Taking on America

A Foreign Exchange Student's Experience at Round Rock

Sophia+Piazzo+%28left%29+poses+with+her+host+sister%2C+Carolina+Carretero+%28right%29+on+the+first+day+of+school
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Taking on America

Sophia Piazzo (left) poses with her host sister, Carolina Carretero (right) on the first day of school

Sophia Piazzo (left) poses with her host sister, Carolina Carretero (right) on the first day of school

Sophia Piazzo

Sophia Piazzo (left) poses with her host sister, Carolina Carretero (right) on the first day of school

Sophia Piazzo

Sophia Piazzo

Sophia Piazzo (left) poses with her host sister, Carolina Carretero (right) on the first day of school

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Traveling to a different country can be a difficult and scary task, especially when you’re traveling to live with a family for a year halfway across the world. That is exactly what happened to junior Sophia Piazzo when she left her hometown of Pradova, Italy to experience what it’s like to experience an American high school. 

 

“I really miss my family,” Piazzo said. “It’s hard not to when you won’t be able to see them for a year, but they really wanted me to come here and I couldn’t be happier that I decided to come.”

 

Once she landed on July 17, Piazzo spent her first three days on American soil exploring New York City before making her way to Round Rock. Once here Piazzo met her host family, junior Carolina Carretero, and her parents. Piazzo didn’t stay in Texas long though. As a few days later she was on another plane, but to Hawaii this time. 

 

“It was so beautiful in Hawaii,” Piazzo said. “I had so much fun being able to explore more of America and really bond with my host family.”  

 

It wasn’t long after returning from paradise that school started. Navigating school was a weird and interesting experience for Piazzo as Italian school systems are very different. Instead of trekking across the school from classroom to classroom, students stay in a single classrooms and it is the teachers who move from classroom to classroom. It was also new for her to eat lunch at school as her old school got let out before it was time for a mid-day meal and had no cafeteria as well. Along with school ending before lunch she says, it is strange to see teenage drivers because the legal age you can drive in Italy is 18. Along with the driving Piazzo is also realizing how many more classes there are here. She is taking AP French, Spanish III, Astronomy, theater arts, journalism, English, US history, and geometry.

 

“Everything about American high schools is so different from my school back home,” Piazzo said. “I’ve never been able to experience so many different classes at the same time and I’ve never seen and been able to take more than fives classes back home.”

 

The transition to any new school is hard, but one in a different country speaking a language that isn’t your native one is exceptionally hard. For Piazzo though, she’s embraced the change and her love for this process continues to grow. Even with the homesickness and still being unfamiliar with her surroundings an experience like Piazzo is getting is one she knows she won’t forget. She gets to go to a new country, meet new people, discover new things, and gain a whole new perspective of another country.

  

“I actually prefer American high school,” Piazzo said, “It is so much more fun and I’m very excited to see what the rest of my year here has in store for me.”