At our meeting May 31, 2018 we had an update by our exchange student, Francesca Braja! Francesca comes to us from Piemonte in northwest Italy near Torino. It is a very beautiful area with a mix of modern and very old picturesque buildings. She is more commonly known by her nickname “Pitti”. She highlighted some of the key differences in the educational process in Italy versus the US.. She had choices for high schools based on Classical, Scientific and Language studies. Her choice also determined the school she would attend as in the system, the schools are dedicated to one of the curriculum of studies in each school.
Italian High School Key Areas of Difference versus US
  • 5 years to graduation
  • Your class is composed of the same 25 students all five years
  • You can pick the type of high school but not the subjects that you study
  • Your high school may not be close to your home
  • Extra-curricular activities are not included in your high school program
Pitti has been very active at Freedom High School! Cheerleading, lacrosse, Mini-Thon (helped raise $130,781 to help kids!), and many new friends in “Young Life!”. The  FHS prom was a unique experience as there are no proms in Italian schools. Celebrated her 18th birthday at Beni Hana’s, not exactly traditional Italian cuisine! Trips to Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York complete with a visit from her family from Italy.
Pitti really enjoyed her experiences with the other exchange students in the district. She gave very special thanks to her host families for making this such an incredible experience! She will have 3 more families for life! She gave a very warm, heartfelt thank you to Morning Star Rotary for supporting this incredible opportunity of a lifetime. We hope Francesca comes back to visit in the future!
                                                                                           Photo thanks to Shawn Deiter