Minor: Engineering and Italian
Class of 2020
Written by Rebecca Slavik
Juan Tramontin was born in Caracas, Venezuela to a Lebanese mother and an Italian father, both first-generation immigrants to the Latin American country. He recalls his childhood, and growing up speaking Spanish primarily with a few Arabic and Italian words mixed in. “That blend of cultures,” he begins, “was my favorite part of growing up: we had the spice of a Lebanese family and the family values of an Italian one.” This blend of cultures was communicated through Spanish.
He moved to the United States at a young age and began learning English, which is now the language he speaks primarily. Return trips to Venezuela throughout his summers were vital in maintaining his connection to the country of his birth. In kindergarten, he began to learn English and through friends and practice he found himself using it as his primary language.
“My grandfather painted such a picture of Italy, his home country,” he went on to describe the man who inspired him daily to reach out to his Italian roots and study abroad. “I knew I had to study abroad and make it over there, I just knew it,” he added.
Click here to finish the story and learn more about Juan's time abroad!
Return to Roots: Juan Tramontin (Italian minor)