Tuesday, July 28, 2015

ESTUDIAR EN FLORENCIA LA EXPERIENCIA DE LA PROFESORA NONIE WANGER - MANHATTAN COLLEGE NY


Entrevista realizada por Laura Tressel.
Traducida por Miriam Jiménez.

Profesora Nonie Wanger, Manhattan College
Directora del Programa de Estudios en el Extranjero




¿Cómo comenzó su carrera docente?

     Originalmente quería ser arquitecta, pero como crecí con la lengua francesa, decidí ser maestra. Me gusta enseñar, ya que es realmente una pasión para mí. Me encanta ver el impacto que esto tiene en mis estudiantes y ver cómo han crecido desde que los tuve en su primer año de clase  hasta que posteriormente los he vuelto a tener en su último año. Me dedico a enseñar francés e italiano en el Departamento de Lenguas Modernas y Literatura. También he sido la Directora del Programa de Estudios en el Extranjero en ‘Manhattan College’ durante 35 años, y puedo afirmar que el impacto que el programa tiene sobre estudiantes que nunca han estado fuera de su entorno es realmente increíble.
  
¿Qué le trajo a Florencia?

     Hace unos 20 años decidimos que queríamos establecer un programa en Italia, e inicialmente pensamos en Roma, pero tras sopesar todas las ventajas e inconvenientes, vimos que era una ciudad demasiado grande. Fue entonces cuando elegimos Florencia, y ello fue por varias razones; En primer lugar, debido a la historia del Renacimiento y el arte que tiene, ya que es la ciudad de Dante. Además, porque no es demasiado grande, lo cual permite a los estudiantes integrarse en la ciudad. Una vez decidida la localización, estuvimos buscando una escuela para acoger a nuestros estudiantes y nuestro programa, y fue entonces cuando encontramos el Istituto Europeo. Mi ayudante visitó la escuela por primera vez y dijo que era perfecta, que era pequeña, que estaba situada justo al lado de la Catedral, y que prestaban un gran servicio y atención por parte de la administración y los maestros, así que decidimos traer ‘Manhattan College’ aquí. Fue una excelente decisión, y llevamos 20 años impartiendo cursos aquí.


¿Cómo ha cambiado el programa durante estos 20 años?

     El programa comenzó con muy pocos estudiantes. Originalmente fue diseñado para estudiantes que habían acabado los cursos de iniciación o de nivel intermedio de italiano, con el fin de que pudiesen continuar su aprendizaje en nuestra escuela.
Tuvimos 7 estudiantes durante el primer año, y actualmente tenemos 19 estudiantes, divididos en dos clases. Desde hace varios años, tenemos cuatro cursos además del curso de idiomas, albergando con ello un total de más de 30 estudiantes.

     Nuestro Programa de Estudio en el Extranjero impartido durante el período estival en Florencia, es el más popular de los que ofrecemos. Creo que ello es debido a que dicho programa es muy comentado entre los estudiantes, lo cual hace que se corra la voz. Además, tenemos una gran cantidad de estudiantes italianos que quieren establecer lazos de conexión con el país. Los estudiantes procedentes de los cinco colegios de nuestra universidad (Arte, Ciencia, Educación, Negocios, e Ingeniería) vienen a estudiar aquí, a Florencia. Una de las mejores cosas para mí es cuando los estudiantes me dicen lo mucho que nuestro programa de estudio en el extranjero les ha impactado. Hace poco tiempo recibí un correo electrónico de una chica que estudió aquí hace dos años, la cual va a regresar ahora para trabajar para una empresa turística.




¿Qué crees que es lo más importante que los estudiantes aprenden de la experiencia en el extranjero?

     Principalmente, terminan entendiendo las diferencias existentes entre las diferentes culturas, y que no todo el mundo piensa de la misma forma en que ellos lo hacen. Diferentes culturas hacen cosas de forma diferente, pero al final todos tenemos el mismo objetivo en la vida. Por otro lado, los estudiantes también se descubren a sí mismos cuando estudian en el extranjero, aprenden a ser más independientes, a sortear y superar situaciones, y aprenden a ser tolerantes con los demás. Esto también les ayudará en sus futuros puestos de trabajo además de ayudarles a pensar desde diferentes puntos de vista. La mejor manera de aprender de esta experiencia es sumergirse totalmente en la cultura y en la lengua del país, y para ello deben separar lo que aprendieron en casa y sumergirse en la ciudad en que se encuentran. Haciendo esto, los estudiantes llegan a ver el mundo de otra manera y esta experiencia les es de utilidad para sus propias vidas.

