Future Teachers of Italian in the US Program: Learning a foreign language is a lifetime adventure!
Karl-Etzer Limage, SSU alumnus
Salem State University has exceptional cultural diversity, with various groups and clubs that celebrate different cultures. This was particularly true in the Department of World Languages and Cultures where I was given all the necessary tools to be a valuable member of our society and had the chance to explore one of my long-life dreams: to travel the world. Furthermore, if you have a traveling appetite as grand as mine, the Department of World Languages and Cultures also provides opportunities even after the completion of your undergraduate career at SSU. One of those is called Future Teachers of Italian in the US Program, a program I am currently in. So here I am now, teaching English in northern Italy, in Manerbio (Brescia) in the Lombardy region.
My personal adventure started two years ago, when I decided to study Italian at Salem State. After three semesters, I went to Florence, Italy, for a semester study abroad program. After this first trip, I fell in love with the Italian language and culture. While traveling all across Italy, I was able to put to good use the language skills that I had acquired through my studies. Even when I found myself ‘lost in translation’, there were many new friends to help me to get back on the right path, or “la strada giusta” -in my perfect broken Italian. From that point on, my life has become a perpetual freeze frame, with the thoughts of waking up every day to a life full of escapade.
I arrived in Manerbio last September to start my teaching internship. At first, I felt a little anxious because I did not know what to expect. But the feelings of uncertainty started to fade away when I finally had a chance to begin the program. My new colleagues were very welcoming, and the students were very generous with their many suggestions for places in the town that I needed to visit during my stay. In reality the town, a commune of approximately thirteen-thousand people, is a world of difference from Boston, where I live. The opportunity to live in a completely different environment has played a major role in my learning experience.
The level of enthusiasm that I have seen from the students while assisting Italian teachers or when leading a lesson has amplified my love for learning about other cultures. Their curiosity to learn everything about the American way of life, its cultural dynamism, or other general subjects has been making my stay here in Italy worthwhile.
I will never be able to repay the individuals that have helped me along the way, because I could never put a monetary value on what I have been able to achieve thus far. All I can do is say a simple THANK YOU to my family, friends, Professor Richard Strager and my dear advisors Prof. Anna Rocca and Prof. Margherite McLellan, along with the amazing staff from the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Salem State. I will forever be grateful for the efforts that you have invested into helping me accomplish a dream.