"I'm going to be spending next year as a Rotary Exchange Student in Cremona, Italy". With the graduation season among us, I've been saying this phrase A LOT. After I say it, I always have to wait approximately 30 seconds while the person slips into a quick daydream of Italian Villas, pizza and of course the wine. They usually snap out of it with a comment like, "Well that will be just amazing", or "Can I come visit you?". While I share their daydreams, and I'm more excited about this adventure than anything, it doesn't take me long to say what I've been feeling lately, "I'm scared". At the orientations they talk about how this experience is an "emotional roller coaster", and I'm already starting to feel it! My excitement and my nerves are fighting each other for my attention and I can't decide which emotion is more prominent at this time. I'm confident though that this is the right path for me and I can't wait to start this amazing journey.
I will be in the Rotary District 2050. As you can see it's in the central northern part of Italy. The center of this district holds the well known city, and fashion capital of the world: Milan. However, I will be staying near the city of Cremona. Known for it's rich history of music and the arts. It's most famous for it's beautifully crafted violins. (Maybe I'll have to pick up my violin after four years of not practicing!)
I'm amazed by the crazy technology of this day. I was able to go onto Google Maps Street View and actual take a virtual walk around Cremona and see my school! It made the whole experience seem ten times more real, and I can't imagine that soon I'll be taking that walk everyday.
My host family situation is a little unstable at the moment. Because of recent developments the powers that be in my district over there might be switching around some of the host families. Although this leaves me not exactly sure where my home will be in two months, I've been in contact with some potential families :) and they've already been very kind and welcoming. I can't wait to actually meet them. As of now, I'm leaving at 8:57 on Saturday, September 4th and arriving on the 5th. From what I've heard, I'm the last Rotary student to leave from Northfield this fall. I know that by that time I'm sure I will be bored, with all of my friends being gone already, and I will be itching to get over to my new home.
As of now I'm working on getting down to the Italian consulate in Chicago to get my visa, and to deal with the charismatic Italians working there that I've heard so many interesting stories about. Also my lovely fellow Italian from Northfield, Sara Jaramillo, and I have been taking a few Italian lessons to prepare for our trips. She is much better than I am so I need to keep studying so that she stops showing me up at our lessons!! :) So these last couple of months I will be working on my Italian, figuring out my host family situation and obtaining my visa. I hope to keep this updated on any developments along the way.
Also good luck to my fellow exchange students that are leaving in July! I will miss you all and I can't wait to hear about your many adventures!