News‎ > ‎

Direct from Italy, Elettra Fiandri

posted Sep 29, 2016, 10:44 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Maddie Hoitink, Co Editor-in-Chief

Posted September 29th, 2016

This year, Slinger High School is fortunate enough to welcome an Italian foreign exchange student, Elettra Fiandri.  In Slinger, she has decided to go by the nickname of “Ellie.”  Elettra is from the city of Modena, which is located in northern Italy.  Her host family is the Henkels, who hosted another Italian exchange student last year, Federica Tagliavini.  Elettra will be in America for one semester; she plans to leave on January 28.

So far, Elettra has loved Slinger High School!  She enjoys the organizations of the lectures even though it has been challenging to accommodate to the English speaking.  However, she is catching on fast.  Elettra began speaking English in elementary school and was fluent by the end of middle school.  “It has been hard to understand the topics, especially in physics,”  comments Elettra, “but the teachers are all very friendly and helpful.”  I have the privilege of helping her through Mr. Schneider’s physics class this semester!  Her favorite class is Mrs. Dorzok’s Human Thought and Behavior.  Elettra’s least favorite part of Slinger High School thus far is the short amount of time we have between classes.  “There’s never enough time for me to go to the bathroom!” Elettra exclaims.

In Italy, education is very different.  Elettra attends 6 days of school every week for 5-6 hours a day, with no study halls.  She has a different schedule every day, and there are no lockers in the halls.  Also, she is much more “distant” with her teachers; in Slinger, the teachers interact more with their students.  In Modena, students attend high school for 5 years, but they remain in the same classroom every year.  The teachers change rooms after the end of every class.  Written tests are rare in Italy; instead, the teachers give oral interrogations, where the students are questioned by the teacher in front of the entire class.

Surprisingly, Italian food is not all that it may seem.  Spaghetti in Italy has no meatballs!  Elettra, an Italian native, has never eaten Italian meatballs.  I plan to take her to Olive Garden before she leaves, so she can experience the American version of spaghetti.  Also, America has much larger frozen food sections in supermarkets compared to Italy.  Italians cannot get their licenses until they turn 18, and the US has more widely-spread neighborhoods.  The majority of Italian housing includes condos or very close homes.  We have much larger homes with more spacious yards.

A couple weeks ago, Elettra attended her first Badger football game!  She had a great time and even bought a Badger tank top.  “I didn’t understand anything that was happening,” said Elettra.  However, she still had a great time thanks to her wonderful host family!

Elettra is definitely looking forward to the rest of her time in Slinger!