Students without Borders

Ciao+Lipscomb%21
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Students without Borders

Ciao Lipscomb!

Ciao Lipscomb!

Ciao Lipscomb!

Ciao Lipscomb!

Haley Grizzell, Author

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What is your full name?
Gaia Antonia Santacroce

How old are you and where were you born?
I am 17 now, but will be 18 in February. I was born in Rome, Italy.

Any sisters, brothers, or pets?
I have a little sister! Her name is Sofia and she is 8. I also have a turtle named Salsiccia (Sausage) that is 12.

How do you like America so far? What has been different to you personally?                                                                                                                I love America! Sometimes I really do think that this country could be my home forever! It’s so different from where I was born and raised. (Italy is beautiful too!) Everything here is bigger. The food is a lot different. (The pasta and pizza that you have here are not even close to the originals.) Religion is different. I mean, in Italy we are all Catholic, while here you have many different types (church of Christ, baptist, Methodist, etc.) that I had never even heard about before coming to Nashville. The school is completely different. While here you have just one type of high school and can  choose the subjects that you want to take, in Italy we have at least thirty different types of high schools, each one focused on a particular field. Mine is the Classical where we study a lot of literature (Italian and international), Ancient Greek, Latin, philosophy, etc. We also have five years of high school and at the end of those we have a “big test” where we have to write a long essay (5/6 pages at least), to translate a text from Latin or Greek. Then we take a math test and  general tests about all the other subjects. At the end of that test-week , there is an oral test over all subjects that lasts one hour circa. Furthermore, we do not have lockers and we do not change classrooms. The teachers rotate rooms instead. We also have a different schedule for each day of the week.

What is your least and most thing about being an exchange student?
My least favorite thing is that I will get to know all of these new people and then have to leave after ten months (which might seem like a short period, but while you are living it, it’s never ending!). My favorite thing is that I’m never bored. There are always new things to do, that maybe for you is normal life, but for me is completely new! (The first time that I opened my locker I almost screamed in happiness!).

Would you commend others to be in a foreign exchange program?                                                                                                                                  Of course! I recommend this kind of experience to everyone! It makes you grow so much! It is hard sometimes because language can be a tall wall to surpass, but nothing in life is easy. We just have to be strong. I’m living my dream and now all my future life goals don’t seem so hard to reach! If I can do this, I really can do everything.  I want to conclude with a Fellini (a famous Italian film maker) quote that I always keep in my mind since coming to the USA: ” A different language is a different vision of the world.” After living here for two months and just English speaking, I’m really starting to see the world with completely different eyes, but never forgetting my Italian world view.

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