A 93-year-old Ukrainian woman has passed her Italian exam at Perugia’s prestigious University for Foreigners and this has qualified her to take a degree course.
Sofia Maksymchuk, now retired, taught Ukrainian language and literature in a high school for more than 50 years. At the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February, Sofia, her daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter fled the bombardment and arrived in Umbria, Italy. They too attend the Perugia University Italian language program and they encouraged her to take the Italian test.
Perugia Rector Valerio De Cesaris congratulated her on her “energy and spirit”. Maksymchuk said “studying the Italian language is really interesting and the lessons are very enjoyable. “But the thing that surprised me the most was being welcomed with attention and joy by everyone: students, teachers and persons on the organizational side of things. “All young people who are making me feel a bit younger myself with each passing day”. Her teacher, Silvia Sposini, said what she had achieved was “phenomenal at her age”.