Liberty Ledger

Living the Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

Lucia Cancian comes all the way from Italy to spend a year at Liberty

Lucia+Cancian+spends+her+year+abroad+studying+here+at+Liberty.
Lucia Cancian spends her year abroad studying here at Liberty.

Lucia Cancian spends her year abroad studying here at Liberty.

submitted by Lucia Cancian

submitted by Lucia Cancian

Lucia Cancian spends her year abroad studying here at Liberty.

Lauren Polydys, Reporter

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Most people can’t say they spent one year of high school in a country they have never been to before. But at the end of this year Lucia Cancian can say she has.

Cancian is a foreign exchange student from Italy who is spending her fourth year of high school at Liberty.

You might be thinking why don’t we just say she is a senior. Well, in Italy students spend five years in high school instead of four.

“Schools are very different in Italy than they are here,” Cancian said.

In Italian schools, students do not get to choose their subjects. They go to a school that majors in whatever subject they would most like to pursue. Cancian went to a high school that focused on foreign languages. She can now fluently speak four languages: English, Italian, French and German.

Some of her classes at Liberty include AP German, AP French, and AP Literature and Composition.

AP Literature teacher, Ms. T-O, talks about Lucia’s knowledge of English and her experience with teaching that to a foreign exchange student.

“Her command of English is really strong. She hasn’t needed a lot of interventions yet,” Ms. T-O said.

Although Italian schools focus on one subject, they still teach the basic subjects such as math and science as well. She also says that instead of students moving in between each class, the teachers move. This way students end up staying with the same class for five years.

“In Italy, your life as a student is focused on school. We study a lot,” Cancian said.

Italians also separate sports and school. In Cancian’s school, if she wanted to do a sport, she would have to do it out of school. While she is here at Liberty, she is on the varsity volleyball team and loves it.

“I like the feeling of belonging to something,” Cancian said.

Cancian had to adjust to the differences in the terms of the game between here and Italy, but she caught on fast. She bonded with the team right away and fell right into the groove of the game.

“She brings in a new face and personality to the program,” teammate Cassidy Widlowski said.

Schools are not the only things that she says are different between here and Italy. In Italy, Cancian lives in a city called Turin which is located in northwestern Italy. When she compares the two based on landscape she describes that here, in Missouri, is more flat with a few hills, while in Turin there are mountains surrounding the city and it makes it feel more protected. Also in Turin they do not separate housing and shopping like they do here. Citizens can walk right outside their house and go to a store if they needed to.

Cancian decided to become a foreign exchange student because her mom came to America when she was her age, which is why Cancian chose to come here to Liberty. Her current host family is friends of her mom’s former host family and they live in this area. She says her mom was very supportive in her decision to come here. Having been an exchange student herself, her mom knew how much she would learn from this experience. Cancian also traveled here because she wanted to see other parts of the world since she has never been outside of Europe before.

To become a foreign exchange student, she used the program AYA (Academic Year in America). AYA is a non-profit organization that supports foster global citizenship to break barriers in international understanding. Through the program she got her visa, found her host family and went through all the required steps to go to school here.

When she goes back to Italy after graduation, she will still have one more year of high school and then she will graduate with three diplomas: one for America, one for Italy and then one for France as well because her class gets a double diploma. She will also hopefully be going home with many new friends and amazing experiences to look back on.

1 Comment

One Response to “Living the Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience”

  1. Carol Wilke on September 11th, 2018 3:20 pm

    Awesome article, lots of interesting facts and feeling ‘s. Very well written!

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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