Thursday, October 7, 2010


Last night I got my new host family. And I am officially the luckiest foreign exchange student in the world! I love this family! I have an almost 10 year old little brother, and he is really cute =). Just like my little brother in America, but Italian and not annoying =D. I also have a 17 year old host sister who is awesome!!!! She loves musicals (Wicked being her favorite =D), and she has a picture of Sweeny Todd hanging up near my bed! I love it! We share a room and we talked last night and I found out some more awesome things about her that I'm not remembering right now. But I'm just gonna say, everything is awesome.
I met my host mom first at her office in town and she was so nice, she drove me to the house and talked to me in Italian on the way. Yes, you heard me. This family speaks Italian!!! I think I will actually be learning the language better starting now! I do speak just a bit of English with my host sister, but that's ok because I have increase the amount of Italian by a lot! This is how it should have been my first three weeks, and it does kind of make me sad thinking about how well I could be speaking now if my first experience here had been like this.
But now I will talk about the house. It is large. And, wait for it... IT HAS A DRYER!!!!! I had been prepared to give up that luxury for the year because EVERYONE hear hangs up their clothes, whether in an appartment or a house, they all have that little rack thingy and the wooden thingys like you see in movies or detergent commercials. But I have a dryer!!!
Ok, moving on from me freaking out about laundry. Not I will freak out over THE MILLIONS OF AMAZING DOGS! I miss my dogs in America so much. When I skype home all I want to do is have my family put the computer in front of my dogs so I can talk to them. Yes I am a freak. But here I have many, many, many dogs! And they are amazing =D. I have cats too, but I only really like the REALLY cute 2 week old kitten! It makes me sad that it will grow up eventually... it is so cute right now. It climbed up my leg. And then fell off. And bit my shoe. Awwww..... =D
So, if you haven't guessed by now (you know with all the capital letters, smiley faces, and exclamation marks), I am out of this universe happy. I can't wait to spend this year with this wonderful family, I have so much in common with my sister (which apparently was an accident, the family knew nothing about me before I showed up XD), the little brother is really funny, and the host mom is so nice! I love this place because finally my happyness outweights the suckyness of everything before! And I'm sure I'm forgeting to write something... but I'll think of it before I write next time =). All that really matters is that I want to scream for joy now. But I kind of can't because I'm sitting in a computer lab at school during one of my numerous free hours. I have three today. Only 2 hours and 13 minutes until the next class.... aw well. It is so true when they say Italian schools are boring. But the food at school is amazing! Worth the whole trip! But it is Italy, so what else would I have expected? =D

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I have no idea what to call this....

I'm changing host families. It has been quite dramatic these past couple of days, and it has made me more stressed than I think I have ever been in my life. I am glad it's over. And I am excited to meet my new host family =). My temporary host family is awesome, it makes me wish I had told someone about my situation much sooner. So I will write here my reccomendations to future/ current exchange students who may come across my blog and find it somehow useful:
1. You are in a foreign country to learn a language. If anyone you come across is not 100% supportive of you and your efforts you have to fix it. If you want to speak the language make it clear you do. Also make it clear what your level is. I'm pretty sure my previous host family thinks I understood nothing (actually I know they think that, I read it on their facebook page. In Italian. Nice.) I should have told my assistant earlier that the host family wanted more to learn English from me than to learn Italian. It seemed like a small problem, but in the end it was big. My Italian has improved so much in the days I have spent with another family speaking Italian all day. It makes me sad thinking about how I missed three weeks of this!
2. Obey everything your host family tells you to do. This is important. But if you make a mistake because you didn't understand, you should be held accountable, but forgiven. It is not entirely your fault! The different family dynamic/ culture definatly didn't help me. But I still don't actually know for sure if I disobeyed anything, or if rules were created after the fact. But nevertheless, listening to people is important.
3. No problem is too small. If something seems a little weird to you, tell your assistant. They are happy to tell you if it's a cultural thing or a problem. Never just blame it one the culture without knowing for sure. My assistant would have been happy to help me and fix things if I just would have asked. I'm foriegn, I have an excuse for not knowing!
4. I really can't stress enough how important it is to TALK TO AFS at the very first sign of trouble. This would have saved my weeks of not being as happy with Italy as I have now realized I could have been =D.

My sad first host family story ends in drama. Being locked out for a night is not exactly fun. I will not get into that completely though. I really want to be done with these first weeks and move on to better times =). I have made such great friends here in Italy, both Italian and fellow AFSers, and I am really glad they have been there for me through this. And my languge has improved so much though being forced to explain and re-explain my sad story over and over agian in Italian. And while the subject isn't that fun, I am so glad to finally be comfortable with talking to people without feeling like a stupid American. Ok, well I still feel like a stupid American, but now I'm a stupid American who can speak Italian =).
I can't wait to meet my new host family, thier house is a lot father from my school, but as long as they are cool I think I will have a great rest of the year =). I really love Italy, I love my school, I love my classmates, I love the other AFSers, I love the language, I love the food, and I love everything! Well, maybe not Italian fashion. Or Italian mattresses. Or Italian gum. But my Italian cellphone has a flashlight on it so it's all good =D. And it is now a new month, so if Americans feel the need to skype me, choose a weekend morning/ early afternoon and let me know =).

(Also I appologize for my spelling becuase I'm using a different computer and it doesn't have a spellchecky thingy on the Internet like mine does)