     Nos preguntábamos qué pensaban algunos estudiantes del Programa ‘Manhattan College’ sobre Florencia y sobre la experiencia de estudiar en el extranjero, así que entrevistamos a dos estudiantes del Istituto Europeo.

     Estudiantes entrevistados: Matthew Chiaramonte y Anna Champagne

¿Por qué decidiste venir a Florencia?

    M: Voy a cursar mi último año, y quería estudiar en el extranjeto al menos una vez. Además, mi familia es de Italia, así que quería aprender sobre la cultura del país.

    A: En mi caso, no he estado nunca antes en Europa, y tenía un amigo que estudió aquí durante dos semestres y me contó todas las experiencias que tuvo, todas las personas que conoció y todo ello me pareció tan estupendo que decidí que yo también quería venir aquí.



¿Cómo estas disfrutando de Italia hasta ahora?

    M: Me gusta mucho Florencia, además del Sur de Italia, de donde es mi familia. En mi tiempo libre, me gusta salir con mis amigos e ir a tomar café. Por otro lado, tenemos excursiones prácticamente cada semana. Hemos estado en Toma, Pisa y Costa Amalfi, y vamos a visitar Siena esta semana. Esto nos mantiene bastante ocupados.

    A: Al principio, todo esto provocó un gran choque cultural, pero después de un par de días aquí, comencé a explorar y pasear más por la ciudad. Quiero ver todas las pequeñas calles y probar diferentes comidas, pero no me gusta tener plan predeterminado, sino que prefiero simplemente pasear.


¿Cuáles son algunas de las diferencias culturales que has notado?

    M: En cuanto a la ropa, se visten de forma diferente, de forma más elegante. Cuando fui a visitar a mis primos de Italia, fue interesante porque ellos nos ven de forma diferente. Somos familia, pero vivimos en lugares diferentes, lo que hace que nuestros estilos de vida también lo sean.

    A: El modo en que se saludan unos a otros es muy diferente. Todo el mundo es muy simpático, especialmente con los neoyorquinos. También son amigables con los turistas y están dispuestos a ayudar, lo cual es algo a lo que yo no estoy acostumbrada en casa.


¿Qué es lo que más te gusta de Florencia?

    M: Me gusta el hecho de que puedes caminar por todas partes, ya que todo esta a unos 15 minutos a pie, lo cual es genial. Por supuesto, también me gusta la comida, y en especial, el biscote florentino.

    A: La semana pasada fui hasta la Piazza Michelangelo para ver la Puesta de Sol sobre Florencia y fue increíble. También me encanta el helado.


¿Qué les dirás a tus amigos cuando vuelvas a casa?


    M: En primer lugar, les diré que vayan. En mi caso, me he divertido mucho, y me he sentido como si hubiera estado aquí durante dos meses en vez de tan sólo tres semanas. Todo el mundo debería estudiar en el extranjero, si tienen la posibilidad.

    R: Les diría que se vayan por un tiempo al extranjero, tienen que hacerlo. Da miedo al principio, pero merece la pena. Es muy importante tratar de salir de la zona de confort, y también es necesario tratar de romper la barrera del idioma. La experiencia es genial.



Contact us! info@istitutoeuropeo.it - www.istitutoeuropeo.it

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Arrivederci, Not Goodbye

by Laura Tressel

"Time flies when you're having fun!"
This is such a cliché expression, yet so very true. I can hardly believe that two months have already gone by and I am at the end of my internship here at Istituto Europeo. When I began, I didn't know entirely what to expect. I wanted to learn more about marketing, journalism, and about Florence, my beloved city. I knew that I would meet some interesting people and be writing a lot of informative articles, but I didn't know how much more the experience would give me.

Everything about my internship has been wonderful. From my daily walks through the city center, gazing longingly at the ever-changing window displays on Via Tornabuoni, to the exciting discoveries of events and people that make Florence the cultural treasure it is, to the sense of comfort and belonging i've felt here, it has all been so important to my personal growth. I've conducted interviews with fascinating characters, written articles about places that I didn't know existed before, but knew I had to visit afterwards, and explored the streets and ideas of Florence. In the end, I feel comfortable calling this magnificent city my second home.

