Daniela, Outbound to Italy

Heyy everyone, It has been 3 months already and It feels unreal is like I arrived yesterday. I'm currently living in my second host family in Modica, which is located in southeastern Sicily with my host mom Donatella, my host dad Luca and my two little host sisters Anna and Flavia (these little ones are amazing by the way) and we have two cats Fufi and Felix.

When I arrived here the only thing I could think of was how I was going to introduce myself and thank my host parents in Italian, I kept practicing over and over in the plane. All the hard work for nothing since I forgot everything I memorized when I saw my first host family. They were right there waiting for me, my host dad, mom and little brother with a sign that said: “Benvenuta a Italia Daniela” they were absolutely nice and welcoming. That same day at night they had taken me out to see the center of the town to exhibit and learn some of the most important aspects of Modica. It was amazing and unbelievable to see such a small town but with so much history and landscapes representing other periods of time.

For school, the system in Italy is a little bit different from the USA since high schools are divided into different types of subjects like art, scientific, cooking, musical, classical and linguistic. Linguistic schools tend to have more girls since the majority of guys are “suppose” to attend a Scientific school. I attend Liceo Linguistico Verga which is 5 minutes away from my house. I'm basically taking Spanish literature, Italian literature, history of art and Religion in 4LNB - which is the second to last year of high school. I have 24 classmates, 22 girls, and 2 guys... yes, 2 guys. I had to start school 2 days after I had arrived. So you could imagine how I was feeling nervous, anxious, worried and definitely tired but it ended up being a satisfactory day. I had met students from Rotary and other exchange programs since it's a requirement to take Italian lessons in lower-class grades. Communication was not really a problem because everyone in my class speaks English or Spanish, understanding Italian for me was not too hard but I could definitely say my Italian speaking skills have improved a lot since I came and a percentage is thanks to my classmates since from day one they were very helpful in teaching me and correcting my Italian.

So far I have been in Rome-Tivoli for my first Rotary orientation with all the exchange students from Italy, travel around Sicily to Catania, Palermo, Siracusa, Pozzallo, and Pachino with my host family and exchange friends. I'm beyond happy with the memories, friendships, and knowledge I have built over these past months. I had the opportunity to meet different people from all over the world, learn their culture and important aspects about them and where they come from, travel together, try new food and so many other things. I can't wait for what's coming up next in this amazing chapter of my life!!

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