#ETAtoITA 2014: Alice Bradley – una testimonianza da Salerno

Nelle prossime settimane saremo in tour in Campania per presentare il Programma Fulbright e le opportunità di studio e ricerca negli States. Tra le Università che visiteremo ci sarà anche l’ateneo di Salerno dove saremo accompagnati da Alice Bradley, Fulbright ETA (English Teaching Assistant) presso l’IISS “Genovesi – Da Vinci” e presso il Liceo Statale “Alfano I” di Salerno.  Alice, studentessa presso University of Wisconsin, offrirà a tutti i partecipanti una breve testimonianza su cosa significa studiare presso una università statunitense. Per l’occasione abbiamo raggiunto Alice e le abbiamo fatto qualche breve domanda sul suo soggiorno di insegnamento a Salerno.

 Alice Bradley - Salerno, Italy

Alice Bradley – Salerno, Italy

Fulbright Commission: Hi Alice! What brought you to Salerno in Italy? How long have you been here?

Alice: I studied English literature and Italian in college, so I decided to apply to teach English in high schools here to develop both skills further. The program is making me think more about becoming a teacher when I go back in the US, because I’ve had so much fun creating lesson plans and talking with students here! I applied for a Fulbright in Italy, and from there Fulbright placed me in Salerno, and I feel very fortunate to be so close to the beautiful beach and the mountains, the location is so inspiring.

Had you ever been in the South of Italy before?

I had only been to Italy once before- in high school, with my choir. I remember visiting the South of Italy, specifically Amalfi and Positano, and absolutely loving the language and culture, and I hoped that I would return someday. The Fulbright program gave me the chance to come back while also gaining an awesome experience teaching in high schools!

How do you like your experience so far?

I’ve been enjoying my experience a lot so far! The high schoolers I work with are really enthusiastic, and it’s fun to share things about my own culture and background. I think I learn more from them usually though! The high school system is very different in Italy than the US, and I’m figuring out how to go with the flow in terms of changing schedules. I’ve learned a lot about flexibility and improvisation with lesson plans- each class has their own personality, and one lesson plan that might be perfect for one class might not work for another. I also have enjoyed going to smaller, local shops to buy fresh food and then making dinner later with friends. I like the slower pace of life here, taking a little break mid-afternoon to take a nap or relax at home. Being far away from family and friends in the US has been difficult at times, but it’s also fun to share experiences with them by writing letters or emails, and sending pictures. I’ve learned both about other cultures and more about my own in my interactions here, and I’ve been able to meet people not only from Italy, but also from all over the world.

What’s one thing that may have surprised you about the habits and customs of the Italians you’ve come in contact with?

I still have trouble eating such a late dinner at 9pm or 10pm! But I like that here when people want to go out at night, they often just hang out on the main street in town and run into people that they know. It creates a friendly, spontaneous atmosphere and community. Also, one of my friends is teaching me some Salernitano dialect, and I’ve enjoyed that a lot. Of course, she thinks it’s pretty funny when I try to pronounce the words with my accent. I also love the Luci d’Artisti here- especially the penguins!