Italian Girl Travels 4,450 Miles Away from Home

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Italian Girl Travels 4,450 Miles Away from Home

Paola Beltran and Edgar Nieto

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Laura Gavioli is a foreign exchange student from Carpi, Italy. She is a junior in high school who desires for new experiences.

She applied to an Italian program in order to get chosen by a host family overseas. She talked endlessly about how long the paperwork took but that never stopped the excitement.

Gavioli was selected by a lovely lady named Arinne who also chose to host another foreign exchange student from Thailand. She is glad, and she could not be happier with her host family.

Although Gavioli loves her family back home,  she is ecstatic to experience the melting pot of American cultures. Her family was over the moon when she mentioned she wanted to go across the ocean and learn in a different country. She shared that back home freedom is given and earned.

“The kids here have more freedom than in Italy.”

Gavioli declared that teenagers in her home country don’t work as much as Americans; however. it is also hard to find jobs at a budding age. She spent most of her time doing homework, spending time with friends, and swimming. Swimming is one of her passions and she is talented in the sport. She made the courageous decision to join the basketball team to continue her physical activity overseas. She is excited and hopeful to join the team and meet a new group of people.

She said that the second she got here: “Everyone was very welcoming and nice.”

Feeling like the center of attention, she notes American fashion.  Everyone sounds and dresses similar in Neenah — unlike her hometown; fashion was not the priority.  She talks about having similar establishments, with the same price. Yet, no dresses over the top.

Gavioli had been astonished when she walked into her first superstore and claimed: “I never saw anything like it.”

She mentioned that everything is smaller in Carpi; however, all is conveniently close.  According to, 71,000 people reside in her town. “It’s about two kilometers from my house.”

She mentioned how drastically different the food is compared with Italy and cited how she never heard of alfredo sauce until she migrated to the United States. She endured the iconic Culver’s Establishment. She was very astonished to indulge on fried balls of cheese. Culver’s is not the only American business that amazed her.  She noted Walmart’s plus size and her sense of awe when she found out the amount of items were sold there.

She felt joy with living in luxury. “You see in American movies and hear in American music that the United States is the absolute dream country.”

Gavioli shared that this is only her third month in the country and she’s fallen in love with America’s diverse culture. Gavioli’s only motive is to enjoy life and live it to the fullest.

She is on a clear mission, being a foreign exchange student is only the start — an Italian sweetheart with a desire for amusement in life.

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