United Studies Student of the Week Spotlight - Ludo from Italy!

16 May 2020

Meet Ludo, our United Studies Student of the Week!


TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXCHANGE YEAR IN VIRGINIA


I live in a small town in Virginia and I went to the local high school. Everyone welcomed me really well and both teachers and classmates were really nice to me. I admit that I had some difficulties making friends at the beginning, but taking part in some of the activities at the school made it easier to open up. I took part to the art club for a period of time and then I joined winter track, which was what made me actually open up more and make new friends. Both my teammates and coaches taught me many valuable lessons and helped me getting through my limits, always encouraging me to do my best even when I didn't felt like I was failing. 

My host family also took a great part in my experience here: I was for the first time in my life the big sister and I really grew attached to the two little monsters that I now call sisters. 




My host parents were also really nice and from the beginning they made me feel like I was a part of the family.






YOU WERE DOUBLE HOSTED WITH ANOTHER GIRL FROM SPAIN.  HOW DID YOU LIKE THAT?

It was really good cause i got to experience also another culture. It was also really helpful because some days I would talk to her and know that something that happened to me also happened to her and we would exchange advice and funny stories.




HOW DOES LIFE IN VIRGINIA COMPARE TO LIFE IN ITALY?

Life in Virginia is a little different from life in Italy, it is definitely colder so if you are used to sunny places I recommend buying a warm jacket. High school is also much different: there are so many fun activities such as spirit weeks, football games, clubs and sports and I have to say I really enjoyed all of those.




WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO ON AN EXCHANGE YEAR?


I decided to go on an exchange year because I was always attracted to the US and it's one dream of mine to travel the world and experience different cultures. So I thought to myself, why not try with this incredible opportunity?


WHAT SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT YOUR LIFE IN THE US?

One of the things that surprised me the most of Virginia is the nature: there are so many trail walks and places were you can go hiking, I really enjoyed all of them with my host family.





HOW DID COVID-19 IMPACT YOUR EXCHANGE YEAR?

COVID-19 really impacted my exchange year: I can't go to school anymore and I can't even see my friends and spend time with them. I also can't take part in spring track or any other activity such as graduation and prom because everything got cancelled, which is a pity because I really looked forward for all of them. It also impacted in a positive way though cause I now have much more time to spend with my host family and I think that it helped us bonding even more as we all found different ways to spend time together.




WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MEMORIES SO FAR?


I think it's really difficult for me to decide which were my favorite experiences as I really enjoyed everything. But if I had to choose I would probably say the first time I saw snow and went sledding with my host sisters; I would also choose the football games because I always had lots of fun and I think represent a big part of the American culture and finally I would choose my competitions during winter track cause they made me gain more confidence and made me form bonds with my teammates.






WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE FUTURE EXCHANGE STUDENTS?

Other than bringing a warm jacket I would encourage any exchange student to get involved in activities as much as they can and to always be open and ready for all the fun experiences that they can have here with their host family and friends!



Want to learn more about hosting an exchange student like Ludo?  Visit our WEBSITE for more information!  










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