Report of Italian Study Trip 17 Nov. to 22 Dec. 2002. By S Michael.

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By Grace of God I got another opportunity to go to Italy. I went there in the city of San Giovanni Arezzo a small city of Toscana to attend the Italian Language Course of 80 hours. This trip was actually became possible due to the scholarship of the school for the foreigners called Sillabo in San Giovanni Italia. They offered one scholarship for attending Italian Language Course in their school to those students who performed well during the course before in Pakistan. According to my result I did good and Prof. Laura Fioretta as an eligible candidate for this scholarship recommended me. Along with Sillabo an Italian NGO working for the blind called Apostolic Movement for the Blind [Movimento Apostolico Ciechi (MAC)] provided me residential facilities with the co-operation of community of Pop John 23rd in San Giovanni I stayed with Signora Nadia Campoli the secretary of community of Pop John 23rd. I reached on Rome airport (Fiumicino) on 17th of Nov. 2002 in the evening from there I first reached to Arezzo by train and then by car of one of the member of our host organization in San Giovanni in house of my host Nadia Campoli. Right of the next day 18th Nov. I started to go to school with the support of the volunteer of Caritas San Giovanni Sig. Paolo Fiani. This course lasted for four weeks comprising on 80 hours. Monday to Friday we had lessons for four hours each day whereas each Saturday we had a cultural trip to any cultural city or historical place. In the 1st week of the course I felt some uncomfortness to adjust within the foreigners and to study but later I became active and satisfied my teachers. There were students of different countries with me mainly from Japan, Australia, Mexico and Iceland. On the certificate issue to me my teachers gave me level of intermedium, which is consider more satisfactory performance in Italy. In terms of cultural trips I visited different cities including Florence, Pizza, Voltera, and Montevarchi etc. At the end of the course we had small celebration in which we celebrated farewell party and Christmas celebrations it was amusing and emotional party in which the students and teachers exchanged their sentiments of friendship and their determination to keep on learning and improving Italian. At personal level after the school I remained in touch with two organizations Caritas and the community of Pop John 23rd in order to learn type and dimensions of social work in Italy. I also remained busy with my host organization Movimento Apostolico Ciechi in different meetings and informed them about my progress of studies of Doctorate in Sociology on minorities' issues in Pakistan and we discussed other matters of mutual interests in several meetings held in Arezzo and other parishes of Diocese of Toscana. On one Sunday I read prayers and attentions before the audience in the church after the sermon of the priest. It was encouraging for me to speaking in Italian before the audience during the mass. In the evening I had an opportunity to walk around with the active girls and boys of the team of volleyball of San Giovanni to be familiar with cultural aspects. I also continued to visit different Parishes and participated in religious gatherings and community meetings. I visited almost every possible aspects of Italian culture and tried to make full use of this trip. I also participated in couple of programs of couple of social developmental organizations, which help me to learn little bit about my interest of activities of social development. I participated in couple of musical concerts which was polite and thrilling experience for me and through these I developed interest to learn guitar in a future even I can play piano now. I also visited Loppiano a Centre of Focolare movement twice. There I met with Pakistani focolarians and with other foreign focolarians. It was spiritually inspiring experience for me because it was my dream to go to Loppiano in search of an ideal of love of Chiara Lubic and of God Jesus Christ. In short it was successful and learning trip for me I captured good memories of my school, teachers, and students. I also developed good relations and friendship with some young boys and girls with whom I can continue to learn and improve Italian via Internet etc. I talked a lot about the Pakistani culture and about the Christians and other minorities in Pakistan in meetings, class participation and private gatherings. Last but not least I improved my Italian a lot. I got familiar with the actual accent and tried to pronouns and speak over there, which can be helpful for me to learn Italian in depth. I think in this way in future perhaps I can find some work related to Italian Language either in Pakistan or Italy for any Italian NGO or church. At the same time this is also true that one month was very short but I would love to go there for some long period first for some studies in human rights, community development or social development if I will get the chance in the future. Everyone engaged with me was very kind and they helped and supported me beyond my expectations. I really want to thank to my teacher of Italian in Pakistan Prof. Laura Fioretta for her technical assistance in order to make this all possible. I also want to thank Il Sillabo (school for foreigners of Italian Language and culture) and Movemento Apostolico Ciechi who helped me to do this course, which was not possible without their co-operation. Last but not least I also wish to thanks Signora Nadia Campoli for providing me hospitality and other related support and also to Sig. Paolo Fiani of Caritas San Giovanni for assisting during my stay. I hope and wish to improve my Italian in future either in Pakistan or in Italy to do something for the promotion of Italian culture through out the world with my professional knowledge of sociology.

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