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A New Perspective: Milano, Italy

Ciao! Mi chiamo Giacomo Bassi e sono un exchange student a Tam dall’Italia. Ho quasi diciotto anni e frequento la quarta liceo, ma non sono all’ultimo anno di scuola! Presentarsi in una scuola dove l’anno di frequenza conta e non appartenere veramente a nessuno e’ stata una prima difficoltà. Ma presto ho imparato ad apprezzare l’essere un quasi senior in mezzo ai senior e un super junior in mezzo ai junior. L’Italia ha mille pregi ma la scuola superiore di cinque anni di certo non e’ uno. Come ogni altro studente italiano finirò il liceo a 19 anni. Si, avete indovinato. La scuola italiana funziona diversamente. Prima di tutto andiamo a scuola il sabato e la giornata scolastica dura di solito tra mezzogiorno e l’una. Le materie sono anche loro molto diverse e non e’ dato agli studenti di scegliersi le proprie. Dal primo anno di liceo frequento Latino, Inglese, Francese e Fisica oltre alle classiche Matematica, Italiano, Storia, Scienze e Motoria. In oltre il mio gruppo classe rimane lo stesso per tutto il giorno e durante gli interi cinque anni. Entrare a Tam fu un gran cambiamento, in gran parte per il giusto verso.  I prof sono più’ amichevoli e un “Bella prof come va oggi?” non si e’ e non si sara’ mai visto.  Tutto questo atmosfera di benvenuto a fatto probabilmente in modo che il mio anno ha spaccato tutto (come diremmo noi). Bella per tutti voi.

Anche se il mio accento e le mie abilità di pallanuoto erano mediamente pessime, mi sono sentito a mio agio subito ovunque andavo. La lingua all’inizio rappresentava un ostacolo specialmente in classi facili come Inglese e Matematica.

A Tam mi sono sempre divertito tantissimo, partendo dal primo rally a i pranzi nei posti classici degli studenti di Tam. Tutti gli studenti internazionali poi hanno reso le giornate sempre divertenti e se venite durante tutorial nella classe di Mr Levinson vi accorgerete di quante lingue in realtà si parlano a Tam.

Per ultima cosa tutte le memes a proposito degli Italiani fanno abbastanza ridere ma mostrano come l’immagine del tutto stereotipata cade lontano dalla realtà. Tam restera’ sempre con me, e grazie a Mr Lapp nella mia libreria musicale.

Translation:

Hi! I’m Giacomo Bassi, a Tam exchange student from Italy. I’m almost eighteen and this is my fourth year of High School but I’m not a senior. I’ll ask you to think for a minute about how hard it is to introduce yourself in a school where the grade defines most of your relationships with friends and adults. That was one of the differences I noticed between my home country and Tam. But soon, I started to appreciate being considered almost a senior among seniors and an old junior among juniors. There are great aspects of Italy but something I don’t like is that high school is in fact five years long and I won’t finish High School until I’m nineteen years old, like any other Italian student.

Yes, you guessed right: Italian High Schools work really differently. First of all, we have six day long week, but a school day in Italy ends between 12pm and 1pm depending on the grade. Class subjects are different than at Tam and they are not up to us to chose. Since Freshman year I have learned about Latin, English, French, and Physics.In addition I took the mandatory classes: Math, Italian, History PE, and Science. Another big difference is that in Italy my classmates and I don’t change classrooms during the day while the teachers do. My one group of classmates doesn’t change throughout all five years. I know it sounds like a horrible kind of school, but trust me it’s usually really fun.

Tam, for me, was a big change, but mostly in a good way. The teachers are much more friendly and helpful than they were in Italy. We talk to teachers in Italy in a weird formal form of “you” and “How are you doing today Mr/Ms teacher?” is not a thing at all in Italy. Probably because of this more friendly and welcoming attitude at Tam, it has been lit (as you guys say) since the beginning. You guys rock!

Even if my accent/language/waterpolo skills sucked I felt welcomed wherever I was. The language at the beginning presented an issue, especially during “fun” classes like AP Literature and AP Calc. By the way if you guys are wondering, AP credits don’t count in Italy and neither does my GPA.

Life at Tam has been actually really fun from the first Rally, when I realized that the stereotypes about Americans are sometimes true, to eating at NY Bagel or at Rocco’s Pizza. At the end of the day, what made my experience were definitely the people I met here. All the foreign students present at Tam have made me feel at home and if you don’t believe me you should come to Levinson’s Tutorial and try to guess how many different nationalities there are in the room.

A thing that I learn at Tam is how inaccurate and funny the memes about Italy are. Let me state for the last time that “Ciao Bella” is not a thing, neither is “Pepperoni Pizza” nor the weird hand motion where you clasp your fingers together. Sorry, we are more boring than you think.

At the end of my year I’ll miss Tam, but thanks to Mr Lapp’s repetitive playing of “The Joker” this experience will always be in my Spotify playlist.




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