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Keith McCord ReportingCalling all foreign language college students! Here's a special opportunity -- how would you like to get a semester of credit in a foreign county, and then go work at the Olympics? It's an idea that was hatched right here in Utah.
BYU has a "Study Abroad" program scheduled for the fall semester of 2005 in Torino, Italy, site of the 2006 Winter Games. Students who are accepted will complete the semester, and then hang around and work as Olympic volunteers.
The volunteer effort at Salt Lake's Olympics two years ago was very successful. And two of those volunteers, now want to do something for the 2006 games in Italy.
Cinzia Noble is the Chair of the French and Italian Department at BYU; Giuliana Marple is an Italian instructor at the University of Utah. Both are from Italy and extremely excited that the Olympics will be held there. Now they are working together to get involved again, and help students at the same time.
Cinzia Noble, Prof. of Italian, BYU: “So our plan is to have our study abroad program in 2005 before the winter Olympics. We’ll advertise that to all students who are interested.”
Who wouldn't be interested in studying for a semester in one of Italy's most beautiful areas? Courses will include history, art, European studies, and others. Italian will be taught, of course, but Noble and Marple want to select students who speak other foreign languages as well. During the games, these students will work with visiting Olympic committees and delegations as guides and translators.
Noble and Marple visited Torino last month. Local officials and educators are excited about their plan.
Giuliana Marple, Italian Instructor, U. of U.: “For them what was really intriguing as far as our project was concerned was the fact of finding very specific people who could speak specific languages that are not widely spoken.”
On their recent visit, Marple and Noble visited several of the venues. Many are ready to go, others still under construction. But with 700 days to go, preparations seem to be on track.
Giuliana Marple, Italian Instructor, U. of U.: “I was really impressed. They are doing well.”
This program is for college students only. Up to 150 will be selected, and students can be from any college in Utah. If you want to be a "regular" volunteer, the Torino Olympic Committee has a program set up and you can apply through their website.