Past students at the Middlebury School in Italy have held internships in a variety of fields. Read about some of their experiences in each of the program locations: Ferrara, Florence, Rome

Ferrara

Liceo Statale G. Carducci

Katherine Claman (Middlebury College)
Working at Carducci is a perfect opportunity to meet many Italians, to have interesting discussions about the U.S. and about Italy, and to develop classroom teaching skills. The teachers are looking to have you be an active member in the community, and to meet and make yourself available to students who need extra help. You must create your own lesson plans (along with Powerpoints and worksheets), so you must work for a few hours a week at home, preparing and deciding what materials/exercises would be useful. You must also be ready to improvise, as teachers might ask you to talk about your experience at an American university, or about U.S. news, without alerting you first; students may also ask questions that you aren’t expecting, so the best thing to do is to just be open and honest. You must also be ready to collaborate, both with your students and with teachers, who may have specific ideas for lesson plans (but may also leave it up to you to decide). Previous teaching experience is very helpful, but not required. Either way, you will be expected to lead hour-long lessons on your own; a teacher will be present to help with discipline, etc., but you will be expected to always have material prepared and to be able to run the lesson with minimal help. If you throw yourself headfirst into life at the high school, and are ready to teach, learn, and be ready for anything, you will love this internship!

Florence

Ufficio Centro Storico – UNESCO, Comune di Firenze

Brittny Castillo (Middlebury College)
Being able to work with UNESCO’s Florence chapter was an amazing opportunity. I learned so much not just about the projects I was working on but also from the wonderful staff who works there. The office space was a great environment to work in. At UNESCO’s Florence chapter I specifically worked with the movement Firenze per Bene by helping promote sustainability throughout the city of Florence. I was in charge of many of the social media activity regarding the ten objectives of Firenze per Bene. I also promoted different historical building throughout the beautiful city of Florence, and through this I learned so much about the different monuments and buildings throughout the wonderful city that I was able to call home for 4 months. I promoted the monuments and buildings by image modification, and writing excerpts for the different graphics made to represent Firenze per Bene’s 10 objectives. The Florence chapter of UNESCO provided me with an amazing opportunity to learn but most importantly made my experience in Florence all the more fulfilling.

Kadie Roberts (Sarah Lawrence College)
During my first semester in Florence, Italy I did an internship at UNESCO - Firenze Patrimonio Mondiale. They work on creating and developing plans to manage and persevere the world heritage sites of Florence. The historic center of Florence was added to the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 1982 and since then it has needed protection, like every other world heritage site, against tourism, climate change, pollution and destruction. Besides creating a Management Plan for the center, UNESCO - Firenze Patrimonio Mondiale has also developed many projects to help the historic center. My internship was focused on social media and public relations. I created and designed Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts in English and Italian. This involved researching their work and understanding the different projects they were promoting. This was fun and creative work because I was able to use a lot of my findings around the city and photos I took from class trips to promote the safeguarding or Florence and the many opportunities it has to offer its citizens and visitors. I also was able assist in preparation for one of their conferences and work the day of the event, which was extra exciting for me since I’m interested in event planning and production.

This internship really improved my language skills and vocabulary. It involved a lot of reading to understand what I would be posting about, translating texts and creating posts in two languages. In this way, it helped me better understand the difference between Italian and English in sentence structure and word usage. It was also great being able to witness an everyday workspace in Italian and the difference between an office in Italy and America. I would highly recommend this internship, the people at the office are very kind and helpful. They are very inclusive and make it feel like home. I’m glad I got to experience what it was like being a part of an Italian office and now I have many new friends and co-workers.
 

