Emma Berg è una studentessa americana arrivata in Italia nell’Agosto 2013 nell’ambito del progetto Rotary Youth Exchange. Questo è il suo commento sulla sua esperienza qui all’Aselli ed in Italia.
When I was preparing to leave my home for Italy, I knew that spending a year abroad was going to change me. I knew that I would meet many new people and have a lot of new experiences, but I never thought that I would ever get to this point, the last month, and be changed so much.
Some of the changes that I will take back with me are more superficial. I now have a new language that I can speak (and that I sometimes even think in before my own), I have a whole new array of Italian recipes up my sleeve, and I may look a little different. But the biggest changes may be much less apparent and are much harder to explain. Spending a year away from everything and everyone you know is not something that should be taken lightly. Living abroad may be thrilling and exciting at some points, but at others it can be very difficult and very lonely. It was those hard times though, that pushed me to challenge myself and to step out of my comfort zone—and I’m grateful for every experience good and bad because they have made me the person that I am today. The biggest thing that I’ve gained this year is confidence. After months of broken communication and embarrassment because of lack of language skills, at first not understanding anything in class to then being able to take exams along with my peers, and not knowing anybody but learning to make friends in any situation, I now feel like I could take on anything. I’m more confident in who I am and the kind of person I want to become, and I’m not afraid to make mistakes because they will just be more opportunities to grow and learn something new. This is really the happiest I’ve ever been in my life and it’s because I feel good about who I am, and the direction my life is heading.
I sometimes wish that I could freeze time and stay in these last few days forever. I definitely do miss my family and my life back in the States, but leaving Cremona is going to be far too bittersweet. I’m going to miss Italy so much, along with its wonderful lifestyle and rich culture, but above all I’m going to miss my newfound friends and family. Everyone that has become a part of my life in this last year will always have a special place in my heart. I just wish that I could take everyone back with me. I am determined, however, to come back to visit as soon as I can buy a plane ticket. Now that I know how amazing traveling is, I won’t be able to stop for the rest of my life. I know I’ll be back soon.
Overall this year has been amazing, and an experience that I couldn’t have gotten doing anything else. I wish that every person could have the chance to be an exchange student at least once in their life. The way it opens up your world and changes your way of thinking is incomparable to any other opportunity that I’ve ever seen. I’m sad to see that year come to an end, but when I go home, I’m going to go with flying colors. I’m going to use everything that I’ve learned to help others understand maybe a of little bit more how crazy of a world there is out there, and I’ll make the most out of every opportunity that I encounter because life is short, and there is so much to see and experience. Hopefully, the adventure does not stop here, but that this is just the kick-start to the rest of my future and the adventures to come. Thank you to Rotary Youth Exchange for making this year possible, and to Liceo Scientifico Aselli for hosting me at your school. Emma