Interview with Dott.ssa Giulia-Williams, director and founder of La Dante in Cambridge.
Why did you decide to found La Dante in Cambridge?
Giulia-Williams: For a long time, I thought that an Italian Cultural Centre and a Dante Alighieri was important for Cambridge. An international town with about 5000 Italians back in 2008, this number is a lot higher now.
I started a research project and realised that there was a need for a cultural association like the Dante Alighieri not only to attract the Italian community but also for promoting Italian language and culture to British people whose love for our country comes from Shakespeare, Keats and of course our film traditions who celebrate the ‘language of love’….Italian language. We now have a wonderful range of people who use our library, come to classes, listen to our bilingual radio Radio Dante, or come along to seminars on language and culture.
What are the general activities of La Dante in Cambridge?
La Dante is a no profit Bilingual European Cultural Association, officially recognized by La Dante Alighieri Society. As a bilingual cultural centre, we promote the Italian language and culture in the UK and the English language for Italian children, teenagers and adults. We organize Italian courses and cultural events in partnership with the University of Cambridge, Dept of Italian during the year as well as arranging programmes for learning English in UK.
Which are the goals of La Dante in Cambridge?
La Dante is a “bridge” between Italian and English culture. Our goal is to provide a language learning experience which is more available and affordable for all. We would like to spread the beauty of our Italian culture worldwide. We organise language courses where people can communicate in Italian as well as going to seminars, cooking classes or Italian concerts. We also give Italian graduates an opportunity for an internship in Cambridgeshire in their areas of expertise. We help Italians in improving their English for work purposes and give children and teenagers the chance for full immersion courses and activities.
Tell us one of the unique aspects of La Dante.
La Dante created Radio Dante the first bilingual Italian / English radio programme in Cambridge. Radio Dante embraces a huge range of Italian cultural topics: music, food, cinema, education, history. This is run by enthusiastic volunteers and the collaboration of a not for profit community radio like Cambridge 105.
Which is your most important challenges in 2016?
Our most demanding challenge for 2016 is to consolidate the Study and Career Programme which gives Italian graduates a unique chance to have an internship in the Uk in a firm in Cambridgeshire. The programme is ideal for graduates who want to have a work experience abroad or want to start a career in the United Kingdom. Italian graduates will work in an English work environment and we will train them in English.