It is generally agreed that language and culture are closely related. Through languages we are able to communicate and interact with others by expressing our thoughts and feelings.

Although knowing different languages is always useful both in social and professional life, learning a new language is not easy, it requires a lot of effort and practice. The best way to learn a language would be to spend time in a community where they speak it, since it provides a chance to practice it right away.

As a student, I read much about history and culture of different countries. I became interested in the Italian culture because it has so much to offer, from its great history, religion, art and design to the great music. In particular, I love Italian music. Even though I could hardly understand the meaning of the songs, before I studied Italian, I would enjoy the melody. My love for Italian music motivated me to learn Italian language. I wanted to know the meaning of the words I have been listening to in different songs and also to be able to communicate with my Italian friends. To understand what your friends are speaking is even more important and to be able to join their conversation as well.

I started to learn Italian in my Bachelor’s degree in Latvia; however, it was really hard to remember anything and actually speak it at that time due to lack of practice.

As part of my degree program, I got an opportunity to spend one semester in Milan, Italy, studying my master’s in Strategic Project Management at Politecnico di Milano- MIP Graduate School of Business. The school provides an opportunity to international students to learn Italian which I also benefited from. This opportunity did not only help me to improve my Italian skills but also allowed me to broaden my social and professional network.

Throughout the whole semester, I was able to interact with different people both in class and outside. I enjoyed meeting new people in different kind of events and speaking to them thanks to the language knowledge I had gained. This made me feel accepted and more like home, and also helps me to enjoy my favourite Italian music.

I therefore, encourage everyone who get an opportunity to live in a country or a community where you can learn a new language, to use it, learn that language and practice as much as you can. It is always easy to be accepted and more integrated in the community and surroundings when you speak their language as you are not viewed as a stranger.