I am ecstatic to be writing about, my wonderful SIP trip to Urbania Italy, with Centennial College and Centro Studi Italiani. From the beginning to the end, everyone you met was eager to welcome you into their homeland and into their lives. From the directors of the school to the staff, our homestay host, and the locals, we were constantly surrounded by Italian hospitality and warmth. This immersion into the culture, allowed no time to miss or develop homesickness. Urbania became home. We now have a new family with our hosts, and made new friends that will last a lifetime. Creating this close bond, was not easy. However, a goal of mine was to be more accepting of situations and become more outgoing. This allowed me to benefit fully from all the experiences in front of me. This trip truly encouraged me to develop communication skills, that are invaluable in today’s job society. I am grateful to have participated in this program. All of my expectations were shattered, and I came back to Centennial College with a sweeter outlook on our world. Grazie mille Centennial College e Centro Studi Italiani !
Culture, Language and Appreciation
My first impression of Italy was how similar I felt the landscape was to my home in British Columbia. The lush rich colors of varying greens flashed from the trees and foliage which created a very organic feel. I felt like I was being welcomed to a country who was proud of their rich soil and I knew real food and culture was going to enjoyed here. Then I didn’t feel so far away from home.
The further away from the big city we went the quieter it became and the foliage became more intimate along the winding roads as the bus maneuvered us safely through the mountains. I arrived with the group in the world-renowned town of Urbania, Italy with a thought of food and rest….too be continued.
Ciao! Mi chiamo Fiona. Ho studiato I media di bambini in Centennial College e ho finite il programma nel mese Agosto.
Through Centennial College’s GEO Program, I had the privilege of going to Italy with a group of 26 other students to learn conversational Italian, enjoy traditional Italian cuisine and immerse myself in Italian culture. It was my first time in Europe and I could not have asked for a better experience.
Urbania is a quant town in the province of Urbino. It’s about 4.5 hours northeast of Rome. The family that I stayed with had 2 teenage children that understood and spoke some English. There were instances of Google Translate being used to communicate. The magical thing about conversing while there’s a language barrier is that one can still make sense of the conversation based on the time of day, the situation and the tone of someone else’s voice.
I LOVE FOOD. Usually, I don’t seek out Italian food often since I don’t really enjoy pasta dishes unless they’re smothered in cheese… BUT having mild lactose intolerance limits my dairy intake to no more than 1-2 times a week. I do love gelato though. I would suffer a stomachache for tiramisu and bacio gelato ANYDAY!
At the crack of dawn, my Italian father would go to the local bar to pick up fresh baked croissants for my roommate and I. To put it into perspective, the bar is to Italians as cafés are to North Americans. It was a bit of adjustment eating patisseries for breakfast every morning, but all is forgiven since the croissant con marmellata di pesca è molto delizioso!
The first thing I noticed when given the school schedule was the 2 hour lunch breaks. Long lunch breaks are given for people to go home and eat together with their families. Local stores are closed midday for family time as well. One of my favourite food items for lunch was a pastry flat bread called the crostolo, which is traditional to Urbania. It can be sweet or savoury. I enjoyed mine with lots of greens, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
The first couple of dinners in Urbania, I asked my Italian mom if the pasta that she’s serving us was homemade. She told me no and that she used pasta from a box and proceeded to show me their cupboard filled with Barilla pasta (the Barilla commercials don’t lie – it’s a brand that Italians trust!). My Italian mom did eventually make us fresh pasta… and it was molto delizioso!
Cena is a biggest meal of the day for Italians. Unlike North American society where you’re conditioned to have your biggest meal in the morning and eat less throughout the day, Italians have their meals the complete opposite. At the homestay, dinners usually started off with a pasta dish and then followed by a course of meats, veggies and lots of bread. The meal ends with fruit and coffee.
Grazie Mille Centennial College! Grazie Mille Centro Studi Italiani! Ricorderò sempre il mio tempo in Italia!
Children’s Media – Post-Graduate Certificate Program