Our courses are a big opportunity to improve their language skills and confidence, and also develop their knowledge and interest in different culture and lifestyle. Our American student Libby Crecco in 2016 has written about her experience at Europass during the summer. Here is it!
This summer I was lucky enough to travel to Italy for two weeks. Not only did I go there, but I lived there, learning a bit of the language, working through cultural differences, and just being immersed in everyday life. It turned out to be a huge challenge, but it was honestly the best two weeks of my life.
By far the most complex and challenging (in a good way) part of my time there was school. Every second is filled with someone shoe-horning enough knowledge into your brain to last a semester. The teachers are some of the most patient people I’ve ever met (I mean, they have to be), and some of the nicest. I’ll have to admit I envied their accents, as I was trying to adopt my own. I may not have been a model student, but I definitely didn’t find the classes boring, like I sometimes do here at home. In fact, we played many games, including making up stories, and trying our very best to draw pictures on a chalk board. Every day I was there, I learned more and more. My vocabulary has expanded considerably during short time I was there, and I am forever grateful to the school.
Every day, after amazing lunches at various restaurants, the members of the junior program would be taken on spectacular/marvelous/breath-taking adventures to some of the most beautiful spots in Florence. Some of these include Piazza del Michelangelo (a vista overlooking all of Florence), The Duomo (a beautiful church in the very center of the city), and even the public pool. During the weekend even more amazing adventures ensued. Cinque Terre, Sienna, and Pisa were just a few of the enticing activities to take part in. These excursions, paired with school, were the perfect chance to get out into the real world and to utilize my new foreign vocabulary. Not to mention getting to learn tons more about the culture and people of Italy.
Shiny New Friends and Family:
The family connections and friendships I made during this short time are far from temporary. One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was say goodbye to them. From water bottle flipping at museums, to giggling in churches, we were quite a handful. Even though we were all from different countries, we couldn’t have been more alike. We shared the common goals of wanting to learn about Italian language and culture, understand more about the world in general and make new friends. We did a pretty excellent job with that last part. All I know is that I never, ever, cry in public, and I did the night I had to say goodbye to all my new friends. It felt like I had known each and every one of them for years, even if it had been just days. I think that this whole experience would not have been the same without them, but it would have been great nonetheless.
With the help of Europass, I was able to learn much more about a different culture, a different language, and make so many new friends. Being a language-camp student in Italy was my life’s biggest challenge so far and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.