While studying abroad in Bologna, Italy, Tony Trandafir ’24 (law & policy, political science, Italian studies) worked as an English-language teaching assistant and volunteered in a soup kitchen. Back in the States, he served as a Dickinson community advisor and as an admissions fellow and volunteer and interned at the Cumberland County Courthouse and in a county district attorney’s office in Nevada. Learn why he says his year abroad was his greatest Dickinson highlight so far, why he feels a sense of community at Dickinson and more.
Los Angeles, California/Las Vegas, Nevada (I just moved to Las Vegas).
Clubs and organizations:
Posse Scholarship, Biagi Scholarship, Dean’s List and Pi Sigma Alpha.
11/22/63 by Stephen King.
Best thing about my Dickinson experience:
It would have to be my year abroad in Bologna, Italy, during the 2022-23 academic year. I had a fantastic time improving my language ability and learning about Italian culture. This experience allowed me to travel to a new country with other Dickinsonians, continue to receive support from Dickinson faculty members and explore what it meant to be a global citizen. My time abroad was rewarding because I volunteered at a soup kitchen and worked as an English teaching assistant at a high school in Bologna, which allowed me to feel highly connected to the local community.
On choosing Dickinson:
Initially, I was drawn to Dickinson because of the college’s focus on sustainability. Throughout the application process, I constantly spoke with my admissions counselor, who always tried to learn new things about me and took time to have meaningful conversations. Throughout the application process, I felt a sense of community at Dickinson that I did not experience at any other institution. I thought it would be a wonderful place to spend the next four years.
Favorite place on campus:
Morgan Field, because I like sitting outside with my friends on a nice day.
It would have to be Social Activism in Italy, taught by Bruno Grazioli, contributing lecturer and director of the Italian studies program in Bologna. This course was unique, because we discussed various forms of social activism globally and how activism has evolved in Italy over recent years. The course was also a Community Engaged Learning course, meaning we engaged in learning opportunities outside the classroom. For example, we volunteered at two soup kitchens in Bologna, where we provided meals for impoverished communities in Bologna. Overall, this course pushed me to explore my relationship with activism and encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone while living in Bologna.
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …
… Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
On studying abroad:
Studying abroad for a year in Bologna expanded my worldview in ways I did not think were possible. I improved my Italian language skills and had the opportunity to learn in new environments while taking classes at the University of Bologna and Johns Hopkins SAIS. Besides my academic pursuits, the highlight of my experience was reconnecting with my family in Romania after not visiting them for more than six years. I also traveled to many new countries, which would not have been possible without my experience abroad.
About my internships:
My first internship at Dickinson was as a judicial intern at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Carlisle, with Judge [and Dickinson Trustee] Albert Masland ’79. The second was a summer internship with the Clark County District Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas. Both internships gave me practical experience in the legal field and allowed me to explore various aspects of the law. Additionally, these opportunities augmented many of the theoretical legal concepts I studied throughout my coursework as a law & policy and political science major. They solidified my aspirations of attending law school after graduating and allowed me to be an active community member, which I always look to do.
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Published September 2, 2023