Making Business Happen

Alejandra Chavez (Middlebury College)
Making Business Happen is an international marketing agency that puts Florentine businesses in touch with successful partners from all over Europe, and United States. As an intern, you will be the bridge of communication between clients and partners. Whether it be email communication or over the phone, interns are in charge of making sure the deal goes through. Through the help of the colleagues, you will learn how to do administrative tasks while thinking critically through the lens of an American student. This point of view is critical in terms of trying to contact partners who will follow up, and learn from each other. Additionally, interns will be given an individualized project at the end of the internship that analyzes a prosperous company and creates a plan that will help them enter the market in the United States. At the end of your time at MBH, you will be able to present your findings and suggestions to the office and furthermore the CEO of that company. This was very rewarding in have concrete work of your time at MBH. Overall, MBH is a great environment to learn about the international market in Europe and learn more about what it takes to consult an established business.

Studio Legale Galgano - avv. Daniela Cantisanti

Hanft Eliezer (Middlebury College)
I really enjoyed my experience working at Studio Galgano, though the work itself was often rather mundane and clerical in nature. I started working at Studio Galgano, after reading the experiences of previous Middlebury interns, so I was aware that the nature of the work was more secretarial, so it came as no surprise that most of my work consisted of various office assistance tasks i.e. organizing research material, making copies, purchasing supplies, sending mail, even organizing the music collection. However, while much work may have been less thrilling than desired the experience was overwhelmingly positive. The opportunity to work in an Italian office, to meet Italians and speak Italian in a professional setting, as opposed to academic or social was a unique opportunity that I would recommend. All the lawyers were very accommodating, the office environment was friendly, and I managed to help work on some contract writing and translating as I gained more experience, in addition they did take to the tribunal (courthouse) show me around the Italian legal system. I would recommend this internship to people as long as they understand the nature of much of the work required, and would not mind days of fairly menial work.

ISPO – Istituto per lo Studio e la Prevenzione Oncologica

Eliza Ferrari (Middlebury College)
Vorrei ringraziare tutti all’ISPO che hanno reso possibile questo tirocinio- è stato un’esperienza interessante e illuminante, e mi sento molto fortunata di aver avuto quest’opportunità! So che questo riassunto sarà più utile se offro alcuni commenti sulle cose che avrei cambiato, anche se sono poche. Prima, però, comincio con le cose che mi piacevano, soprattutto l’ambiente professionale: tutti erano sempre simpatici e accoglienti; mi sentivo molto benvenuta dal primo giorno. Inoltre, era bello poter parlare con la dott.ssa Chellini e le sue diverse colleghe per sapere di più delle loro aree di studio. Prima, non sapevo molto dell’epidemiologia o della prevenzione, ma ora, grazie a queste conversazioni e agli studi numerosi che ho potuto leggere, penso di avere una conoscenza molto più ampia. Ero anche contenta di poter partecipare a due riunioni con la dott.sa Chellini. Anche se non potevo veramente contribuire alla discussione, è stato comunque molto interessante ascoltare e venire a conoscenza delle attività dell’ISPO e delle altre aziende regionali. Infine, ho avuto l’opportunità di leggere diversi studi prodotti dalla dott.sa Chellini e le sue colleghe, che mi hanno aiutato molto a capire la ricerca e gli scopi dell’ISPO. Però, anche se tutto il materiale che mi è stato dato da leggere era molto interessante, ammetto che a volte volevo fare qualcosa di più… a volte avrei preferito fare anche dei doveri piccoli (archiviazione, copiatura/scansione, ecc.), perché volevo essere utile, non solo fare qualcosa per consumare tempo. Ne consegue che il lavoro che mi piaceva di più era fare le correzioni sugli articoli in inglese, perché potevo utilizzare le mie abilità e aiutare l’ISPO in un modo quantificabile. Inoltre, poiché stavo lavorando sugli articoli scritti nella mia lingua madre, potevo capire più il significato e le implicazioni della ricerca. Per concludere, sono molto contenta di aver perseguito questo tirocinio, e spero di essere stata un po’ utile all’ISPO durante il mio tempo qui! Grazie di nuovo per la vostra accoglienza.

