IE University’s Italian Society is a reasonably recent club established at IE University, yet, it proliferates on both campuses and cities with much excitement and dedicated club officers.
I interviewed Federica Mannucci, who has been involved in the project since the beginning; she now works at the Madrid Chapter, as well as all the Segovia Chapter officers, Zeno Steinacher, Orlando Recchi, Giulia Sina, and Giacomo Pedersoli.
Their varying initiatives are posted consistently on their Instagram account. Be sure to follow up to get updates!
Thus began the interview process…
Could you tell us about how the Italian Society was founded?
Federica Mannucci: The idea of the club came from our founder, Luna Mazzocchi, a PPLE student. It [initially only] involved Matilde Giammetti and me to achieve what the Italian Society is today: a beautiful and inclusive project. The three of us were spending a lot of time together, and since we were all in different degrees, we thought we could all manage different aspects of the club.
Can anyone join the Italian classes, and how often, and where do they take place?
Orlando Recchi: Yes, Italian classes are still available, and obviously, they are mainly for people that want to learn not only Italian [but also about] the Italian culture. But anayways, even some fluent Italians join just out of curiosity! Sometimes we do fun activities, so it is really for anyone interested!
Zeno Steinacher: Definitely, everyone is welcome! We do many fun activities, sometimes we also bring food to try. Overall, we aim to create a mix of teaching the language and culture.
Giacomo Pedersoli: To answer how often, we offer 2 lessons a month. We have surveyed our members, and they prefer this type of commitment. We do a monthly survey for our members, with a range of dates to have their full availability.
What other events does the Italian Society organize?
F.M.: The Society organizes seminars on how to make a pizza for more formal events, such as the meeting with the Italian ambassador.
With the Italian Society, we are still trying to give a 360 degree view of our culture to IE’s international community. We would love for our successors to pass on the same values!
Giulia Sina: There are a variety of events. To name a few, in September, there was a collaboration with an Italian jewelry manufacturer. [We] also did a shared Italian cooking class with the IE Culinary Club in which we shared and cooked our traditional family recipes.
Giacomo Pedersoli: There have been club sessions with aperitivo and culinary events, as Giulia mentioned, but also cultural events and conferences.
Who can become an officer of the Italian Society? What would the process be to join? How much time as an officer do you put in?
F.M.: Anyone can become an officer of our Society. We need individuals that are highly motivated and precise. We ask for punctuality at meetings and, foremost, availability. Since last year we hired just Italians, this year we would love for the board to be even more international! At least 2 hours per week should be invested by every officer in our Society.
Great, now, how is this process looking over in Segovia?
Z.S.: Well, there are already applications for next year. We are looking for people to take over because we will move to Madrid next year. And the club works in both cities, so there is going to be new people coming here, and hopefully, they can take over. It is a quick application: a Google Form with a couple of things to fill out, and then you get to meet someone for an interview.
What do you see in the future of the Italian Society?
F.M.: I would love for it to expand even more and become one of the leading clubs in our university. I see the potential to grow even higher in the next few years and gain more followers along the way.
One day, maybe, we will manage the language department in Italian and be able to give as many insights as we can on our country through seminars as and talks with Italian business people!
G.S.: Definitely, I hope it continues to grow significantly. Hopefully, the Society will keep alive the Italian culture at IE.
What do you see in store for the Italian Society regarding events?
O.R.: We [hope to] see a lot of cool opportunities, for example, it would be cool to [organize] a field trip to Italy.
Thank you to both chapters’ Italian Society officers for sharing their experiences in this interview.
The Italian Society continues to create significant events where the IE community can learn more about authentic Italian culture.