An Italian Immersion
A psychology major combines two passions for an unforgettable summer abroad.
Julia Jamka ’21 fell in love with Italian history and culture back in middle school, when she started taking Italian language classes. A psychology major, she’s also fascinated by neuroscience and the reasons why people do what they do.
So when a psychology professor told her about an Italian summer program in behavioral communication, Jamka seized the opportunity. Now she’s spending five weeks in the medieval Italian city of Perugia, studying at the Umbra Institute and soaking up the Italian way of life.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Italy,” Jamka says. “I’m so excited to see the places I’ve been learning about and experience all the culture that I’ve read about. I want to see as many cities as I can, so I’m going to do a lot of traveling.”
Italy is not Jamka’s only overseas destination this summer. A week after she returns home in July, she’ll head to England to spend a week observing neuropsychology care at a hospital in Oxford. Jamka, who’s planning a career in neuroscience research, says she pursued the opportunity as a way of getting an inside look at the medical side of the field.
“Even though I don’t plan to work directly in health care, I know I’ll be working with doctors in my research,” she says. “This will be a great opportunity to get some experience with that.”
A transfer student at Elmhurst, Jamka has immersed herself in the University’s student life. She’s a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega and will become the organization’s vice president for service in the fall. She’s also a member of Union Board and the University’s lacrosse team.
“At Elmhurst there are lots of opportunities to explore and put yourself out there,” she says. “That’s helped me grow and become more willing to try new things.”
I’m not sure exactly what to expect this summer, but I know I want to soak up everything I can from my experiences.—Julia Jamka ’20