Istituto Storico della Resistenza in Toscana

Baker Swain (Middlebury College)
For this semester, I decided to do an internship at the Istituto Storico della Resistenza in Toscana, which is a research institute that focuses on the Resistance during World War II not only in Italy, but also in Tuscany. During my twelve weeks as an intern, I translated sections of their website, particularly about the library, archives, and about a dictionary on the Resistance. Furthermore, I did some collaborative work with a consultant that has worked with the Institute. Here, I did some more translation work, but this time I was checking others’ work since they were translating texts from Italian to English for an exhibit about immigrants of Italian origin that fought for the Allies during the war. At the same time, I read some source material about the Resistance in Florence, which helped me understand what the Istituto was about in addition to recognizing the importance of both this movement in Italian history and maintaining its significance in history, which is the main goal of this historical institute. During this internship, I also was able to do some research by creating a bibliography of books about World War II from the Allies’ perspective that the Istituto could buy to expand their library. Here, I did some particular research to make sure that I was finding books that were not only well-researched by the author, but also that were not just about the war and its battles, but more about the people that fought in it. I finished this experience by translating a brochure about the history of the Istituto and about how the archive works. Apart from the work, I was able to talk to my colleagues, who were all Italian, about my experiences during my time abroad and about the differences in our cultures. I learned a lot while working at my internship. My language skills definitely improved, and I gained some very valuable work experience, so I have no idea if this is allowed, but I would recommend not only doing this internship for those who are interested in seeing what research is like as a career, but I would recommend doing an internship in general since you will gain experience that cannot be found while taking a university course.

Fattoria San Michele a Torri

Ali Haas (Middlebury College)
Interning at Fattoria San Michele a Torri is an incredible opportunity to better acquaint yourself with the food, farming practices, language, and culture of the Chianti region in Tuscany just outside of Florence, Italy. Fattoria San Michele a Torri is a farm and vineyard set in the hills of Scandicci, a Comune of Florence, between two denominations of Chianti, Chianti Classico and Chianti Colli Fiorentini. Carrying forward the tradition of its original purpose, this Tuscan farm and vineyard makes its home in a structure that dates back to the 16th century. At the same time, Fattoria San Michele is known for its organic practices, a modern approach to agriculture that was implemented in 1993 by the current owner. The fusion of strong Italian traditions with modern-day farming ethics all in a postcard-worthy Tuscan setting makes for an incredibly rich and interesting learning opportunity for those agriculturally and linguistically inclined. As an intern, you will work primarily at the ‘punto vendita’ where products are sold on-site, assisting in a variety of tasks such as helping local customers and working with the ‘vino sfuso’ or bulk wine. You may even be charged with responsibilities such as leading tours of the facilities and giving wine-tastings in Italian, English, or other languages. More than anything, you will be lucky to spend time with the warm and welcoming staff at the farm who are beyond thrilled to share with you their food, their culture, and above all else, their hearts. Ali Haas (Middlebury College, Spring 2015)

Conservatorio Santa Maria degli Angeli - Scuola d’infanzia e Primaria

Jiayi Gu (Sarah Lawrence College)
The internship at Conservatorio Santa Maria degli Angeli has made my first semester in Florence unforgettable. Although working as a teacher is not my ideal job after graduation and I was a bit hesitant at first about the decision, it turned out to be a rewarding experience and I personally achieved a great deal at the end in terms of improving my Italian and building relationships with the faculty. Located in the center of Florence and just a few blocks away from Middlebury Sede, the school comprises various typologies of school: from kindergarten to senior high school specializing in classical studies. In general, I worked 11 hours per week regardless of the preparation for classes and the biweekly diary as one of the requirements of credited internship. It was manageable and for me the time spent with the children was a wonderful getaway from the intensive academic study. I mainly worked with the four-year-old and the fourth grader in the elementary school and also had the experience of teaching science in senior high. In the kindergarten, I assisted with afternoon activities which involved arts and crafts and also taught basic English vocabulary together with the relevant Italian explanation. As for the elementary students, my role was to give lessons in English which dealt with mathematics, science and technology. Given that the teachers often taught the material in Italian beforehand, in my class the students were well-prepared to raise questions and respond in English. Since in senior high, science classes in English was mandatory, I prepared the assigned topic in advance and presented it to the class on a chosen date. I was able to gain insight of the Italian educative system and communicate with the locals on a daily basis. In addition, both the faculty and the students with whom I contacted were extremely nice and warm-hearted, which made saying goodbye on the last day very difficult. I truly enjoyed the internship and was grateful for this precious opportunity.

