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Arrivederci Bologna, Ciao Boston

New summer program brings Italian students to BU

Click to hear two summer students from Italy speak about their first impressions of Boston people and places.


Ask most people what it takes to be successful in business or medicine and they will rattle off any number of variations on education, skill, or luck. But one essential ingredient always seems to get the slip.

“Learning English is the most important thing for us,” says Monica Baraldi, the University of Bologna coordinator for a new summer program that brings Italian students to BU for courses in English and management through BU Global’s Abroad at BU program. “In Europe we speak English in business. When we study English at home we study the grammar, but it is important to get actual practice of the language by speaking it.”

This year, seven University of Bologna students were selected to take part in the program, which consists of courses in both English and management taught by BU faculty. According to Baraldi, the group was chosen based on language ability and scholastic merit and each has a fellowship covering half of the cost.

The new Abroad at BU summer program was created in collaboration with Yvette Jusseaume, director of BU Global, an international division of the University. Baraldi had proposed the idea after spending a summer at BU. “My goal was to provide a program affordable from an economic point of view and interesting because it was in the United States,” she says. “Not only is there the interesting human experience of discovering another country, but from another point of view, it is a great professional experience — it is very motivating to meet these great professors and students.”

The new program isn’t all work and no play, however. BU Today recently spoke with two of the students from Italy, Achille Loce-Mandes and Elena Pasini. Since setting foot on U.S. soil for the first time on July 16, they appear to have soaked up some local color. Although work has kept her pretty busy, Pasini confesses to occasionally finding herself enjoying the sun at the BU Beach, while Loce-Mandes managed to squeeze in a trip to Fenway Park for a Red Sox game. Both can now recognize a Boston accent, but think they need some practice before replicating it. Loce-Mandes has already mastered one of the region’s key phrases, however: “Let’s go, Red Sox!”

Edward A. Brown can be reached at ebrown@bu.edu.