Incoming Elwood-John H. Glenn High School junior, Iván Andrade recently had the unique opportunity to travel to Italy as a result of his first place win on the level three 2017 American Association of Teachers of Italian’s National Italian Exam. Iván and former high school senior Michael Hermanns, who placed first on the level five exam, were placed in a drawing with the students who earned first place on the exams.
Both Iván and Michael were selected as winners and as a result, were awarded with a 500-dollar monetary prize and a two-week all expenses paid trip to Italy during the summer.
As part of his paid trip, Iván participated in a program titled “A Door to Italy,” from July 22 to August 5, where he learned from Italian language experts and strengthened his skills.
“Iván is an amazing student with such a big passion for foreign languages,” said Italian teacher Alessia Franco. “He had the gift since he was in the middle school.”
Noting that the experience was an amazing one, Iván was able to see his education come to life during his time abroad. He visited Genoa, Rome, Venice and Milan and his parents came along to see Italy for the first time with him.
“I thank God for giving me such a unique opportunity to use what I had learned,” said Iván. “Even outside of A Door to Italy, in the city streets, I could see that the vocabulary that I had memorized, including the grammar and verb structure that I had fought with throughout my Italian year, had finally begun to make sense as it became a part of my daily life.”