Coming into college, I never thought about minoring in a foreign language; I had already made up my mind to major in Biology and minor in Dance. I started Italian my first semester partially out of interest, as my father is Italian-American and his parents are Italian, but mostly to fulfill my language requirement. However, it became clear to me almost immediately that Italian was a subject I was passionate about and wanted to explore more in-depth. After taking four semesters of the language (three of which were required), I began to consider the possibility of an Italian minor. This consideration was solidified by my experience in Vicchio as part of the Summer 2015 session of the "F&M In Tuscany" Study Abroad program. When I returned to F&M as a junior that fall, I declared an Italian minor, completing it the following semester. Even though I finished my minor, I continued to take Italian classes until graduating in May 2017.
Studying Italian in college allowed me to explore a passion and apply it to my life in ways I never thought possible. Besides studying abroad in Vicchio, I planned a ten-day research project in which I shadowed an Immunologist at Università Roma Tre. I was able to combine my passion for Italian with my passion for science, two disciplines that aren't traditionally united. I also had the privilege of serving as the TA for the Summer 2017 session of "F&M in Tuscany," one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences I have ever had. Though Italian is not necessarily a keystone of my current job, it still plays a significant role in my personal life. My father and grandmother speak Italian, and I have Italian relatives that I was able to not only visit but also converse with as part of my experience in the country. In addition to speaking the language, I also developed a love for the culture and now have favorite Italian foods, movies, books, and musical groups.
F&M's Italian department is without question one of the strongest departments at the college, and I am beyond excited that students finally have the opportunity to major in Italian. In bocca al lupo a tutti!