Living the American nightmare

April 27, 2023


As everyone already probably knows, I am a foreign exchange student doing my senior year at Knoch. Going to a new country and having to spend a whole year with a random family you have never met is pretty scary. What if they are a little crazy? Then unfortunately sometimes something bad can happen to exchange students and they might not come back to their families ever again. 


Anonymous true crazy host families experiences(these are people I know)

Mary ended up in a very scary host family. She was already pretty uncomfortable with them because they were always fighting. But the peak that made her decide to change the family is when her host mom started spying her through under the door. It was night time and she was just folding her clothes before going to bed and she opened her door to go to the bathroom and she saw her host mom laying on the stairs. Mary asked what she was doing and the woman just said she was checking what she was doing. Traumatizing.. 


To stay on the same type of craziness, Julia had a similar experience. She was talking to her local coordinator on the phone in her room about her decision to change host family for many reasons.  When she was done, her host mom started yelling that she knew Julia was going to change family because she was listening to her conversation through the air ducts. 


Victoria just got kicked out of her house for four hours from the host mom because she wanted no one there that day. 


Exchange students tragedies(I don’t know them, but their stories became famous)

 Giorgia Trocciola was an Italian exchange student in Colorado and she was crossing the street when she was hit by a car. The girl died at the age of 17, killed in the accident that occurred on March 22. The Colorado Springs Police Department reported that the car would not obey a red light. She played softball, tennis and swimming. The school was shocked by the tragedy. She was very loved in Italy  but also in her American high school she made a lot of friends who made her death known everywhere online telling how good a person she was. 




Claudio Mandia was a student from Italy who was studying in the EF Academy, a private high school in Thornwood, about 35 miles north of New York City. He came back home for the Christmas break, but his whole family got Covid, for this reason he came back at the school about 20 days after the end of break. Returning to school that late made him have to study a lot to recover all the things he missed very quickly because he had to take some important exams. He was already in a very stressful environment when he found out his cousin died. He was destroyed so he asked  the high school psychologist for help but he still had to take the exam in those conditions. He decided to cheat and the school found out about it. He admitted immediately and apologized, but they decided to expel him. The school put Claudio in “solitary confinement”  waiting for his family to come get him. They weren’t feeding him for 24 hours, he was screaming and crying for help but no one came. When someone finally went to check on him, he was dead by apparent suicide.


Thankfully my experience in America is not like the ones I just told you. I have a nice host family and I am still alive!

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About the Contributor
Photo of Alessandra Natali
Alessandra Natali, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Alessandra and I'm a foreign exchange student from Italy. I'm so excited to be here, I love this place!

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