My name is Rachel Fryer Dommel and I am a student at George Washington University in Washington, DC. I am studying Classics and International Affairs. I chose to study in Sorrento because I have always wanted to study in Italy and as a Classics Major, Sant’Anna offered a lot of course options. Here I am taking Ancient Greek and am doing an Archaeology field study course, and I am very happy with my choice.
I chose Ancient Greek because for Classics, I only had experience with taking classes in Latin and about Rome and the ancient Near East, and I wanted the opportunity to learn more about Greek history, language, and culture. I figured learning the language was the first step for understanding and learning more about Greek history.
As for the difficulty of learning a new language with a different alphabet, I have prior experience learning Arabic so navigating a new alphabet was not as difficult as it could have been. I was able to separate the new alphabet, grammar, and vocabulary from the other languages I’ve learned. It is a little challenging at times because some of the letters look like Latin letters but have different sounds.
So far, I am enjoying learning Ancient Greek here at Sant’Anna because I am experiencing one-on-one instruction. My professor is always available to answer questions I have about word origins and linguistics and enjoys my curiosity with language. Having personalized instruction really allows me to ask whatever questions I may have and go at the pace I am comfortable with. Since I have previous experience with learning other languages, we are moving faster than we might be with more students and I am learning a lot.
In the future, I want to continue learning more languages and more about ancient Greece so this course will provide me with the skills to do so. I hope to become more knowledgeable about all aspects of classics. For my career, I am not positive about what I want to do but I hope to work in politics. Having a background in many foreign languages is helpful for that, even if they are ancient and not spoken anymore, because it expands your outlook and understanding of how things work. Also, many ways the United States conducts politics are similar to Greek and Roman times so learning more about ancient history is useful for understanding our legislative system.