Winning a national Italian writing competition is the icing on the cake for third-year language student Bridget Mahon who plans on living and working in Italy when she graduates.
Bridget, who is majoring in Italian at Griffith University through the Brisbane Universities Languages Alliance, won the Premio Italia prize for her 1500- word essay on how technology has changed the way people read for pleasure and work.
She said it was the first time she had written such a long essay in Italian and while she was pleased with her efforts she was surprised to win.
“I did my best but because it was a national prize I didn’t expect to fare so well.”
The Italian Studies program at Griffith University promotes the development of competencies in understanding speaking reading and writing in Italian. Second-year courses are a stepping-stone between beginner level and more advanced levels of study. Upon completion of second year, students are ready to plunge into the linguistic and cultural challenges of third year.
“The autobiographical composition we did in the second-year course really helped me learn how to write well in Italian,” Bridget said.
With an Italian family background Bridget said learning the language was a natural progression.
“My grandfather emigrated from Treviso and married my grandmother in Australia, but my parents were brought up in Australia and didn’t speak Italian at home, so I jumped at the chance to start learning Italian from Year 8.
“I also went on a school trip to Italy in Year 10 and then a Queensland Government Exchange to Switzerland in Year 11 which were wonderful opportunities to practise the language.
“The Italian Language studies program at Griffith has helped me to really take these beginnings and take them to a level which has enabled me to win this prize.”
“Premio Italia is a national competition” Griffith University Italian convenor Tiziana Miceli said.
“Students from all the Italian departments at Australian Universities participate. We are really proud of Bridget and her achievement”.
Bridget plans to use her $2000 travel voucher prize as a graduation present in 2015.
The national Premio Italia Prize is offered through the Italian Embassy in collaboration with the Italian Institute of Culture in Melbourne and in Sydney.
Learn more about studying Italian at Griffith – griffith.edu.au/italian-