Go in open-minded. Don't come in with preconceived notions about your placement, the country, the people, etc. This will let you learn more than you thought you were able to.
Dessert (other than Gelato): Vienetta
Trevi Fountain & Ancient Columns/Forum where they play a film on the building showint the history of Rome. It makes the building come to life!
“Guarda me” (Look at me) — This is something I heard every day when the children wanted to show me tricks or artwork!
Australia, Thailand, Iceland
Lauren Dell'Arciprete didn’t have a 100% perfect first week in Italy, and one of the greatest lessons learned may have been to roll with the punches.
Day one of her (first) placement at the Italian Red Cross, Lauren speaks beginning level Italian; the site supervisor only speaks Italian. A conversation begins and Lauren understands the site supervisor enough to learn her Italian proficiency doesn’t meet their needs. Lauren felt defeated and immediately went to the Study Center to explain what happened. Our team (Chiara) went into problem-solving mode!
The next day, Lauren arrives at the Study Center to learn that Chiara has found her a new placement with an organization called Mio Fratello è Figlio Unico that works with children with disabilities. Lauren is skeptical, but excited about the new opportunity and reflects on what she hopes to gain from this experience as she and Chiara travel to the new organization. Once she arrives, the nerves and fear dissipate as her site supervisor, the owner of the organization, and an excited group of children excited to meet a new staff member, greet her.
From this point on, things only continue to get better for Lauren. She’s getting first-hand experience with ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy. She’s planning day-camp activities for the children with disabilities. She’s creating systems to track students’ allergies, previous medical history, etc. because the organization doesn’t currently have these systems in place. She’s making an impact on the children and the organization as a whole – a lasting impact.
As a result of this internship, Lauren has a few new passions and ideas about what the future holds. She is incredibly passionate about access to disability services for Italians once they leave school. Currently there are no protections similar to the ADA and she hopes to work towards changing that. And that goal is within her reach as Mio Fratello è Figlio Unico offered Lauren a full-time job once she graduates. And that’s what she’s working on now, finishing her degree, getting a visa, and moving to Rome to continue the work she started in her placement.