When I first moved to Boston, I was surprised by a lot of things that looked very different from Italy in my eyes. I imagined the U.S. to be like a movie, with people behaving like they do in movies. I thought everything they did was exciting. The streets were so big, the smoke went out from manholes like I saw in the movies, there were very tall buildings and I thought the city had magic in the air. Actually, the atmosphere here in the U.S. is different from Italy but now I am accustomed to this country and this city.
One thing that is totally different is the school system: the place, the organization, the teachers, the classes, the hours, the approach of teachers with students and, conversely, of students with teachers.
In Italy, school starts at 8:00 a.m. and finishes at 2:00 p.m. There isn’t a lunch period so students don’t eat at school, they can only eat snacks from vending machines. I think that the lunch period here is the best because you can eat something after three hours of work, talk with your friends and relax for 30 minutes.
In Italy, there are two intervals of 10 minutes where students can go out of class to go in the courtyard, but the substantial difference is that the students stay in the same class for all seven hours of school. Every hour the bell rings but the students stay sitting and wait for another teacher. This organization is very, very boring. Sometimes when I would return home I would be very frustrated because I had to cook my lunch and study a lot, so I didn’t have much time to relax and then I would always be tired.
I think that schools are better here. When the bell rings you stand up and change classes. Because you have a few minutes to walk, greet friends that you meet in the hallway, and get ready for the next class, the time goes faster and it’s fun to go to school.
Another difference from Italian school is the relationship between the teachers and the students. In Italy, the students always have to shut up and follow the lesson that the teacher explains. Here in the U.S., the students always participate during the lesson. In Italy the students have to create a mask to appear as good girls and good boys in front of the teachers’ eyes so that the teacher can give them a good grade. Here, this kind of thing doesn’t happen because all teachers care about their students and they want better for us. For example, some teachers here care about student life outside of school, like family and sports.
Another thing that is different in Italian schools, and is better here in the U.S., is the possibility to play sports like soccer, volleyball, basketball, or softball after school and with a school team. In Italy it’s different, the school does not organize these activities, so the guys that want to play sports have to go to a different place such as near their house or the specific team.
In my opinion, American schools are better about organization, place, people and some other things. I think the atmosphere here is fantastic. People are very nice and when you have a problem they listen to you and try to help you feel better. I like seeing people, saying hi and joking with them because in Italy I had only my group of friends. There, it is not as common to say hello and be friendly with people that maybe you don’t know, but that you have seen before in your school.