Mary studied abroad with us in Florence this fall and she made the decision to live with a host family. Was she nervous? Yes. How was the experience? Read on:
It didn’t hit me until the cab pulled out of the alley and left me alone in front of door number five. There I was, just me and my suitcase, staring at the doorbell. I took a deep breath and pressed the buzzer labeled Mazzucchelli Cozzi Emanuela.
When that door opened, I stepped into a whole new world. I walked into the middle of a foreign country, foreign culture, foreign language, and a foreign family. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t intimidated. I was scared and very nervous. “What if I can’t understand them? What if they can’t understand me? Oh gosh, what if they don’t like me? Do I eat with them? Do I watch TV with them? Can I go out at night? How am I going to ask any of these things when I can barely speak Italian?!” Those and a whole variety of other worries occupied my thoughts for those first couple of days. But, it turned out that I worried for nothing.
My family was extremely nice and welcomed me into their home. I can still hear Emanuella saying, “Relax, relax.” Eventually I did relax, and I felt comfortable with my new Italian family. I played soccer in the backyard with Pietro, watched Che Dio Ci Auiti every Thursday night with Virgi and Gine, got to see Emanuela’s work as a designer, and of course I became good friends with little Arturo the puppy.
When I decided to go to Italy, many people questioned my decision. I had been here twice before; why would I want to go again? I wanted to come for a third time because I believe it’s one thing to see a place, and it’s another to live there. Staying with a host family has truly allowed me to live in Italy, and what a life I’ve lived for these past three months. So thank you Emanuela, Ginevra, Virginia, Pietro, e Arturo, grazie mille, mi ricorderò voi per sempre.