OUA meets UNISI
activities & initiatives with Students from the University of Siena (UNISI)
OUA students have the chance to interact with foreign language students and make new friends!
Agata and costanza, unisi living experience
Ciao a tutti! My name is Agata and I am a student of Languages for Business at the University of Siena. This semester I had the opportunity to live with some American students at the OU in Arezzo residential center. It is hard to sum up these past 4 months here with my new friends because they have been full of adventures and laughs. Thanks to this living experience, I was able to improve my English and immerse myself in American culture. Likewise, I could share a bit of the Italian way of life with the students. It was interesting and really fun to notice how many cultural differences we have. I remember when they had their first aperitivo: they absolutely loved it for both the fun but above all for the cultural aspects around it. The Rooney Family Center (or “the monastery”, as we call it) is a fantastic place to live and everyone here is welcoming and friendly: it was very easy to feel at home from the very beginning. I am grateful for this experience and for the new friends I have made. It will be really hard to say goodbye to them!
Ciao everyone, I’m Costanza!
I’m a Languages for Business student from Città di Castello, a small and cute town in Umbria but not far from Arezzo. I’ve been living at the Rooney Family Centre since January 2022 thanks to a wonderful project called “Living Experience”. As soon as I heard of this opportunity I jumped at the chance and immediately decided to apply. I had never interacted with American people before and I loved the idea of making new friends and finally giving my “offline” university-life a go. Due to the pandemic, I had been online on everything for almost two years and I really needed to make a new start in the best way possible, finishing with my studies and broadening my circle of friends to experience something new and exciting. I must say that this adventure turned out to be even better than I expected and will always be positively etched in my memory! I can challenge myself every day by practising English, since there are always some American friends with me. Moreover, when it comes to learning American words and expressions… They’re hilarious and understanding! I can honestly say this is making a big difference in my language learning process and it is playing a pivotal role in my personal development. OU in Arezzo will always have a special place in my heart!
OU in Arezzo Living Experience
The University of Oklahoma's study center in Italy offers students the opportunity to study abroad alongside their OU classmates and study with OU professors in a beautiful facility that feels like home. But they also have many opportunities to immerse in Italian culture and interact with locals.
Pizza Cook-Off Fall 2021
Friday 22nd, in the RFC, took place the long-awaited event: Pizza Cook-OFF!
Many UNISI students came to meet the American students of #FALL2021, a chance to become friends with those from different countries! This also gave them a chance to see the monastery, where the OUA students live and study - along with making and enjoying some pizza!
Our OUA students tried to make the most creative and meaningful pizza by teaming up with the UNISI students and OUA interns, who were so relieved to see no one wanted to put pineapple on it!
Silvia, one of the members of the winning team, says: “In our group, we were from Italy, Spain and United States, from there the idea for our pizza came almost naturally: we wanted a pizza that could represent our nations, so we divided the pizza into three parts, and each part represented the flag of our countries. The key for the presentation of our pizza was the name: by joining the initials of our countries came out USI and from there the slogan of our pizza ‘U See… what a wonderful pizza!’
What else? This year Pizza Cook-OFF has met expectations again! (swipe to find out the ideas that came to students’ minds this time!)
Azzurra, Unisi Intern & Living Experience
“Hi everybody, I’m Azzurra, I’m from Sicily, I am an intern at the University of Oklahoma in Arezzo, and I will also be living here for three months doing the living experience program. I was really excited about doing this work experience and to have the chance of living with American students. It’s helping me to improve my English knowledge as well as my work skills. It’s a wonderful experience, I’m working with an awesome team and every day I have the chance to achieve new skills and improve myself.
I have met lovely people from the students to the staff members to the other internships who are working with me. I study Languages for Business at the University of Siena in Arezzo, more specifically English and Spanish; therefore, this internship represents a big opportunity for me, as I’m able to get in touch with people that have cultures different from mine and talk with them in English. I’m an extroverted person and I also had other experiences of living abroad and that’s what I want from life; meeting new people, knowing more about them and having good vibes. So, UNISI students if you’re looking for an amazing and unique experience, that will change your life like no other, I definitely recommend you apply.”
Matteo, Unisi Intern
Hello everybody! I am Matteo, and I have been an intern at the University of Oklahoma in Arezzo! I heard lots of thrilling rumors about this internship at my University and always thought that I would not be a suitable applicant for this kind of experience. So I hesitated to apply for it at first. Then, a friend of mine encouraged me to give it a go, so did I, and I do not regret anything.When I started my internship, I was in my third year of Language for Business at the University of Siena in Arezzo. This bachelor’s degree involves the studying of languages, and I decided to study English and Chinese.
