I came to F&M with two goals -- graduate on time and become fluent in Italian. I'm happy to say that I accomplished both goals, and so much more! I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I enrolled in Elementary Italian I, but I hoped that my four years of Spanish language in high school would be enough to give me a head start. (It was.) Italian opened up my eyes and ears to a culture that is in my blood and to many stories about struggle, family, and love. Being a theater major, learning how to communicate and tell a complex story in another language is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. I couldn't have done it without the Lerners' engaging classes and taking the time to immerse myself in the language in the F&M in Tuscany summer program. Most recently, I have completed a master's degree in human-centered design, which focuses on empathetic problem-solving through the sharing of compelling stories from people. Italian taught be how to listen better and thoughtfully weave ideas together -- and every now and then I get to translate a phrase for a friend. I will forever look back on my time in the Italian program at F&M as one of the most powerful learning experiences of my education.