From animating our classes and clubs, to volunteering at our outreach events, to interning or studying abroad on short or long-term programs, our undergraduates stay busy!
This year, the Italian section led the department in purchasing four VR headsets that allow current and prospective students to explore Italy and French-speaking countries through virtual reality. This tool offers the amazing possibility of walking virtually through the places where students want to travel or study abroad. The headsets are now used at outreach events and will be introduced in classes this Fall as a language learning tool.
FRIT now has a long and happy tradition of participating in the First Thursdays Arts & Humanities Festival on the Arts Plaza, but on October 7th we "went rogue" and held our own expanded event, an Open House especially for French and Italian undergrads held in the downstairs lobby of the Walter Center.
Student representatives from Les Chevaliers, Study Abroad, and the College’s Ambassador program joined faculty, grad students, and our College advisor Amanda Lueck to welcome new and prospective French and Italian students with music from Italy, France, and Québec and food provided by One World Catering.
Closely following the Open House came another first: Italian Culture Week! Organized to celebrate La Settimana della Cultura Italiana nel Mondo (October 17th - 21st), this event was filled with daily cultural events highlighting different aspects of Italian culture: language, music, art, cuisine, and cinema. The activities included guided tours of IU opera and the Eskenazi Art Museum, cooking lessons painting, student exhibits showcasing various Italian regions, a concert, and finally a showing of the famous film La vita è bella topped off by a live Zoom interview with the director Roberto Benigni and his wife Nicoletta Braschi. All the students and faculty were involved in the organization of the events and the whole week was successful in raising awareness of Italian culture across the campus. A repeat event is planned for Fall 2023!
At the other end of the academic year, in March, we took part in the College’s new Direct Admit Day, interacting with admitted high school seniors and their parents as they explored their chosen majors.
Italian and French Clubs
The Circolo Italiano organized several extra-curricular events, among them a Treasure Hunt, a Cooking Lesson, and the San Remo Festival Concert. For the concert each Italian language course prepared and sang one of the San Remo winning songs from different decades. Students voted for the best interpretation and the best song won an award. A great community-building event! One highlight of the year in French Club was the Regional Languages Festival, where students were introduced to the less well-known bilingual communities of France who speak Breton, Occitan, Flemish, Catalan, Picard, and other languages that fall along a scale of unrelated (Basque) to closely related (Gallo) to French. Les Chevaliers, our student-run French Club, hosted popular weekly conversation tables and several special events.