+italiano suspends its activities
Institutional Communication Service
15 July 2019
The activities of +italiano – the initiative that USI Università della Svizzera italiana launched eight years ago with the intent to foster a greater knowledge of the language and culture of the Italian-speaking regions of Switzerland among students from the different linguistic regions of the country, have been suspended for the difficulties in raising third-party funds, leading thus the University to progressively reduce the number of projects proposed.
The activities of +italiano, which were developed in line with the priorities underlined by the Federal Council for supporting minority languages in Switzerland, will be suspended at the end of 2019. +italiano has evolved into a genuine platform for exchange and an incubator of ideas for the Italian language, launching the debate on the proactive role that the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland can play in promoting itself among other Swiss regions and in creating networks, at a time when teaching Italian in different cantons is easily challenged and the image of the southern Alpine region is often still stuck in the stereotype of the “Sonnenstube”.
Through the cooperation with both Cantonal and Federal institutions, thousands of students have been involved in the activities of +italiano, affecting also the public opinion on both sides of the Alps. Among these, in particular, we find the itinerant project "+identità: Settimana della Svizzera italiana" which, since 2013, has reached as many as 9 Cantons (VS, AR, BS, LU, VD, BE, JU, FR, ZG) through exchanges between high school classes, organized in collaboration with the Division of Higher Education of the Canton Ticino, thematic events and the involvement of public officials and elected representatives.
Since 2012, +italiano has also proposed Summer Language Studies Abroad, an initiative representing an opportunity to improve the knowledge of the Italian language among high school students in Switzerland. The eighth and final edition, which will end on July 30, 2019, sees the participation of many host families from the Lugano region, which are involved thanks to the collaboration with the Liceo Cantonale Lugano 1 and Lugano 2.
USI would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff members who developed and managed the initiative - in particular Nicole Bandion, founder and head of the office +italiano - as well as all the people from the various linguistic regions involved in the several activities in recent years for their important contribution.
The committment of USI to the Italian language remains nevertheless alive through the academic activities of the Istituto di studi italiani (ISI), which offers a complete curricula in Italian - and numerous cultural activities related to the Italian language, literature and civilisation - and the free Italian language courses offered to non-Italian speaking students from other regions of Switzerland and from more than 100 countries around the world.
Further information on the activities organised over the years by +italiano are available at: www.usi.ch/en/piuitaliano