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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Fulbright Scholar spends her evenings in Roma

    Andrea Nesteruk’s lifelong dream of teaching is coming true all because of the Fulbright scholarship she won. Nesteruk has been given the opportunity to teach English for a year in Rome.

    The summa cum laude graduate of Stony Brook University’s class of 2010 says she has a few hopes for the year she will be spending in Rome. “I hope to make a positive impression on the Italian students I will be teaching,” said Nesteruk. “I hope to drastically improve my linguistic skills as well as deepen my understanding of the Italian culture.”

    With an Italian mother and a father who is passionate about all things Italian, Nesteruk has been immersed in the Italian culture since she was a child.

    The music of Mario Lanza, an Italian-American singer, constantly filled the air of her home because her father Zeke Nesteruk loved to sing along to it.

    Dinner often consisted of Italian dishes that Nesteruk helped her father prepare. She eventually got her own cookbook of Italian recipes.

    “She is my Italian daughter,” said Zeke Nesteruk, describing the bond he shares for the love of Italy with only his youngest daughter.

    The only thing Nesteruk did not know well was how to speak Italian. She began taking Italian as a foreign language in high school and in 10th grade she carried a notebook around that was filled with Italian words she had learned.

    During that 10th grade foreign language class she also met her fiancé, Giannis Miras.

    He would later on be the reason Nesteruk is teaching in Rome today.

    Miras, a student at Fordham University, was recommended by a counselor to apply for the Fulbright Scholarship because of high grades, but with further research into what the scholarship had to offer he suggested that his girlfriend apply for it because it was everything she wanted to do. “I think this is a really good opportunity for you to live in Italy for a year and get immersed in the culture and language,” Miras told Nesteruk.

    So Nesteruk applied. She did not get the scholarship, but that did not discourage Nesteruk from her dream. “She always wanted to be a teacher,” said Zeke Nesteruk. “She always wanted to teach Italian.”

    After persistence and determination, she worked to improve her chances to win and a year later she applied for the Fulbright scholarship again. “I knew I was qualified to receive the scholarship, but I didn’t actually think I would get it,” said Nesteruk, but she was wrong.

    Nesteruk went to Rome in July and will be there until next July. During her time there, she helps create lessons as an English teacher’s assistant. She will also be giving presentations on different cultural aspects of America and will hold a book club where she will read an American novel after school with the students.

    “I think she found the thing she is supposed to be doing in life,” said Miras, who is willing to move to Italy if his fiancée is offered a job to teach.

    “I am extremely proud of her,” said Miras.

    You can follow Nesteruk’s experiences in Rome on her blog, www.romerica.blogspot.com.

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