We continue today with our series of posts profiling MLC students who started learning a language as complete beginners and who are now in their final year. This time, we meet Yolanda Sanchez, who is taking a BA in Hispanic Studies and Italian. In this short blog, Yolanda tells us about the challenges and successes of learning Italian from scratch.

Yolanda Sanchez

Studying Italian from scratch at the University of Liverpool has been an experience that I will forever cherish. I remember sitting in my first beginner’s Italian class feeling excited, yet overwhelmed – how would I be able to master such a beautiful language in just four short years, when I only knew how to say ‘ciao’, ‘pizza’ and ‘gelato’?!

The course consisted of language classes, along with film, politics, history, and linguistics modules, allowing me to learn not only how to speak the language but also to delve into the world of Italian culture. The beauty of learning Italian at Liverpool is that the class sizes are so small that you develop a close relationship with classmates and lecturers in an intimate learning environment, and I can wholeheartedly say that I have made friendships that will last a lifetime. The department is made up of a passionate, close-knit community, and often hosts events for students, staff, and guests, such as film screenings, meals, and workshops. There is never a dull moment!

As I also study Spanish, I was lucky enough to spend the first semester of my year abroad in Alicante, Spain, before moving to the beautiful island of Sicily for five months. There, at the University of Palermo, I studied modules such as the History of Medieval Sicily, English-Italian translation, and the History of Medieval Philosophy, which were certainly challenging, but now I can talk for hours about history and philosophy in Italian! Doing an Erasmus placement was a great option for me, as it allowed me to make friends from all over the world, speak and write in Italian, and have free time to explore. I feel incredibly lucky to have spent a semester in such a beautiful place; Sicily is a unique island that is full of history, art, music, sun, and of course, great food! Thank you to the Italian department and the University of Liverpool for the four most wonderful years of my life. A dopo!


Piazza della Vergogna, my favourite place in Palermo