By Shelby Stewart
To most, the Italian Mediterranean island of Sardinia would be a vacation— but to Simone Spanu it’s home.
Spanu, a 16-year-old Brandon High School sophomore and foreign exchange student from Italy arrived in the United States this past summer.
“I just like work around, go to the beach,” said Spanu, regarding his life in Sardinia..
Sardinia, spelled “Sardegna” in Italian, is the second largest island in the Mediterranean sea, after Sicily, and is home to many coastal cities and tourist attractions, including Oristano, near Spanu’s home.
“It’s very hot, especially in the summer,” he said. “No snow, sometimes rain, but it’s really different.”
The environment that Spanu is from has been a big influence in his life in more ways than one. Not only does he like to visit the beach and enjoy the weather, but both of his parents work for the state in the environment department.
“It’s a new experience for me here,” he said. “It’s a different way to think. All of the stuff, the courses, the sports, it’s completely different.”
Back in Italy, Spanu’s high school has specialties that they teach that students can focus on, much like majors in college.
“I’m learning stuff like programing like computer science, so some of the classes are for that,” he said. “We do like six days a week, and it’s not the same time everyday. Three days we do five hours, two days we do six hours and one day for four hours.”
In addition to going to school, Spanu has spent a lot of time traveling throughout Europe. He has been to Greece, Madrid, Barcelona, Spain, France, England as well as the mainland in Italy. He says he doesn’t have a favorite place to go though, just that he wants to travel.
Spanu also really enjoys gym class and learning the different sports that students play in America, like hockey, basketball, football and volleyball.
“Usually it’s just soccer,” He said. “Everywhere they play.”
Another big difference that Spanu notes is that in Italy, they eat dinner at 10 p.m., which is a big change from the average 6 p.m. in America.
“It’s a big change,” said Spanu. “A whole new experience.”
By Shelby Stewart