My time in the MLL department at William and Mary has been some of the most enriching of my college experience. I’ve become close with my Italian classmates and professors in this sort of mini-community that has supported me and given me the courage to use Italian to explore the world, to explore my strengths and weaknesses, and to push myself out of my comfort zone – many, many times. The MLL department encouraged me to study abroad in Perugia, Italy, Professor Boyle mentored me as a TA, and helped me plan a return to Italy to study the current European immigration crisis in Turin. Using the Italian language to connect with people and understand their lives and challenges helped me to think about language as a way to bridge cultures and communities in ways that encourage peace. I hope to continue working in this vein after graduation during my time with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.