Two CS Students Who Love Italy Build Virtual Reality Language Program

Clara Hunnewell and Bridget Went

While studying in Bologna, Italy, for a semester, two Bowdoin computer science majors were inspired to try to recreate their time abroad for students back in Maine.

“We came up with this idea to mimic the experience we were having being totally immersed in the Italian language,” Bridget Went ’17 said. “Being in an environment where the language is spoken helps our ability to synthesize components of the language and improves our fluency.”

At the Università di Bologna, Went and Clarissa Hunnewell ’17 partnered with two Italian peers to begin building a virtual reality tool for learning Italian. They made enough progress with the program, originally a desktop platform they called Esplora, that they decided to continue working on it after returning to Bowdoin. Read the story in Bowdoin News.

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