Would you like to improve your Italian and meet new people in
Tuscania? Well this service club is the perfect opportunity for you!
Volunteer your time at different places in Tuscania throughout the week.
You will have a chance to build friendships and to practice Italian!
Some suggested areas of service are:
The following is a paper a student wrote about the Volunteer Club at LdM in Tuscania.
By: Melissa Rooklidge
My experience during the first two months in Tuscania was wonderful. I enjoyed the serenity of the town, the way of life, and especially the scenery. I was content, and enjoyed the sweetness of my studies and the simple life I was experiencing. However, when I received the opportunity to become involved in the community through the LdM Volunteer Club, my eyes were immediately opened to the endless possibilities of creating a deeper, authentic encounter with the Italian culture and language through the people of Tuscania.
From the moment I decided to study abroad, this had become my ultimate dream, but I was not sure how, or if, this would come to pass. The LdM Volunteer Club truly made this dream come true. Through this club, opportunities of all kinds were offered to me: volunteering at the library, working on a farm, the museum, the theatre, local stores, and more. As a music education major, I have a great passion for music and teaching, and I decided to volunteer at the elementary school in Tuscania and sing in the town choir, called "Maria Moretti Vignoli."
At first I was a little nervous, which comes with every new opportunity, but I faced each task with excitement, knowing each one would be an important and rewarding learning experience. At this point in time I had no idea how many doors this would open in my life and in my experience in Tuscania. I met with a first grade teacher, and she immediately offered me the opportunity not only to teach a Christmas song in English to her first grade class for the school Christmas concert, but also to the other first grade classes, and fourth and fifth grade classes as well.
In addition, she gave me an open invitation to teach an English lesson to the students whenever I wanted. Before I knew it, I was teaching English songs and lessons with the instruction completely in Italian. Combining all of my passions of music, teaching, and Italian was the most invigorating and satisfying experience I have ever felt. Furthermore, I built a rapport with the students and teachers throughout the school and felt such a mutual appreciation for this opportunity to share and exchange cultures. As a result, the first grade teacher and I developed a relationship that extended beyond the classroom into a crosscontinental friendship.
My experience with the choir gave me fulfillment that cannot be measured. I attended a choir rehearsal that consisted of about 25 local residents of Tuscania. Within the first week, I had already made friends with everyone in the choir, as well as the pianist and choir director. I thoroughly enjoyed being completely immersed in Italian and singing classic Italian songs such as "Funiculi, Funicula." After two rehearsals the choir director asked me to sing in the fall concert with the choir and invited me to sing two solos at the Christmas concert. Additionally, I became acquainted with the local priest who, after learning that I sang in the choir, allowed me to sing a solo during mass whenever I pleased. All of these opportunities came about in just two weeks! Apart from the continuing opportunities presented, I began to build deeper relationships with the people in the choir. I was offered an apartment to rent when I return to visit Tuscania, a family to stay with, rides around the town and more. After two weeks I was walking down the streets of Tuscania and greeting people everywhere I went.
I felt like I had become part of a very close-knit family in the town through the kindness and generosity of the welcoming hearts of the people. I began to feel equally Tuscanian and American, which to me was the ultimate happiness. As I reflect on my four months in Tuscania, I delight in the continuing friendships and memories that I will forever keep. I had successfully created an authentic cultural experience while rapidly improving my Italian language skills. The LdM Volunteer Club completely revolutionized my study abroad experience in Tuscania and made it more enriching and memorable than I had ever hoped was possible. It brought unquantifiable inspiration, growth, and gratification to my life that I will forever cherish and build upon for the rest of my life.