Amy Steinepreis is completing her Bachelor of Arts majoring in English, French and Italian - she loves all her majors but is especially passionate about Italian. She is now completing her final year of study at the Università per Stranieri, Siena, Italy, through one of UWA's overseas learning opportunities. Here is what Amy says about her experiences so far...
When presenting a paper at a conference at the Università degli Studi, Trento (in Italy's north), I forgot there would probably be question time at the end...and there was. Fortunately adrenaline kicked when the Italian editors started firing questions at me in Italian!
Lost in translation
I asked a bus driver whether he was going to Monteriggioni, a beautiful walled town in the Tuscan countryside. He said he was, but then proceeded to go 40 minutes past it to the next town before letting me off, by which time it had started to rain. This then made for a lonely walk/run between ghost towns on a deserted highway. Not my fault, but it was worth it, though, when I managed to climb the hill and reach Monteriggioni.
Chilling out Italian style
Siena is a wonderful place to study because it is a manageable size, very safe and most of the tourists there in early winter are Italians from other cities. It's one of those places with a really social atmosphere, apart from being a spiritual and historical place.
Trento was surprisingly unique - it's called the city of Christmas, and lived up to its name with its adorable Christmas market. There were also many appealing edible delights...being close to Austria, apple strudel tended to feature quite heavily in my day.
I really like studying in the Siena library (Biblioteca degli Intronati) - it is sort of underground, and has a lot of character. Afterwards I walk up a very steep alleyway to reach the main street and have an affogato at Grom. I also often have coffee at Nannini, just to fit in with the locals' ritual.
Upon returning home...
I hope to achieve greater fluency in Italian (the best language in the world), and also to garner any creative material I can for my coming years of study, as Italy is such a rich, imaginative source.
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