Duke Diary Dispatch: Headed to Italy

Stephany Perez-Sanchez and a map of Italy

On campus, I’m involved in Duke LIFE, the Cardea Fellows, and the Silver Lab where I do neurobiology research. I also spend time volunteering off-campus at El Futuro, a bilingual mental health clinic, and Iglesia Emanuel, a church that distributes food to the Durham community. In my free time, I love going to concerts, going out to eat with friends, or watching a new show!    

This summer I’m heading to Bologna, Italy for a 6-week Study abroad program where I will be taking my third language course and a class focusing on performing arts and culture. I grew up speaking Spanish and decided to take French in high school, which cultivated my love for learning new languages and cultures. When I arrived at Duke, I knew I wanted to continue learning romance languages.  I began to learn about all of the possibilities for studying abroad. I decided to take Italian and surprised myself by how quickly I was able to speak by just practicing with classmates at Duke. I can only imagine how much I will improve by immersing myself in the city.  

I plan to use my language skills constantly in Italy. By talking with locals, ordering meals at restaurants, and learning to use Italian public transportation, I will be putting my beginner skills to use.    

I’m also looking forward to traveling as a group to cities such as Milan, Venice, Florence, and more. As a class, we will be attending the 100th Arena di Verona Opera Festival where we will be watching an opera performance in an ancient Roman amphitheater. We will also be watching “Le Nozze di Figaro” -- The Marriage of Figaro -- a famous opera. These are such unique experiences to Italy that I wouldn’t encounter get to experience otherwise. I hope that once I come back from this trip, I can have a deeper appreciation for the arts and history of such a beautiful country. I’m also nervous as I know that living on my own in a foreign country will bring about new experiences but it’s thrilling to know that I will broaden my perspective of the world.