Writing this article is a bittersweet thing for me. I am very happy with all the good experiences that I have created here. My weeks have been filled with leaning and writing, two things which make me very satisfied. But at the same time that I am happy to have this experience, I'm also sad to be leaving. My internship has been a huge part of making this summer the best of my life. I don't think that I am closing this chapter of my life though. I will take what I have learned and use it to keep expanding my knowledge and appreciation of Italian culture. I want to keep leaning the language so that when I return (which I definitely plan on doing) I will be even able to integrate even more into the society and to meet more of the fascinating and warm people of Florence.

Thank you to everyone who has made my time here at Istituto Europeo so great. It's been a pleasure interning here. I hate saying goodbye, so instead i'll say arrivederci, until we meet again!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Exciting Internships Available with Istituto Europeo in Florence, Italy!

Istituto Europeo offers internship opportunities for students in Florence, Italy. In the past we have had many interns from American universities, and we have had great expeiences with them. Interns are accepted year-round, and are given the chance to live in the city and learn about Italian culture while expanding their knowledge of their specific field during their internship.

We would love to continue working with American students, and encourage the experience of learning and living abroad. Currently, we are looking for interns in the fields of Marketing, Journalism, Digital Public Relations, and Video Making. Interns who come to Istituto Europeo will be given responsibilities related to their field and expected to work with us as well as assert some level of independence in their work. This is a great opportunity for university students who want to complete an internship somewhere exciting and vibrant.

If interested in applying for an internship, contact Istituto Europeo at info@istitutoeuropeo.it or find more information on our website, www.istitutoeuropeo.it.

10 Reasons Studying Abroad and Interning in Florence Will Change Your Life


Deciding where to study or intern abroad can be a difficult decision to make. The world is full of countries and cities that offer to open up their secrets to those who visit, and especially to students who come with a craving to learn. You want to gain experience in a city that welcomes you to explore, a place that has depth of culture and history, that offers to bring a new discovery everyday while at the same time making you feel like you could really belong. Florence is this city. The dream of a life changing, eye-opening experience abroad can be attained through the magic that hangs in the air above the emerald river and explodes with every savory bite of Tuscan cuisine. The reasons to choose Florence as your study abroad or internship location are as countless as the stars that light up the sky above Piazzale Michelangelo, but here are just a few to give you a taste of what you will experience.

1. Learning about the city while living in it. 
2. Eating amazing and authentic Italian food everyday (and drinking Italian wine too!)
3. Being able to travel and explore the rest of Italy through the train system. Florence is a great central location that makes weekend trips around the country a breeze.
4. Making international friends. Whether with other students at your program or the Florentine locals, there are so many opportunities to meet new people and make lifelong friends. 
5. A center for high fashion that can be seen both in the shop windows and on the people walking down the street.
6. "La bella lingua!" Italian really is one of the most beautiful languages, and learning to speak it (even a little) will greatly enhance your study abroad experience.
7. History lives on in every aspect of the city, from the renaissance buildings and frescos to the various traditional festivals that take place throughout the year.
8. Discovering a new "you" through your interactions with the city and the culture. The spirit of Florence will increase your understanding of your own character.
9. The architecture will keep your eyes fixed upwards as you marvel at the ability the Renaissance masters had to create such incredible works of art.
10. Walking through the city is easily the best way to spend an afternoon. You will discover the sounds, sights, and smells that make Florence the unique corner of the world that it is. 

So, what are you waiting for? The dream of Florence awaits you!


Contact us! info@istitutoeuropeo.it - www.istitutoeuropeo.it

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Eataly: Devoted to Quality Food and Quality Living

by Laura Tressel

High quality food is directly connected with a high quality life. This is a very strong belief throughout Italy, and with the products offered here, it is easy to understand why. Eating something that explodes with flavor can bring a great amount of happiness to a small moment. Families gather around dinner, making it a ritual that is as much about the preparation of homemade dishes as about the conversation and enjoyment of the meal itself. When looking for the ingredients for a quality meal and a quality life, where can you find the right products? The first place you might try is Eataly, a brand devoted to promoting food and the pleasure it brings to people.

