English Major Spotlight: Hana Handzija

This English major studied abroad in Florence, Italy
Person from waist up on sidewalk of city, blonde hair pulled back, light skin, wearing sun glasses and light top and shorts, smiling

Year: Senior 
Hometown: Burnsville, MN

Why did you choose to major in English?

Reading. I love to read, analyze my reading, and discuss books. All things I do in the English major!

What has been your favorite part of your experience in the department?

I love the community I feel in the English department. For a long while, I felt isolated and lonely on such a massive campus, but in the English department I finally found a place where I belonged. 

Are you pursuing any majors, minors, internships, or interests outside your English major?

Yes! I studied abroad in Florence, Italy in spring 2023, and I believe that everything I learned about life in Italy will help me bring a new perspective to the texts I read in English classes. 

What is a favorite book you read for an English class?

This is a hard one. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien, was my favorite, and I read it in ENGL 3022 "Science Fiction and Fantasy"!

What English course would you recommend for majors? For non-majors who want to take an English class?

For English majors, I recommend "Science Fiction and Fantasy." It was amazing, because it was essentially a very organized book club, but everyone actually cared about the readings. For non-majors, I recommend the same class. For the same reasons. 

What is your favorite thing about Pillsbury Hall?

The energy. I love how homey it feels and how, no matter the day or time, at least one person can be found reading something interesting in a corner of the building. 

What is something about the English department that most people wouldn’t know?

Though I don't think this is much of a secret, it is definitely worth repeating: we have some of the best professors on campus. 

If you studied abroad, what did you take away from the experience?

Learning in a new space, in a new culture, can only help you grow as a person. Studying abroad is the most incredible, most rewarding experience I have completed.


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