By Giulianne Pate ’19
Hometown: Los Gatos, CA
Over the summer I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Italy with Pacific’s language professors and take part in a six-week immersion program that allowed me to advance my knowledge of Italian culture and the Italian language.
I wanted to connect with my Italian heritage and to correspond more easily with my extended family who live in Italy. Participating in this immersive program allowed me to do just that and provided me with a unique opportunity that I will treasure and never forget.
Upon arriving in Italy, my excitement for the program grew bigger and bigger. I had visited Italy before, but I have never resided in one place for more than a few days. Sharing an apartment for six weeks with my best friend was something that I was both excited and nervous about. This was the first time I was living on my own and had to cook and clean for myself.
Our apartment was the perfect size for us. We also lived down the hall from the four other girls in the program. We all became very close as the weeks went on. We had study sessions, cookie-making parties and movie nights. By the end of the program it seemed like we had known each other for at least six years instead of for only six weeks.
We did everything together including traveling to other Italian cities, grabbing five euro pizzas from the pizzeria next door, spending late nights talking on the terrace and walking up what seemed like millions of steps to class every day — by the end of the program we had calves of steel! The friendships I made during the program I know will last, as we promised each other to have reunions, lunch dates and weekend hangouts once school starts back up.
I have always been interested in history and other cultures, especially Italian, so having the opportunity to learn more about these outside the classroom was something that I really appreciated. I loved learning about the ancient Roman forums under the modern cities. We were actually able to see the old foundations that once held huge and impressive architecture.
Seeing architecture that survived from ancient Rome and the Roman Empire that still stands within the more modern city was even more impressive. The Pantheon, Colosseum and Verona Arena, to name a few, were some of my favorites. With the guidance and knowledge from our language professors, I was constantly learning interesting facts about the cities, art, language, religion and other aspects of the Italian culture.
Overall my experience with this program has allowed me to grow as an individual and become more independent and knowledgeable. I have built friendships with other students and professors that I will hold close to my heart and treasure. I will never forget those few weeks I spent with in Italy with my friends and language professors, and if I had the opportunity I would do all again.
Visit the University of the Pacific’s website to learn about the Summer Immersion Programs.
See more photos in our Flickr album.