The wall of pasta, with the best brands in the business.
A wide variety of fresh cheese is offered.
Eataly was developed in 2007 with its base concept being to promote and distribute the highest quality agricultural products that keep in mind the ideals of sustainability, responsibility, and sharing. Their first store opened in Turin, Italy, and now the brand has spread throughout the world. There are stores and restaurants in many of the big cities in Italy as well as New York, Chicago, Istanbul, Dubai, Japan, and Brazil. It's good to know that the comforts of authentic Italian food are available worldwide!

The store sells cooking, health, and lifestyle books. 
Giant tomatoes, labeled with their region of production. 
Walking into the Florence location (located on via die Martelli, right past Piazza Duomo) is like walking into a foodie dream. The bright space and white shelves create a clean backdrop for the products being offered. The store itself is divided by types of food. These include jams, pasta, sauces, olive oil, cheese, vegetables, meats, chocolate, wine, and more! The products are of the highest quality, and many of them are from the local region. On the walls, there are maps of Tuscany that point to the cities that certain products come from, assuring customers that the products are authentic.

Throughout the store there are different stands that offer fresh products such as coffee and sweets, pizza and bread, and fruit juices. The restaurants are upstairs, and the menus tempt hungry food lovers with their fresh ingredients and classic combinations. Also located in the Eataly building is a gourmet restaurant, Da Vinci. This restaurant shares the values of sustainability and locally sourced ingredients, and offers amazing, high end meals in a knowledgable, friendly environment.

Eataly prides itself on being very knowledgable about the products that it offers, and what makes a quality ingredient so good. Whether you go to shop or eat, you will discover something about food and food culture that you did not know before. Eataly is a place which promotes high quality Italian food and more importantly, high quality living.
At the bakery, you can purchase slices of pizza and freshly baked bread.
Da Vinci Restaurant. 

Contact us! info@istitutoeuropeo.it - www.istitutoeuropeo.it

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Keeping the Dream of Reading Alive in Florence

by Laura Tressel

There is an ongoing worldwide battle to keep bookstores alive. With access to the internet and the increasing popularity of digital readers, bookstores are finding it harder to remain successful businesses. In Florence, the tradition of bookstores, or "librerie," is very important to it's thriving social and scholarly culture. Recently, new stores have been opened, providing hope for the literary world. Today, there are three main stores in the city that provide books and more to both residents and visitors of Florence: IBS, La Feltrinelli, and RED. While other, smaller bookshops scatter the streets and provide unique products and environments, these central stores are on the frontline in the battle to keep this industry alive.

IBS
via de' Cerretani 16/R
IBS is formatted as a classic bookstore. It offers a wide variety of book, music, and DVDs for purchase as well as providing furnished areas for in-store reading. They also have textbooks for students and a small section of international titles. The store has two floors and feels open and inviting. because there is no bar inside, the environment is quieter and more relaxed- a great place to sit down and read! Located on the main street connecting the station and Piazza Duomo, it is easily found and welcomes clients from all around the world. IBS has basic services and also hosts events such as book readings, author introductions, and more. The website, IBS.it offers the biggest selection of books for purchase in the country. If a book cannot be found in store, more than likely it is carried in their online shop. 


La Feltrinelli
via de' Cerretani 30/32R and Piazza della Stazione
La Feltrinelli is the biggest chain of bookstores in Florence. In the past year, they opened a new location inside the train station, along with RED. The station location is made up of two floors, and provides a huge range of books, magazines, and music for travelers to browse while they wait for their departure. There is a cafe which offers nice alternatives to the fast food chains also located in the station. The main location of La Feltrinelli is located on via de' Cerretani, a few steps away from IBS. Having two bookstores so close together might seem like bad business, but really they offer services that differentiate them from each other. La Feltrinelli has a great selection of books, and has a big international language selection (English, French, German, Spanish). They also sell music, movies, and video games, and host special events. 

RED 
Piazza della Repubblica 
Read, Eat, Dream. An inspiring life motto as well as the meaning behind the acronym, RED. Owned by the La Feltrinelli company, this bookstore offers a different concept connected with the ordinary experience. Opened last spring, RED offers a full restaurant and bar alongside the traditional bookstore. They host musical and literary events and pride themselves in creating a fun, welcoming environment where people will want to come to read, eat, and just hang out. They have three floors that can be reached by a spiral staircase or elevator, and there is a play area (surrounded by books of course) for children. RED offers a more active environment for customers who want to add liveliness to their book shopping experience. 


