acquainted with other parts of Tuscany, such as Siena, Chianti region, Monteriggioni and San Gimignano, as well.
The benefits of this journey have been manyfold. Not only have my language knowledge been improved and I could discover the art and history of medieval Florence, but I also had the opportunity to be part of everyday Italy, its culture and rhythm of life. By meeting many people from around the world, my stay also enriched my intercultural understandig and sensitivity at the same time.
I will always feel truly grateful for this wonderful experience.