Therefore, this internship is a massive opportunity for me as I could relate to people from other countries with cultural backgrounds and habits different from mine. In addition to this, I could also interact personally with the OUA students, and by doing this, my language skills and my level of self-confidence improved considerably.
Apart from that, I also had to undertake a range of tasks engaging the maintenance of OUA social media accounts and the arrangement of front office duties. From these tasks, I gathered a lot of information about how office life works.
Overall, this experience gave me so much in professional as well as personal terms. Both OUA staff and my intern colleagues were very friendly and willing to help and creative and amusing to work with. Plus, the environment contributed to conveying further inspiration and positive energy. To wrap this up, I highly suggest this experience to anyone keen to learn and have fun!
2021 UNISI Summer Assistants
By Liliana Macias - July 8, 2021
Every semester, OU in Arezzo has the incredible opportunity to expand its students' cultural understanding and immersion by investing in students from the local university, the Università degli Studi di Siena ad Arezzo. One of the fundamental factors that OU students are able to participate in while studying abroad is becoming more globally aware and engaging in various cultural experiences that enhance their perspective of the world. A critical way to go through this is by interacting with other local students who experience similar obstacles during the college process.
During the summer, OUA has several hundred students passing through the Rooney Family Center as they participate in various summer programs through OU. As a way to stimulate cultural interaction and provide some support to OUA staff, the Università degli Studi di Siena (UNISI) offers an internship opportunity to some of its Language students here in Arezzo. This allows the UNISI students and OU students to engage in cross-cultural interaction while also presenting an opportunity to establish life-long friendships. OUA and UNISI are able to work together and provide a credit-bearing internship for the UNISI students while offering some extra support at the Rooney Family Center for OUA staff. For example, the UNISI interns can interact with OU students as they ask for support in navigating Arezzo, learning how to make reservations, or even planning (and going on with!) trips outside of Arezzo to learn a little more about Italy's regional differences.
This summer, OUA has had the privilege of welcoming four incredible interns: Adina, Rosanna, Samantha, and Xhuljana. Rosanna says, “It’s a cultural fusion that has enriched me, because I have had the opportunity to interact with people that have different cultures and ways of thinking, speaking, and doing things and I think that in today's globalized world it's fundamental!”
Each of the interns’ efforts have made a significant impact on the lives of the Gaylord and Intern students thus far, and we cannot wait to see how their interactions with the Journey to Italy students will go in July.
CLAUDIA, Spring 2021
"Hi, I'm Claudia, and I was an intern at the University of Oklahoma in Arezzo! As soon as I knew that I could do my internship at OUA I was relieved and excited by the idea: That was the internship that I needed to improve my speaking and writing in English. I study Languages for Intercultural Communication at the University of Siena in Arezzo, and this internship has been a big opportunity for me. Here I found a positive and friendly working environment, where teamwork is the key, and new ideas are always welcome! This internship helped me improve my translation skills and challenge myself to practice what I had learned at University.
Local students, if you have the chance to do your internship here, you won't regret it!"
Meet two University of Siena students who interned at OU in Arezzo. This program provides a great way for OUA students to get engaged with local students, who get to know more about Italian habits, passions and traditions.
GIUSEPPE, Spring 2021
“Hi y’all! My name is Giuseppe and I am proud to say that I am an intern at the University of Oklahoma in Arezzo. When I applied for this position I was about to start my last year at the University of Siena in Arezzo. My field of study is Business Languages and, to be more specific, I study English and Chinese. I have always heard a lot about this project with OUA,
and it was so exciting that many international students came here, so that I could meet new and interesting people and that’s just what happened!
In the past, I took part in several events where I had fun with all the OUA students. Now, it comes without saying, things are a bit different than they were two years ago.
Nevertheless, I decided that this internship
could give me the opportunity to improve many skills. I work with wonderful people who are always willing to help and who always welcome new ideas. This is the most satisfying part: I can create my own things so that I really feel as a part of the Rooney Family Center.
Moreover, the environment is so amusing and inspiring that you almost feel like home. It’s an unmissable opportunity!”
