As one of 23 students awarded an Eduitalia scholarship, Nick will spend three weeks in 2021 studying Italian language and culture at the Scuola Dante Alighieri in Recanati. All students who took the 2020 AP Italian Language and Culture exam were eligible to apply, according to the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C, website
“I’m excited. I think this is a great opportunity,” Nick said, “I think this is another way to gain more of a global perspective, which I don’t think is a bad thing.”
On October 21, he joined other award recipients, their family members, teachers, and consulate generals from Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles for a virtual award ceremony.
“It was interesting,” he said. “At one point, there were like 54 people on it — it was a little bit chaotic.”
It has been a long road for Nick. He studied Italian in a classroom setting his freshman through junior year; however, he was forced into independent study his senior year due to scheduling issues. During this time, much of Valenta’s studies included reading and writing, while 2020 would see some AP exam changes.
“COVID hit, and all of the foreign language and culture AP exams switched to oral-only,” he recalled “There was no writing whatsoever, which is basically the exact opposite of what I had done.”
Nick hopes that his time spent in Recanati will help him become more conversant in the Italian language. As a nursing student at Case Western University, he also sees this as an opportunity to propel his career path.
“If I ever have a patient that needs a translator, I might be able to help with that,” he said.
A recipient of a Global Studies certificate, he is also interested in gaining a new perspective. He finds living on his own, somewhere that’s “very foreign,” appealing.
“I’m essentially living on my own right now, but, I mean, I’m in Cleveland.”