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New place, new experiences

Foreign exchange student Martina Sapia spends her senior year at Huntley High School
Provided Martina Sapia
Martina Sapia explores Illinois

Traveling from Italy to Illinois, foreign exchange student Maria Sapia decided to spend her senior year at Huntley High School. She arrived in Illinois in January, and she plans to go back to Italy in June.

“I wanted to try something new, live a new life, and challenge myself a little bit more,” Sapia said. 

Upon arrival, her host family was very supportive of her, making sure she was comfortable and felt at home. When she first saw Huntley High School, she was amazed. 

“At first when I saw the school, I was shocked because it was so big and beautiful,” Sapia said. “It was like a film for me because I’ve always watched American movies or Disney Channel, and the schools were like this.” 

Her favorite memory so far is her first day of school here. She has made a lot of new friends, and she has experienced many new things. 

“On the first day of school, it was all new, and I met a lot of people,” Sapia said. “It seems like a dream for me. It was so beautiful, and I wish I could live it again.” 

Her favorite class so far is US History, and her favorite teacher is US History teacher Gibson Danekas.

She is enjoying her classes and life here, but it is a very different experience from school life in Italy.

“School here is not very easy, but it has a different approach to students that I think is better. There is a different life here based on work, school, and hanging out with friends,” Sapia said. “In Italy, it is more school and school only. The social life is very different. In Italy we just think your social life is based at school, but with the sports, clubs, football games, basketball games here, I love this.” 

The thing she misses most of all is her family, friends, and authentic Italian food back home. She notes that living in a different country is very difficult with no one, but she feels very happy here, finding new friends and a new family at the high school.

“Martina is one of the sweetest and most genuine people I have ever met,” junior Maddie Sloan said. 

In her free time after school, she loves to go to the gym. She likes that a lot of teenagers go to the gym here because, in Italy, the gym is meant more for adults. When not at the gym, she likes to hang out with her friends and spend time with her host family.

“I am so glad Martina came to America,” junior Kay Castro said. “She is a literal angel, and I am going to miss her so much when she leaves because she is one of the most genuine friends I have ever made.”

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About the Contributor
Jadyn Sola
Jadyn Sola, Floating Editor
Jadyn Sola is a Floating Editor for The Voice, and it is her second year on staff. In her free time, she likes to play the piano, hang out with her family and friends, and watch movies.

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