Recent Alumna’s Roadmap to Post Graduation Success
Delaney Churchwell has independently studied Italian since she was 13 years old, so when she chose to attend college her first priority was to find a university with an outstanding Italian program. She chose to attend University of Minnesota, and quickly became involved in the Department of French and Italian.
As a freshman Churchwell was hired as the departmental intern. While working with the department for a year and a half, Churchwell maintained the tutoring program, planned department events, and hosted conversation groups.
“I got to know the department a lot better as an intern,” Churchwell says. Through her job she planned an annual open house that allowed students and professors to meet outside of the classroom. “We wanted students to be able to meet professors and instructors on a more casual basis, where they could speak in English, so they would be more comfortable in their language classes,” she said. Churchwell found that the faculty were a great resource for students looking to engage with Italian language and culture outside of the University.
As a senior, Churchwell studied in Italy for an entire year. “There’s an added level of depth to actually having direct contact with what you’re studying,” she says of her experience abroad. She chose an extremely immersive program at the University of Bologna, where students are put up in a hotel for two weeks and then encouraged to find their own apartments in the city. Students in the program take classes alongside Italian students, creating a critical need to improve language skills. “If you’re a language major you should study abroad,” she confirms.
Churchwell graduated in August 2015 with a double-major in Italian and English literature. She now uses her Italian while working hospitality at Minneapolis’s Hilton Hotel in addition to being involved with the Italian Cultural Center (ICC). The ICC hosts weekly activities, classes, and other events like the Italian Film Festival, proving to be a great resource for students and recent graduates to stay connected with Italian.