The Life of a Foreign Exchange Student

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The Life of a Foreign Exchange Student

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Ever had a friend that was a foreign exchange student? Ever wanted to meet one and see what actually goes on in their head? Do not fret, because Mountain Ridge foreign exchange student Ludovica Vargiu explains her experiences.

  • Where are you from?
    • I’m from Italy.
  • What is a general difference you find between your home country and here?
    • there are a lot of differences, first of all the types of food we eat, our school system and the teenager lifestyle in general.
  • How is the education system here different from your home country?
    • It’s completely different. In Italy we have 5 years of high school instead of 4. Everyone from the same year stays in one class, so there’s no difference between people who were born in March or December, but if you were born between January and April you could start school earlier. We also don’t change classes; there’s more than one class for every grade, but we stay with the same people for 5 years. We don’t choose our classes, but we have different type of school [subjects] ( scientific, classic, languages, arts, technology etc.), there’s everything. It’s really different also the way that we study; we don’t have that much of projects and homework, but we have really hard tests where you have to study like 70 pages. And at the end of our 5 years, we have a really hard written test and oral test about every subject and about everything we studied in high school. That determinate first if you graduate and also it can help you to being accepted in some colleges. We also don’t have any activities or sports at school, so we just do clubs outside the school.
  • Did you travel here with a friend or did you come here alone?
    • I came here by myself.
  • When did you come here?
    • I arrived to New York on the 31st of July and stayed there for a welcome camp with other exchange students, then came here in Arizona the 2nd of August.
  • What made you decide to become a foreign exchange student?
    • I’ve wanted to do this experience since 8th grade. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and learn something about other countries.
  • What was your first impression of America?
    • Well I’ve been to America before, so I kinda already had an idea, but of course it was that everyone is unhealthy and kinda lazy.
  • How do you feel about the environment live in?
    • I like Arizona and people here are actually really nice. Italian people are more “friendly” and give more confidence from the beginning, but anyway I made friends here. And my host family is really nice and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity that they’re giving me.
  • What do you miss most about your country?
    • Well I’m Italian so of course the food! But of course also my family and my friends, especially my mom!
  • If you could bring one thing from your country, what would it be?
    • My moka( it’s a coffee machine) which I actually did bring! Couldn’t live without my coffee!
  • Why did you chose Arizona of all states?
    • I didn’t choose the state. I just chose America; it depends on where the host family that picks you is from.
  • Are there any places you heard about in America that you want to see?
    • I’d really like to see the Grand Canyon and the Mount Rushmore.
  • Do you currently play any sports at Mountain Ridge?
    • Yes, I’m on the swim team.
  • What are some things you are looking forward to trying this year at Ridge? Arizona?
    • I would like to do as many clubs as possible here at Ridge.
    • In Arizona probably go to the Grand Canyon and going to a lake trip.
  • Do you plan to have your family come and visit sooner or later?
    • I don’t think so; they would come if I actually graduated, but unfortunately they won’t let me.
  • What are some restrictions you have because of your visa?
    • I can’t work while I’m here, and of course I also can’t drink or use drugs.
  • What do you plan to take out of this experience?
    • I want to improve my English and have a more open mind.
  • Do you have a word of advice to give other people who plan to study abroad?
    • Don’t be afraid! You don’t have that much time here and 10 months are gonna fly!
  • If a friend of yours asks you the craziest or weirdest thing you have ever seen or heard in America, what would you tell them?
    • How you cook and eat Italian food and pretend it’s actually Italian, it’s not!
  • Were there any preconceived ideas you had about America? Were they accurate? Why or why not?
    • It was probably the unhealthy diet, which is kind of true, of course not for everybody.