Ciao Friars! Study abroad so far has been an incredible experience. I wish that I could tell you everything about this semester so far, but I will try to keep it short! First and foremost, I taught my first lesson on Monday. I am in a sixth grade classroom (I have previously only been in kindergarten-3rd grade classrooms) teaching English to Italian students. The students are at a very low proficiency level and I am currently working on my lesson for next Monday. I can already see that this semester will be very challenging in terms of practicum, but I have also been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Imagine teaching a classroom a new language-that’s pretty amazing. This semester I will be using a variety of different strategies to reach my new students including multimedia presentations, interactive games, and role playing dialogues. I am excited to see myself grow this semester and continue working toward being the best teacher that I can be.
If you are thinking about studying abroad, here are some more reasons that you definitely should:
1. The Food: The food in Italy is typically fresh, natural, and traditional. I am taking a Food, Culture, and Society class in which we learn all about the food culture and traditions in Italy. We also participate in cooking labs and different food tastings. The food around the world has also given me the opportunity to try different dishes that I have never even heard of back in the states (although I do miss Chicken Nugget Thursdays).
2. Personal Growth: The pictures may indicate that study abroad is four months of living fabulously in a glamorous new city. While study abroad is a wonderful opportunity to travel and see the world, it isn’t always easy. I have had intense moments of missing home, my family, and Friartown. I have struggled with adjusting to a new city that has very different customs from that I am used to. However, these aspects of study abroad push you to pretty much grow up. You will become more of an adult here for many reasons. You can’t just go to Ray when you’re hungry and you can’t always call your mom or talk to your friends that live down the hall from you. It’s a different world here but you will grow into a mature, sophisticated, worldly traveler.
3.The Travel: On most weekends I am able to visit a new place. Each country seems to be a different world! I have been to Croatia, Germany, and Denmark so far. I have plans to also visit Prague, Budapest, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. I feel as though each city opens my eyes a little more to how diverse and ever expanding the world can be. Each new place holds a little piece of my heart and makes me fall in love with traveling the world more and more. I want to give a special recognition to Dachua, the concentration camp site in Germany. This was the most powerful place I have ever seen; I can’t even put it into to words. I learned to go to places that make you think and feel, not just places with pretty views.