Eddie began his endeavors with the Italian language his sophomore year at Bucknell University. He decided to take the class to help expand his horizons and learn more about his heritage. Starting in a beginners course Eddie quickly learned to love the language and decided to study abroad in Florence his junior year where he was able to live with a host family.
Speaking about his time abroad, he says it was "amazing because it was a real Italian experience and I was able to see how a modern Italian family functions in society". The semester allowed Eddie to really experience the differences between an American family and an Italian one. It also allowed him to truly live the culture and to expand his language capabilities greatly.
While in Florence he was blessed with the chance to meet his own extended family. The experience helped him to develop his sense of who he is and where his family came from. After his time abroad he decided to continue studying Italian and he is about to begin a masters degree program in Italian Studies at Middlebury College.
This summer, he will participate in 6-week intensive program where he will take three graduate level classes with a focus on teaching the Italian Language. After the 6-week program, he will be spending a year in Florence at a sister-institution where he will be taking classes and completing an internship in the Florence region. After finishing the program at Middlebury, Eddie is keeping his options open with potentially working towards a PHD in Italian or looking to work in Italy for a short time.
Jim studied Italian at Bucknell University and pursued post-graduate studies at Middlebury College Language Schools. Initially, his intention was to expand his horizons in learning the language and culture of his paternal grandparents but this quickly led to Jim's future career path.
After finishing up his studies at Middlebury College he accepted a job with a study abroad program located in Florence, Italy. He will be working as a program coordinator for high school students studying in Italy. The program, called Summerfuel, gives high school students to spend a month living and studying Italian culture, design, and history for a month.
According to Jim, learning another language is extremely beneficial in today's society and helps build a better understanding of the rest of the world. He states, "Especially in our current global economy, a multilingual population helps makes the world a little bit smaller and brings people closer together. Studying language and culture makes that possible."
Mia has used her Italian language skills from Bucknell University to help pursue her dream as an opera singer. She has a specialization in music of the Baroque era where having previous knowledge of the Italian language has been essential in helping her to move forward with her career.
Speaking of the impact that studying Italian has had on her career, Mia states, "It is best to understand and to be able to speak the language, since we are communicating a story and portraying a character in that language."
Unique to her career path, having studied Italian has allowed her to phrase and accent the music through her vocal technique to form vowel and consonant sounds that can accurately portray her music. Speaking of her use of Italian, Mia states, "I also use my Italian skills to translate texts into English when necessary. Often when singers of different nationalities are working on an opera, if the common language is not English, it is Italian. This past year, all of the productions I have been in were sung in Italian."