Indiana University Overseas Study

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Ragazza alla Pari

giuliana_adriana

I somehow rolled into an Au Pair job in Calliano, a tiny town in northern Italy.

As a ragazza alla pari, I live and eat with the family and help look after their two boys and teach them English. It is a new experience for me—I have hardly even babysat before—and at first, I was not entirely sure I should be trusted to be left with children. So far, however, they have survived.

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Proper German Citizen

giuliana_adriana

Germany is the model citizen of Europe where Italy is the drama queen.

It is proudly and militantly clean where Italy is flamboyantly polluted. The green is well groomed, the recycling meticulous, the jaywalking non-existent. The economy is large and stable and the politics comparably less corrupt. Proper water pressure, organized bus and subway systems, and consistent street signs are all remnants of German efficiency. If only they knew how to cook…

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Like Tears in Rain

giuliana_adriana

My nonna, eighty-eight years old, hunches over a piece of paper filled with trembling scribbles, careful notes and edits on a poem she has been working on.

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Science is English

giuliana_adriana

My father fought cancer for twelve years.

That strong influence, a fortuitous connection, and the research requirement of my scholarship (Cox Research Scholars), dropped me into the Anatomia Patologica (Anatomic Pathology) laboratory of Hospital Bellaria. Within the confines of the laboratory, thousands of patient cases undergo diagnosis and prognosis every year—including illnesses like cancer and ALS.

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The Professor is God

giuliana_adriana

“The professor is God.”

This is the warning I have received numerous times—from program coordinators, from former participants, from fellow students. The Italian professor is the ruler of his own domain; he is not subject to complaints from disgruntled students or mandates from the university.

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Down the Rabbit Hole

giuliana_adriana

Coming into Italy is falling into Wonderland. Some things are too big, some things too small, some pieces of American life are missing, some colorful things added, and everyone is a character.

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Making the Grade

giuliana_adriana

The final is an oral exam.

This small difference between the American and Italian school systems creates buckets of apprehension for exchange students. For us, not only is it a test over our learning in the course, but a test of our language skills.

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