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Zaira Di Vella has temporarily joined the Italian subject area in the Department of Modern Languages & Cultures on the European Union’s programme for education, training, youth and sport. She is spending several months as an Honorary Fellow in Italian, shadowing colleagues in the department and contributing to teaching for first- and second-year students.

Zaira Di Vella, currently an Honorary Fellow in Italian

Zaira Di Vella, currently an Honorary Fellow in Italian

Zaira, who is currently reading for a MA in International Co-operation at Bari University in Italy, is also helping to organise extra-curricular activities and events within the Italian subject area at Liverpool. She has already worked as an Italian teacher in Spain, and was awarded the mobility grant to improve her English, gain work experience in a British university, and teach conversational Italian – to this end, she is keen to meet with staff and students interested in improving their spoken Italian.

Everybody makes me feel at home here, from my lovely colleagues to the people I ask for information when I go for a stroll in the city

Zaira is particularly well placed to help prepare undergraduates about to embark on a semester at Bari University, where she graduated with a degree in modern languages and tourism. Bari, in Puglia – the part of southern Italy occasionally described as the heel of the Italian boot – is famous for its dramatic coastline and regional cuisine. The Erasmus+ scheme which has brought Zaira to Liverpool enables academics and staff in professional services to develop their skills in universities around Europe – through job shadowing, teaching and training activities. Modern Languages & Cultures colleagues who have already participated on the scheme include Professor Eve Rosenhaft and Professor Kate Marsh (who both went to Paris VII), Ms Ana Almeida (who spent a week at the University of Vigo, in Spain), and Dr Şizen Yiacoup (who travelled to the Universidade Nova de Lisboa).