No matter where you choose to indulge in a good book, Florence's bookstores all have something wonderful to offer. There is just something magical about sitting down in a big soft chair, surrounded by shelves of literary works, and opening the first pages of a new story. Bookstores are invitations to learn and to imagine, to eat and to read, to meet new people and to grow in your own understanding. Florence's bookstores keep the reading experience fresh and fun. 

Contact us! info@istitutoeuropeo.it - www.istitutoeuropeo.it

International Art History Through Film: Palazzo Strozzi Summer Events

Palazzo Strozzi, known for its culture and art related events, put together a program to celebrate the summer in Florence. This Thursday, July 16, the final event of the program will be taking place. Cinema D'Artista will celebrate the art of cinema by showing a film about the power art has to connect the past and present. Les Statues Meurent Aussi by Chris Marker and Alan Resnais was a well received documentary in 1953, and Palazzo Strozi hopes the ideas will connect viewers with the concept behind the current sculpture exhibition at the museum, Sculptures Also Die

The film will begin at 21:00, in the Palazzo Strozzi courtyard, which will be transformed into a theater space for the viewing. It will be shown in the original language (French) with Italian subtitles, and the visuals promise to be captivating. 

After Les Statues Meurent Aussi, Palazzo Strozzi will screen another film, It for Others. This video, made by Irish artist Duncan Campbell, won the 2014 Turner Prize for its reinterpretation of the 1953 French film. This video portrays modern perspective and reflections on history, society, and politics, and the power art has over them. If you are an art history lover, film buff, or simply interested in diving deeper into the fantastic cultural events Florence has to offer, this is a wonderful option for a way to spend Thursday evening. 

Contact us! info@istitutoeuropeo.it - www.istitutoeuropeo.it

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Jeanne Theriault Photography Series: "Unexpected Florence, Pt. 2"

We are very excited to present the second installment of Jeanne's visions of Florence. These photos show some of the behind the scenes and unconventional sights of the city. They represent the diversity and genuine character of the people and atmosphere.  

Meditating in Florence

Lunchtime
Pigeon Hunter
Meeting of the Minds

The Joy of Cooking 




Thursday, July 9, 2015

Arising out of Rivalry, Palazzo Strozzi Now Hosts the Biggest Art Exhibitions in Florence

by Laura Tressel

What happens when a feud between the two biggest families in Florentine history causes property rivalry? Grand palaces get built. The Medici and Strozzi families were both very big powers in the city around the 1400s and 1500s. When the Medici banned the Strozzi family from Florence in 1434, Filippo Strozzi the Elder moved to Naples, where his skills as a banker made him very wealthy. He returned to Florence in 1466 after reconciling with the Medici. He decided he wanted to show off his success in a way that would make it obvious to the Medici that his family was relevant to the power play.


He commissioned Palazzo Strozzi to be built on via Tornabuoni, and he wanted it to be spectacular. The original building was designed by Benedetto da Maiano, then handed over to Simone del Pollaiolo in 1490. The Palace wasn't completely finished until 1538, and Filippo died before he could see the finished product. One thing that makes the building special, is that unlike Palazzo Medici which was built on a corner with only two walls exposed to streets, Palazzo Strozzi is surrounded by streets on all four sides, giving it a strong and independent presence. The Strozzi family remained in possession of the palace until 1937, and afterwards it became managed by the City of Florence.

Now, Palazzo Strozzi is used to host the largest temporary exhibitions in Florence. It has a permanent exhibition year-round on the history of the Palazzo on the ground floor along with a café. In the areas of Piano Nobile and Strozzina, the museum hosts three other exhibitions throughout the year. Currently on display is the sculpture exhibit, "Anche le Sculture Muoiono". Before that, there was an exhibit of bronze sculptures of the Hellenistic world titled, "Power and Pathos". Starting in September, the Palazzo will feature works of "Divine Beauty from Van Gogh to Chagall and Fontana". Whatever the museum has on display is sure to impress. In the past, they have hosted exhibitions with extraordinary numbers of visitors, such as "Botticelli and Filippino Lippi", which was Italy's most visited exhibition in 2004.

Besides art exhibitions, the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation focuses on events that will connect visitors with the city, beyond the walls of the palace. The events calendar on their website changes throughout the year, and aims to expand the experiences of culture and history for people of all ages and backgrounds. It also hosts workshops for schools and a variety of other programs to encourage people to delve deeper into art education and experience.

Contact us! info@istitutoeuropeo.it - www.istitutoeuropeo.it