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Rachel Dragland, (BA Hons.'10, King's)

A day in the life

Rachel Dragland, (BA Hons.'10, King's)

Urbino italian class

It was the atmosphere in my Italian classes that made me realize that I was going to miss school. If I go on to do a masters, I will definitely be following up on the Italian part of my degree.

A love for the language


A few years ago, Rachel Dragland fell madly in love with Italy. After taking one Italian language course, she was hooked.

“The course on The Divine Comedy was easily the most fascinating and challenging course I took at either King's or Dal,” the King’s alumni declares emphatically. “I've never had anything light me up the way that the Dante course did, or any teacher as encouraging, or felt as comfortable, and had as much fun learning, as I did in those courses.”

For instance, she remembers her third year language course as being incredibly close-knit. “It was basically seven friends (including Elisa, the teacher) chatting in Italian and doing grammar exercises together.”

Then there was her summer Italian language and culture courses in Urbino, Italy. “It was amazing!” she says of her time at the Universita' di Carlo Bo.

“One of the big things that they helped me with was getting comfortable speaking a language that I couldn't speak fluently.” Students came from around the world, so they had to speak Italian with one another. “You have to get comfortable with just jumping in. That's what gives you the opportunity to practice.”
 
She loved Urbino’s completely different pace. She rambled the narrow stone streets, took pictures and rarely saw tourists. In August, the city held a Renaissance fair. It was flooded with people, mostly Italians. Markets popped up in the piazzas, artisans demonstrated historic crafts, people held jousting tournaments and buskers were everywhere.

“It was pretty much the most amazing experience I've ever had,” she says.

Since moving back to St John’s, Newfoundland, Rachel misses Italy and thinks maybe she’s not quite as done with university as she thought.

“It was the atmosphere in my Italian courses that made me realize that I was going to miss school,” she says. “If I go on to do a masters, I will definitely be following up on the Italian part of my degree.”

Note: Rachel Dragland's photo is of her Italian course at Universita' di Carlo Bo, Urbino. Rachel is in the second row, second in on the left.