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11.20.2019 – Angela discusses all the languages in her life


My first exposure to a foreign language was in kindergarten. My parents enrolled me in an Italian class at the school that was right before my kindergarten class. I was very excited and would tell my family what I had learned. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep up with the classes because they moved farther away after that. In middle school, we had 8 weeks of Spanish, French, and German to expose us to the language options we had in high school, and I settled on German because I enjoyed it the most.

Although I loved the language, I didn’t continue with it in my first years in college because it didn’t fit in with the plan I had. When I started at UIC, I decided to take Italian classes because I remembered about the class I took in kindergarten. I have been interested in traveling abroad for many years, so I took advantage of the study abroad program led by one of the Italian professors in the summer of 2018 and went to Italy.

After the program ended, I decided to travel and explore some other European countries. While in Berlin, I stopped at a pizza place for a late dinner my first night there. Although I had understood the German the waiter used when asking about a table for two, I panicked and responded in Italian. Luckily, the waiter spoke Italian, and the entire service that night was done in Italian. I never thought I would have such a cool experience using the Italian language in a different country. Since this trip, I have tried cooking more Italian dishes at home and looked more into the culture to learn about it. I think it is so interesting to look at other cultures and see the differences there are. I am also looking at different ways I can go back to Italy through programs outside of studying abroad, as well as ways for me to continue practicing the Italian language in Chicago after I graduate.