John Lower (Middlebury College)
First off, I could not recommend this internship experience enough for those studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Not only is it conveniently located a couple blocks from the Middlebury Sede, but it also offers an unbeatable and refreshing experience to improve your Italian, work with kids, and earn credit away from the intensity of the university setting. It still encompasses a big commitment, but with greater rewards in my opinion. I worked 14 hours per week for a total of twelve weeks, which did not include the writing and lesson-planning that I did outside of class. Amongst the middle school, elementary school, and preschool, I assisted teachers and students with various projects and taught subjects, like science, math, and English, more or less based on my academic interests and strengths. Given that I spent most of my weekly calendar with the kindergarten and preschool, I also participated in more creative and artistic projects less geared towards my abilities and interests, such as making props and conducting/teaching English and Italian songs in preparation for the big, end-of-the-year concert. The comfortable and open environment allowed me to try new things and build my confidence socially, linguistically, and didactically. It was an unforgettable experience that rewarded me far past my expectations and left me with memories to cherish forever.

Melissa Surrette (Middlebury College)
During my time in Florence, I interned at the Santa Maria degli Angeli elementary and pre-school. I can easily say this was one of the most rewarding parts of my time abroad and will be what I miss most upon my return to the United States. I spent the majority of my time working in the Scuola dell’Infanzia with children aging from three to five years old. I taught English to the kids and also helped with general classroom management, lunch-room tasks, etc. I felt more useful in the pre-school than I did in the elementary school because there was always something to be done and the teachers really appreciated the help. Speaking with students and teachers helped me improve my language skills immensely and was an opportunity to get insight on Italian culture from Italians and Florentines of varying ages. In addition, I really enjoyed building relationships and working with the kids at the school. Saying goodbye to them was one of the hardest things I had to do and I think that speaks a lot to the type of experience I had at the school. I would like to be a teacher after college and this internship definitely solidified that for me and I recommend it to those who are curious about the working of education or working with children in general.

Rome

Il Comune di Roma

Margot Drayson (Middlebury College)
As an History of Art and Italian double major at Middlebury College, I decided to spend my junior year in Rome. Arriving in Italy, I was looking to balance my first semester at la Sapienza, University of Rome, with experiences that would expose my daily routine to an aspect of Italian lifestyle. I had the amazing opportunity to carry out an internship at il Comune di Roma, where I worked with the Sovrintendenza Capitolina. The office that I attended was specifically the Sede, the centre that manages Rome’s UNESCO sites. It is responsible for the care, maintenance and promotion of the city’s historical and artistic culture. As an intern, I attended the office three times a week and participated in its daily functions. My time there was spent with Tindara, Renata and Emanuela, three passionate, dynamic and insightful women. Our weekly responsibilities varied, but overall I was able to explore many aspects of the organisation. The ones that grasped most my attention were our weekly visits to the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo as well as our morning presentations on UNESCO in local elementary schools. The visits to the Ministero, in the office for vincoli, were part of my larger learning experience on the legislative side of the Sovrintendenza Capitolina. I gained a better understanding of legal requirements over cultural properties. Additionally, the morning visits to the school Dante Alighieri allowed me to participate in one of many of the Sede’s educational projects. I was able to include research of my own - on the Torre di Londra - and talked alongside Tindara, Renata and Emanuela. The visits were aimed to discuss and raise awareness on the nature of UNESCO in Rome and the roles of the Sovrintendenza Capitolina, via photographs, documentaries and examples personal to the Sede. And all the while, I learned more and more about Rome, its past and current cultural affairs, stories and beauties. Alla fine, I loved the internship! I gained a deeper insight in Rome’s infinite artistic culture and most importantly, as my first step in the country, a real introduction to a Roman work and life environment.