UNISI Intern Fall 2020
I have to say I didn’t expect to enjoy my internship this much and I have to thank the OUA team for this. Working with them is giving me a lot, both in terms of the working skills that I’m acquiring (a lot - lol), and on a human level, especially in a period like the one we are living in right now. The way we as interns have the chance to express our creativity, develop projects and propose new ones, is probably the most fulfilling aspect of this opportunity I have been lucky enough to experience.
In November 2020 Fabiana was instrumental in the OUA social media virtual show to observe the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. See the first show-case of that day here.
2017 - 2019 Living Experience and Summer Assistant
I worked at OUA as a Summer Assistant for three years in a row and I must say it was one of those experiences that changes your life forever. Being in constant contact with students and learning from them while working was extremely enriching. As Summer Assistants we are always there for the students, we help them understand the Italian culture and language; we are mediators from Italian to American culture; we take students on tours of Arezzo, to the Saturday market and to many more fun events. I will never forget my experience at OUA because not only did it change me as a person, it gave me incredible memories that I created as an SA.
Living Experience Spring 2020
In January and February I had the possibility to stay at the Rooney family center in Arezzo, and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. Although it was cut short, I made a lot of new friends, I improved my English, and living everyday with American students, I learned many things about different cultures and habits. It was one of my dreams since I was a child, so I’m very happy I could have it, even for just two months. Thank you all.
Javier Chavez Camargo
Language Tandem Fall 2019
I loved the family I met during my time in Arezzo. In addition to the nice cultural experience, and the great food, Stefano and his family became my good friends and we stayed in touch after my semester abroad was over.
Meeting local Italian students helped me connect with Italian culture from a perspective very similar to mine. I had lots of fun during all events we had with them, and the friends I made. I loved the music recommendations I got from them.
Pizza Cook-Off Fall 2019
It’s an outstanding experience everybody should get the chance to live! I was lucky enough to enjoy it from two different perspectives. The first was as a “MasterchOUf," being free to set culinary creativity loose, and the latter as a member of the jury. Thus, I can say doubly it’s an experience that can’t be missed, and if you’re wondering why, here are the two most important reasons that pushed me in the first place: firstly, you can go beyond cultural boundaries and make lots of friends; secondly, you get to eat pizza in the company of other people. And if pizza doesn’t appeal to you, I don’t know what could!
UNISI Intern SPRING 2021
During my three years at UNISI I have always participated in the University of Oklahoma’s activities.
I fondly remember every event, so when I had to choose where to apply for my internship, I decided immediately to try at OUA. In this work environment you never feel like you’re doing things wrong because it’s a team effort and each idea we come up with is accepted and completed together.
UNISI Intern FALL 2020
OUA has given me a lot: First of all, a best friend, and now the opportunity to gain experience in my area of study. The internship at OUA is a world apart because of the dynamic nature of the work. There are many projects and ideas to be completed that allow me to use my creativity. People here will never say “no” if you have something in mind.
Summer Assistant 2017 - 2019
Working as a Summer Assistant has been one of the most valuable experiences for my personal growth, and it was a lot of fun, too! Taking American students on day-trips, guided tours and events in the places where I grew up was my favorite thing to do. It enabled me to give them my unique perspective as a local, but also learn a lot from their thoughts as visitors.
My time as a Summer Assistant was also crucial to my professional development: It allowed me to discover local businesses, companies, and organizations that I didn't know before, even though I've lived in Arezzo my whole life! I constantly met people with all kinds of backgrounds and this helped me find my way in the professional environment.
I miss OUA a lot, because I had the chance to work with some of the best colleagues and superiors I've ever had. I highly recommend it!
Franceso also studied in Norman for one semester and now works for a company in Arezzo that teaches English to clients.
Living Experience Spring 2020
Imagine getting the opportunity to make friends with people from the other side of the world, having loads of fun activities planned, an amazing staff ready to help you with everything you need, and a modern building where they can do this all together everyday! This is what I got to experience at the Rooney Family Center as one of two UNISI students, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Francesca also studied in Norman for one semester!
Pizza Cook-Off Fall 2019
Being part of the jury during the “Pizza Cook Off” event, was one of the best experiences of my internship and my entire college career so far.
The chance OUA gave me, made me feel responsible and appreciated: My opinion mattered, even if it concerned some kind of strange combinations of pizzas tastes. My opinion could make a team happy and victorious. I loved watching students from different parts of the world laughing together, stepping outside of their comfort zones, and cooperating to achieve victory. Little did they know, that kind of teamwork was the real prize. And I’m so glad and proud to have witnessed it.