Kara Emery '07 shares her Italian Studies experience

I came to Connecticut College knowing that I wanted to study psychology, but I also knew that, having taken four years of French in high school, I enjoyed foreign languages. Well, I took Italian on a whim — and fell in love with it. My first Italian class was 20 people and my professor really got to know me.

Likewise, I feel as if I was able to get very close to the Italian department's professors. They will do things like meet you at lunch to practice your Italian in Knowlton, the international dining hall. It has made my decision very rewarding. I was also the student advisory board chair, and I wrote a grant proposal that helped the Italian Department get a teaching assistant position. I also had the opportunity to meet with the candidates for the new position, and look at them from a student perspective. I've been able to be very involved with the Italian department.

I worked my way up through the Italian major: In my junior year, I studied in Milan, taking classes in film, literature, art history and political science — all in Italian.Traveling to Rome and Florence gave me a really good chance to practice my Italian.

I'm working now at a psychology research clinic in Philadelphia. I don't now intend to get another degree in Italian, but majoring in Italian has helped me to realize that I have a love of language and culture. I'm going to keep traveling. I'm going to find some means of never losing my Italian. I know I want to go back to Italy.

But that's part of the fun of going to a liberal arts college. You don't have to be able to answer the question of what you will do with your major when you graduate.