Studying abroad has a special appeal, but is it a truly interesting experience? We interviewed Davide Bortot, student of our school (4BL) and we asked him where he spent his period abroad.
I went to Ireland for three months with a travel agency that organises travels in a lot of parts of the world for students that win a scholarship.
Did you stay in a family? How was this experience?
Yes, I stayed in a family formed by nine members: the parents, four sons and three daughters. It was a noisy family and I never stayed a long time at home so I always had the possibility to speak in English with someone.
As soon as you arrived, did you manage to integrate well into a society different from yours?
Yes, at the beginning it was a little difficult but the administrator of the agency and other Italian guys helped me to know better the society and other Irish people, so at the end I got a lot of new friends.
Was it difficult to settle in the school and in the city where you were?
In the city not very much because it was a little city and the house was in the countryside. The school was a male school and I was there with two Italian guys and other Spanish and French guys, it wasn’t very difficult but it was difficult to speak all time in English.
What characteristics distinguish Italians from the inhabitants of the country where you went?
They were very friendly and kind with the foreign students and the Irish guys, in the evening, use to go to pubs (there were a lot of pubs in the city where I was) and so they use to drink very much staying all the night in the pub.
Talking about the kind of school, in what was it different compared to Alessandrini?
In Alessandrini we have three different types of course, instead in Ireland there was just one kind whose only difference was that there were male and female schools, there were ten or eleven subjects and you could choose between three or four and the other subjects that everyone should have done that are for example English, Maths or Science.
Is there any curious element of the culture of the country that you want to tell us?
A thing that can interest someone is that they have dinner at five o’clock in the evening and they don’t have two meals during the whole day but just one and a snack at midday, so it is different compared to Italian “traditions”.
Of Italy, what did you miss the most?
Obviously the food, the friends and also a little the family but more the friends.
What is the thing that you remember better and you liked the most?
I liked their culture and the landscape that was greener than here in Milan and I liked the people that were always kind and friendly.
Have you noticed great improvements in your spoken English since you left?
Yes, I think that my knowledge in English has improved and also in the speaking I think I’m more fluent than I was before, because to stay for three months in a place where you speak all time English was very difficult but I think that it is a great experience and a big opportunity to improve the language.
If you could repeat the same kind of experience in what country would you like to go?
For three months I think I would like to go to America because I like the USA and maybe I’d like to go to Los Angeles… probably I wouldn’t go to London because I have already been there for two weeks.