This summer Lilian spent 6 weeks in Milian, Italy with VoluntarItaly. Through a partnership between the Dante Aligheri Society of Michigan and the Oratories of Lombary, Italy, students who speak some Italian are placed as counselors at church-run summer camps. Volunteers live with with a family, get free accommodation and perfect their Italian skills. This is Lilian's story:
This summer, I spent 6 weeks in Milan, Italy volunteering with a local camp and developing my Italian proficiency through and organization called VoluntarItaly. The RLL department put me in touch with other UB students who had a wonderful experience before me. I was initially nervous about having to speak only in Italian and living with a host family but was soon proven wrong.
My host family made me feel like I was at home. They encouraged me to share recipes and would teach me how to cook classic Italian dinners. They took me on weekend trips to Lake Como and Switzerland. I had the opportunity to visit Venice, which was beyond what I could’ve asked for. We took road trips together and toured ancient churches and museums in the city of Milan. I met other American volunteers who came from cities across the U.S. and we would share stories about our journey learning Italian.
VoluntarItaly placed me in a children’s camp where I made many great friends whom I still talk to this day. They were excited to have someone to practice English with and I was happy to work on my Italian. At the end of the summer, the organization took us camping in the mountains for a week where we hiked in the Italian Alps. Had it not been for the RLL department and their dedicated staff, I would have not experienced this incredible opportunity.