Ciao Ragazzi! My name is Lina Safi, and this past summer I traveled on Centennial College’s Summer International Program to Urbania, Italy in August of 2017. During this global experience, I gained many important life skills, including learning how to be independent while learning.
Prior to departure, I was very nervous about joining a group of other students whom I had never interacted with prior to the trip. There was a total of 19 of us, and I had only had a small orientation with half the group before meeting the rest for the first time at the airport in Rome.
Instagram: @_linasafi for more pictures.
However, everyone clicked immediately from the start. We were met at the airport by Enrico, our student support coordinator, and a bus driver who drove us approximately 5-6 hours from Rome to the small town of Urbania, where we were greeted and taken home by our host families. All of us were greeted very warmly, and the families were very loving and some of the most kind-hearted people I had ever met. We were also given times for breakfast and dinner, as well as our own set of keys.
The next day, we began school at Centro Studi Italiani, where our classes were from 8:50-4:30. That may seem like a typical Canadian school day, but in Italy, that school day also had a 2 hour break from 12:30-2:30pm. This was because Italians emphasize importance on the meals and “siesta” part of their day. Even the shops close during the mid-afternoon for a few hours!
We had two classes, language and culture. Centro Studi Italiani had also given us written material to use as textbooks and help improve our Italian education. We were also given a 2 week schedule dictating the days we had a change in routine, for excursions or special classes like cuisine, or ceramics.
In the ceramics class, we were taught how to really work with clay, and designed our own fish. In the cooking class, we made homemade gnocchi. One of my favourite activities during culture class was playing “Heads-Up!” in Italian.
In addition to these special classes, Centro Studi Italiani and Centennial College organized a variety of excursions for us to partake in.
Excursion #1: Province of Urbino
Excursion #2: Florence (FIRENZE)
Excursion #3: Venice (VENEZIA)
Excursion #4: Gubbio
Excursion #5: Rome (ROMA) / Vatican City (CITTA DE VATICANI)
It goes without saying, however, that our experience abroad could not have been so great without the help of the amazing Giovanni, Anna, Diletta, Gloria, and Enrico, who made sure that our time in Urbania was wonderful. I learned so much Italian and culture in a matter of just 2 weeks that I feel like a whole new person. Furthermore, I am forever grateful to Centennial College for giving me the privilege to experience such an incredible and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, where I not only learned and grew as an individual professionally and personally, but also made a family from halfway across the world. Grazie mille Centennial College e grazie mille a Centro Studi Italiani! Mi manchi.
#SaGe #SIPItalyUrbania #LearningAbroad #CentroStudiItaliani
Written by: Lina Safi