Simona Scotto d’Antuono (Middlebury College)
Interning abroad in Rome was one of the highlights of my entire college experience! I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain in the fall and when the end of the semester came, I left, for my second study abroad adventure in Rome, with many regrets, one of which was the desire to volunteer as an intern. When the time came to apply for internships in Rome there were three main possibilities but the one that caught my attention was interning for the Comune di Rome in collaboration with UNESCO. February 29th was the day I sent my curriculum vitae e introductory letter; thus began the everlasting period of intense anxiety. I received confirmation a week and a half later, a little did I know, I was about to embark on one of the most memorable experiences of my life! My first and last day at my internship, began and ended the same way, with a party, the difference being, that the second time consisted of continuous, incessant waterfall-crying. During my internship, I worked closely with three incredible ladies, my Boss, Tindara, and my two colleagues, Renata and Emanuela. Since the very beginning they immediately made me feel at home, it was only a matter of time before we started whatsappando (Italian for “whatsapping,” which is a huge deal for Italians because it represents a certain level of trust and respect), and with the passing of each day, my work environment became a second home. During these past four months I was entrusted with various responsibilities, including: preparing presentations with my colleagues to present to various schools to teach children about Rome as UNESCO Site and ways to maintain its value, as well as a series of translations of various Italian articles to English. And vice versa, for the Sovrintendeza Capitolina website, I also helped create some electronic invitations for the inauguration of Rome’s Piano di Gestione (a fundamental document that was approved this past May that states the city’s guidelines, objectives, and promise to UNESCO to maintain a protect all monuments), and lastly, participated in a series of on site inspections, in various parts of the Centro Storico, (Historic Center), to verify current restorations as well as take pictures to update their photographic archive. Ultimately, this was one of the most memorable experiences of my time abroad; completely summering yourself in a culture through an internship, in particular with incredible people who, in my case shared the same desire to work with UNESCO and protect Rome, has taught me endless lessons that cannot be learned in a classroom, because to understand certain things, you can only LIVE them.

Fondo Ambiente Italiano

Erica (Di) Yan (Barnard College)
For the spring semester I had the wonderful opportunity to intern at FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano), or the Italian Heritage Trust. It is a nonprofit organization that restores historic buildings, protects natural parks, and spreads awareness and appreciation of Italy’s own national and cultural heritage through a series of special events, conferences, trips and concerts.
As an intern, I attended the office two or three times a week depending on their event schedule. Besides contributing to the daily function of the office, I was mainly working with graphic design by creating different event flyers and pamphlets. Since the very beginning I was welcomed by four amazing women in the office, and later, a group of young volunteers of the FAI. I immediately felt like a part of this small and intimate family. One of the most remarkable aspects of the internship was the ability to visit sites normally close to public. During the span of three months I was able to see the interiors of Teatro Torlonia, Palazzo della Cancelleria, in addition to participating in various themed city tours led by scholars and volunteers. With the FAI I had the fortune to discover the hidden beauty of the Eternal City.

Compagnia Leone Cinematografica

Elizabeth Danna (Fairfield University)
During the Spring 2018 semester, I had the opportunity to have an internship alongside my
Middlebury and Sapienza classes. For my internship, I worked as a production assistant for the television show <> Season 3 on Rai1. The director of the show is Luca Manfredi and the main actor is Gigi Proietti. On the set, I helped the production manager, Flavia, with the technical, administrative and logistic organization of the television production. The activities of this work depended on the type of day, the number of scenes shot, and the amount of staff for each day. As a production assistant, I helped with administrative support and worked closely with the crew. I had the responsibility to check in with the actors, screenwriters and costume designers and helped with the recording of the scenes. For this training, I always spoke Italian. I had a radio for fast communication on set and I had to listen closely for instruction as the crew often spoke fast. My main tasks for this type of work were: organizing, errands, helping on set, talking with the crew and actors, and distributing timesheets for each day. It was a wonderful experience and I am happy to have had this opportunity.