In this post, we hear from Yagmur Adademir, another Business and Management student who did a year of IWLP Italian Stage 1 and then studied at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. Like Darcey, she studied the English curriculum but was able to use her Italian in her daily life in the country.
I believe language plays a gatekeeping role in understanding a culture. Although English has become almost a globally known language, there are always some elements of culture that get lost in translation. I was dreaming about spending a year in Italy and participating in the Erasmus Programme ever since I started university, so I thought taking the IWLP Italian module would be helpful for my future. In Venice, I interacted with so many locals with whom I got to practice and develop my Italian. Taking an Italian module was a good starting point for me, as I was able to and motivated to have short conversations as soon as I arrived in Italy.
I first started taking Italian classes during covid, before I went away. Although everything was online, learning something new and interacting with new people from different courses was very enjoyable. Therefore, after returning from Venice, I decided to continue with IWLP Italian, and being present in the class made everything even better.
I felt nervous when I first chose the module – I was worried about my level of Italian. However, once I went to the class, I got over it since everyone was almost at the same level as me. The class environment is very collaborative, and I was inspired by other students’ motivation to learn Italian as well. Our lecturer encouraged us to ask questions and interact with other students in Italian. The portfolio assignment gave me chance to observe and reflect on my progress in Italian, as it required me to be up-to-date with the lectures and revise the materials consistently. Additionally, through the portfolio I have discovered many cultural elements that my home country, Cyprus, and Italy have in common. I’ve also learned that I have learned some stereotypes that have been attached to Italian culture were not true.
For me, my degree and my IWLP module go in hand in hand. I try to work for short periods of time for Italian, and studying it alongside my main degree is so refreshing. My main degree is based on theories and sometimes it gets a little bit overwhelming whereas learning Italian is more practical, interactive, and dynamic.
Unfortunately, I do not believe that I will be remembering or use most of the theoretical knowledge that I have learned at the university in my daily life. However, taking an IWLP module is sensible for both career and social life. It could help you make new friends, and meet new people not only in your university life but in the future as well. As a business student, I know many multinationals are looking for people who could speak at least more than one language. Therefore, it could create good opportunities in your career path. Next year I am planning to work and take a B1 course in Italy.