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Italian Immersion only miles away! Scholarships are also available!

Italian Immersion only miles away! Scholarships are also available!

Anthony Julian Tamburri (April 20, 2008)

I had a recent conversation with Professor Calabretta-Sajder, Dean of the New Jersey Lago del Bosco camp. I asked him to respond to a few questions of mine so that I could share this with a larger public. Programs like Lago del Bosco only assist those of us in the Italian-language teaching community; they prepare students for more advanced course in high school and college. Furthermore, they provide students with that one key that gains them access to Italian culture: language!


Q: Professor Ryan Calabretta-Sajder, for those who may not know, what exactly is Lago del Bosco?

A: Lago del Bosco is the Italian Language Village, one of 15 language villages, which makes up Concordia Language Villages Summer Program. This year, Concordia has supported the creation of a second Lago del Bosco on the East Coast.  Located roughly an hour from NYC, Lago del Bosco Blairstown, New Jersey offers everything a summer camp would plus much more. Our philosophy in the language villages is "doing" foreign language — the program is honestly a language and cultural immersion program, for us in Italian, aimed at creating global citizens.

Q: How is the program structured? How long are the sessions?

A: At the New Jersey site, we offer two sessions: one, two week session and one, one week session. The first session runs Monday, August 4-Saturday, August 16; and then the second Monday, August 18-Saturday, August 23. The villagers spend the entire day involved with Italian language and culture through the communicative approach to language learning. The food is all authentic to true Italian cuisine, and each day villagers are exposed to different cultural (regional) themes as well as linguistic ones. During a typical day at camp, villagers are exposed to singing, Italian theatre (commedia d'arte), two language learning sessions, cultural activities, special performances, and everything else camp offers (for example high/low ropes courses, a zip line, wall climbing and rappelling).

Q: Who is the best candidate to attend? Children, young adults, adults?

A: At the New Jersey site, our program is offered to students 7-14. If you student/child is 15 or 16, please contact us... we will except him/her. At the Minnesota site, we offer high school credit for high school age students (a four-week program). Young adults who have a strong command of the language are encouraged to apply as staff. We also offer adult weekends at our Minnesota site throughout the academic year.

Q: Once someone attends a session, can they return? Are there different levels?

A: Many of our villagers return each year in all of our languages.  We offer a progression of levels.

Q: You have been involved with Lago del Bosco for some time. What are some of the success stories you can share with us?

A: This year marks my fourth year as staff with Concordia Language Villages. My first year as a counselor I had a villager who attended Lago del Bosco in preparation for a year abroad. This villager returned as staff after his experience and gave a lot back to the program. Currently he is a student at Harvard who will be spending his sophomore year abroad in France, with an internship in England this current summer (the reason why he cannot work with me in New Jersey).  This villager is a perfect example of a "global citizen."

Q: Where might we find more information?

A: For more information, please go to and check out the Italian New Jersey site or contact me directly, Ryan "Luca" Calabretta-Sajder at [email protected], or they can call me at 847.217.1630. Check us out TODAY!!! Plenty of scholarships opportunities still exist but the deadline is Thursday April 24, 2008, please contact Heather Vick ([email protected]) or myself.


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