LIS helped me improve my ASL skills Past Review

By (Deaf Studies: Cultural Studies, Gallaudet University) for

Siena School for Liberal Arts: Siena - Semester & Summer Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
"My three-week experience proved I had unlimited capabilities: communicating in LIS with the Italian Deaf community, negotiating English and Italian with my host family, and a yearning to learn more about the global Deaf-World. Every Deaf-World has different histories with different events, but the results of these reflected many similar experiences. So I began to further realize that my understanding of the Deaf-World was only the American Deaf-World and that it was only one slice of the Deaf-World. And although these two communities shared many similarities, which help us understand the underlying nature of Deaf people, their national boundaries innately remind me that are completely different." (Taken from Gallaudet Today, alumni magazine, article "Opening Up Italian Doors with American Sign Language)

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Education occurred inside and outside the classroom.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Evaluation does not allow me to leave this blank. I currently work there and do not feel it's appropriate for me to give a rating.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a great host mom. We didn't always understand each other, but she thoroughly enjoyed my gestures at dinner and she was open to the idea of sign language and the Deaf community.

* Food:

Host mom was wonderful at accommodating my eating habits. At the time, I didn't eat a lot of meat and I can't eat a lot of dairy.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Cooking at the director's house. Cultural visits with the Deaf program. Aperitivi as a school.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Italy has a national health care system. Tourists are treated just like Italians if they have a health emergency. The coblestones make it difficult for someone who has balance problems or someone who uses a wheelchair. Also realize that you should constantly be looking for cars even though the city is pedestrian only.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

LIS - teachers, Italian Deaf students Italian - host family, teachers, staff

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host family
  • Meetng the community
* What could be improved?
  • More time to interact with the Deaf community
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be flexible and open minded. Laugh and enjoy all experiences, whether they are "good" or "bad". Be willing to go to all the opportunities to meet Deaf people. You'll always be able to come back and do touristy things. It's not often you get to meet Deaf people in a foreign country and use their sign language. Have a good command of ASL before you learn a 2nd sign language to get the most benefit.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Italian Deaf Culture

Course Department:
Instructor: Rita Sala
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Course made me think more about American Deaf culture. It also gave me a different perspective on what it means to be Deaf.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:


Course Department:
Instructor: No longer teaching
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: Italian was difficult. I felt the teacher allowed too much English in the classroom.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:


Course Department:
Instructor: Luigi Lerose
Instruction Language: Italian Sign Language
Comments: One of the best courses I've ever taken. Luigi was an amazing instructor and his approach was very effective.
Credit Transfer Issues: