A conversation with an Italian exchange student

Round Table editor Kate Willinger spoke with Italian exchange student Giulia Crosti about her time attending Stamford High School.

What did you expect coming to the United States?

I was expecting the high schools that are commonly depicted in American movies. Big gyms, big cafeterias, and lockers. I am not disappointed at all, and watching high school movies definitely made it easier for me to adjust in this new environment .

What were your first impressions of school in the United States?

“This school is really different, with the lockers it was like a movie really and so school in Italy was more just about studying”. In Italy, we don’t have tennis courts or football fields. Seeing all the differences between schools was beautiful. We don’t change classes each period in Italy,

And having the opportunity to change classes allows you to meet more people. I also appreciate that we can choose our classes based on our interests.

What is the contrast between school in the United States and school in Italy?

First of all, we have five years of high school. School in Italy is also from Monday to Saturday, 40 hours a week. We don’t choose our subjects. We go to school strictly for studying. Additionally, teachers are more respected in Italy, unlike the more lenient relationships students have with teachers here. Back in Italy, I took fourteen subjects in one school year. School is also from 8:00 to 5:00, so there is not much time for after school activities such as club or sports. We have many more presentations here in the United States, but more homework in Italy. I like the education system in America better because you grow more as a person by engaging with others through clubs and sports. Going to school in  the United States made me realize how not only are learning academics important, but also being educated through other outlets like participating in extracurricular activities. Additionally, the small conversations I have with my peers in class or in between classes in the hallways are very valuable since I was not able to do so in Italy.

What clubs or sports are you involved in?

I am in drama club, music club, fashion club, and I am also part of the tennis team. Before coming to the United States, I wanted to be a doctor. After taking economics with Mr. Larusso, I am now influenced to pursue a career in finance.