Student Spotlight: From Italy to the States


Giulia Isopo

Seniors Giulia Isopo and Anna Rosace at an Adams football game.

What would it be like to travel across the world to go to school in a foreign country?

One foreign exchange student at Adams, senior Giulia Isopo, shares her views on how being an exchange student has impacted and developed her both culturally and socially. Ever since Isopo traveled to America to visit her family, she knew she desired to go back to attend an American school embodying the full experience of the typical American lifestyle. Isopo believes life as an exchange student has had a profound impact on how she views different societies and help developed her social skills.

Q: How have you liked being an exchange student at Adams?

A: I really like being an an exchange student at Adams High School, but I miss my home and my family in Nettuno, Italy. Although, this experience so far has greatly helped me grow as a person and an individual as I have had the opportunity to interact with the students at Adams and discover new aspects of American culture everyday.

Q: How has the experience of being an exchange student benefited or not benefited you?

A: Being an exchange student in America has left me with mostly impeccable English, while the experience of being in a new community has allowed me to meet new people and have different experiences that I wouldn’t normally have back at home. Also, coming here has helped me discover what I want to do in life while being able to learn and better understand the culture and  American customs.

Q: What are some similarities and differences between the education system here and in Italy?

A: First, in Italy, high school goes through the thirteenth grade, therefore, we have five years of high school instead of four. We also study from ten to twelve subjects per week and have school Monday through Saturday.

Also, our schedule changes everyday depending on what subjects we learn. We also have different types of high schools, and we choose them based on what career we want to study for, whereas, here all public high schools are the same with standard subjects that do not relate to a specific career.

For example, I chose to go to a high school that specializes specifically in languages where I am studying Chinese, English, and Spanish. Another difference is that, in Italy we do not change classes – meaning we have the same classmates for all five years of high school and have a huge exam at the end of year five that determines whether we are eligible to graduate.

Isopo has been immensely affected by her experience as an exchange student in a foreign country and continues to enjoy the new experiences of an abstract culture everyday. This experience alone has allowed her to grow in all aspects culturally, and socially, although, she also misses her home in Italy. Nevertheless, Isopo is excelling at Adams and greatly enjoys being a part of the school’s community while she is here in the United States.