For the second year in a row, Natalia Pakhamova organized a study abroad project in St. Petersburg, Russia in May of 2013. She accompanied four students, Patrycja Nowak, Vanessa Calero, Iliyana Mircheva and Priscilla Fernandez, all of whom participated in a five week study program at the Institute of Russian Language and Culture at the Saint-Petersburg State University. Students received twenty hours of instruction in language and culture per week and immersed themselves in Russian culture by staying with families. The goal of this project is to offer students language immersion opportunities that complement their classroom learning. The students received funding from the Vanier Foundation.
During this nine day cultural trip to Italy in May 2013, seven students visited Milan, Verona, Venice, Florence, and Rome with Italian teacher, Giovanna Picciano. The students also visited a post-secondary education institution called The Leonardo Da Vinci School in Florence and Rome to see the different learning activities related to language immersion. The tour of Italy was led by a bilingual tour guide and site specific art historians where the students learned about the Italian language economy, commerce, history, philosophy, arts, food, and society. They were also able to improve their Italian by dropping in to the Leonardo Da Vinci School.
Of her experience, Daniela Monzon said; “Italy is incredible. Once we got to the cities, the guided tours were good and we visited at least the most important monuments. Everything was so beautiful it was overwhelming! My favorite moments of the trip are many: the gondola ride, going on the top of Giotto’s Campanile in Florence, visiting the Uffizi Gallery, looking at Sorrento’s coast from a viewpoint, having the opportunity to walk around Sorrento and Assisi, visiting the Coliseum, The Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.”
Vanessa Perri also mentionned; “This trip went beyond my expectations! I honestly had an amazing time. I was amazed and impressed by everything I saw, I met really nice and cool people, I had a lot of fun during our free time and at night, and most of all, I was with a good group of girls whom I became very close to over the course of the trip. I felt secure and safe the whole time and this trip definitely made me want to travel more, and consider going back to Italy next summer.”