Jacksonville High School welcomes exchange student from Italy

Kylie McCaherty, Staff Writer

Every school year, Jacksonville High School welcomes foreign exchange students from all sorts of countries. Giorgia Calvia is one of this year’s students. She is 17 years old and from Italy.

 She decided to spend a year in America through the foreign exchange program because she wanted to improve her English, and she thought that living here with new people could be a life-changing opportunity. Giorgia said that the United States is just as she expected it to be. “It’s like a movie. I’m living my American dream,” says Giorgia. 

In Italy, she lives in a small seaside town in Sardinia, a big island where the weather is very warm. She has never seen snow and is not used to cold weather. For fun she goes to the disco with her friends, to the bar, to the cinema, and to restaurants. She said that sometimes she will even spend the whole night with her friends on the beach. When talking about kids her age from Italy compared to Americans, she says, “I think we have more freedom!”

She talks about a few of the differences between America and Italy. At her school back home, the students do not change rooms and they are with the same classmates all day. They also do not get to choose the subject of a class they are taking but rather the type of school in general. For example, Giorgia chose to be in a school where the most important subjects are Latin and Ancient Greek. 

She also says there are some differences in the food. For breakfast, she eats sweeter things like bread with nutella or milk with cacao, but in America she only eats foods like eggs, bacon and bread. They also do not eat lunch at school, and the lunches they eat are a lot bigger. She said that Americans eat a lot of junk food and always eat snacks. To her, “The portions are so big.” 

When she goes back back to Italy after this school year, she will still have another year of school left because they have five years of high school. After that she plans to go to University and study international relationships and diplomacy. She is enjoying the United States and she is glad that she gets to spend a year of her life living here.