For this month’s article we interviewed Michail Pantelis, who is a greek exchange student in class 3A SIA. He came in Italy a bit late, in the middle of November, due to COVID-19 restrictions and he will stay with us for still a couple of months.
When did you decide you wanted to do this experience and why?
M: So the truth is that I always wanted to do an exchange year: since I can remember I wanted to do it although I didn’t know when. At first, I was thinking of doing it when I would have been in college, but then, since I wasn’t happy and I had a lot of stress and problems, I decided to anticipate it.
So the reasons why I’m doing this exchange year are many:
1st to run away from my problems, 2nd to find myself, 3rd the routine tired me and so I desired to discover a new lifestyle.
Did you choose Italy?
M: In a certain way, yes. My parents told me that they would let me do this exchange year only in a European country. Italy happened to be the place, after USA, where I wanted to go and it’s also one of the places where I would like to live in the future.
Which moments have been the best and which the worst until now?
M: This is a hard question, but l am going to start with my worst time:
it was during Christmas and New Year’s because I always spent it with my family, so it was weird for me to be in Italy while the rest of my relatives were in Greece all together.
Anyway, the best times are a lot more: when I hang out with my friends, when I traveled with a camper, when I played with the snow and every time I spend some time with my host parents.
What advice would you give to those who would like to become an exchange student like you?
M: Be open to new things even if they scare you.
What would you have liked to know before coming here?
M: That you have school on Saturdays.
Did you already know Italian or did you study it at school?
M: I always loved the Italian idiom, so the last two years I started some lessons so I knew the basics of the language when I came here.
Were you afraid to leave during COVID?
M: No, I wasn’t. I thought Italy was the best place because news made seem like everyone had Covid during the first lockdown.
Are you enjoying your time here? Did you have expectations that you met?
M: Did I expected anything else? Of course but despite things didn’t go as I expected them too, I'm still having a great time!