FDA – Hello, Olga! Recently you have returned from your holidays in Italy, the city of Sanremo. Could you share your feelings about the studying courses in Sanremo?
- Hello! It would be a pleasure!
FDA – How good was your Italian before the trip?
- B1. I work in an Italian company, so my language is on the decent level.
FDA – You attended the 2-week courses. Did you notice any improvements? Is a 2-week period a lot or a little for you?
- You always want more, of course! However, after these 2 weeks my everyday Italian improved drastically. Moreover, we have got enough time to cover all aspects of grammar. I feel more confident now. Much more confident, I would say. We have not passed the test yet, but I will continue my studies in Kiev soon, so I expect to reach B2 level in the future.
FDA – The motto of the school in Sanremo is ‘Study relaxing!’. How did you feel it? Share your experience with us.
- Just exactly as it sounds! We did study the amount of time we needed to: no less or no more. The process of studying did not bother us, but the final result was perfect. At first, we had our lessons in the classroom, but then we had practice every day! We studied a certain topic and had interesting tasks to consolidate our acquired skills. For example, one of the tasks was to ask people in the streets of Sanremo about different things: cuisine, cultural events, etc.
FDA – How do Italian people react to such requests?
- Oh! They can tell you about everything! Sometimes even more you need to know. Italian people are responsive, communicative, can answer your questions with ease.
FDA – What was the most interesting part during these courses in Italy?
- Overall, everything was interesting! It was a family trip: me, my husband, mother-in-law, and my daughter (4 years old). They don’t speak Italian, so it was an additional practice for me to translate everything during trips or excursions. If I were to pick out the most memorable moment, I would say visiting the Factory of Olive Oil in Imperia city. We saw the production of olive oil, logistics, bottling and packaging facility. There is also a Museum of Olive Oil nearby. We discovered a lot of new facts! We saw amphorae that were used in ancient times to transport oil, compared this to modern methods of transportation.
FDA – Was everything in Italian?
- Yes, absolutely everything! It was a great advantage: those who have a language barrier can overcome it very soon. I did not have such problems, and everything was very entertaining. There are many small towns around Sanremo, we had other memorable excursions. Long story short, it was a great vacation!
FDA – What was the most difficult thing about learning?
- I don’t recall any difficulties. Everything was simple and with joy. As I already mentioned, the process of learning did not bother me, but it was extremely effective. For instance, Fabio was explaining grammar in Italian, but if someone had any issues, he switched to Russian. It was not my case, to be fair.
FDA – What would you say to future students of these courses?
- Such trips are very important. Even though it is only for 2 weeks, this time is not wasted. You study, develop your skills, gather experience of peoples and cultures, relax on the beach of the Ligurian Sea. By studying like that, you have no other way but to speak Italian and to improve grammar, which is quite complicated.
FDA - Are you planning to continue your studies in Italy in the Cultural Centre of Fabrizio de André?
- Yes, this is in my plans and in my wishes, which is more important!