Introducing Sally Wade. Our newest blogger!
Ciao a Tutti!
The semester is well underway and it’s time to get the blog up and running. My name is Sally Wade and I’m a sophomore from The College of William and Mary, majoring in government with a focus in international politics. I’m back in Italy as an SIS student after spending my summer in Florence (I decided five weeks just wasn’t enough time…). My hope is to keep this blog updated weekly throughout the next few months!
The semester began by talking about culture. How SIS provides opportunities for students to confront, experience, and interact with the Sienese (and, in general, Italian) culture. Since then, we’ve been moving at break-neck pace settling into our new surroundings.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the place we are in at this point in the semester. To me, it feels like a breaking point. We’ve finished the intensive language course, started our volunteer positions, been paired with a language partner, etc. All of the tools are before us and now is the time to either take advantage of them or not. To learn Italian or not. To form lasting and real relationships with Italians or not. To immerse or not.
I guess what it comes down to is that the FICCS approach (Full Immersion: Culture, Content, Service) and the SIS staff provide us the resources to immerse fully, offer us support and guidance, but the rest is up to us:
When the Italian flag is up in the Fontebranda office, it signifies that we should be speaking only in Italian that day – i.e. an opportunity for immersion. Yes, we absolutely could get away with speaking Italian to the staff and then talking in English amongst ourselves, but then we’re only inhibiting our own language acquisition…
We have been paired with Italian students who are interested in speaking in English / Italian. We had apertivo last week at the Fontebranda office to meet one another, exchange phone numbers, make plans to meet up, etc. But, after that, it’s up to us to forge a relationship…
In our homestay we can appear only for meals and then disappear into our rooms or we can do more. Talk more. Interact more…more seems to be the operative word. I, for one, am excited to take advantage of it all.
This weekend is our first three day weekend (no classes on Friday!) and the majority of the group is out travelling. Among us, we’re covering three different countries: Spain, France, and Italy to see Barcelona, Paris, Milan, Bologna, Perugia, and Assisi!
Be on the lookout next week for pictures and stories from our travels this weekend!