By Erin Murphy (Saint Louis University ’18), Program Coordinator SHC Italy Center
Tell me about yourself ?
My name is Simone Marcolongo. I’m 23 years old, and I study law at the University of Bologna. I’m in the fifth year of University, I’m almost done. My goal is to graduate this July. Hopefully [laughing] if exams go well, I’ll graduate. This is also my fifth year living at Camplus.
Do you like living with Americans?
Yeah I do, I really love it because living with Americans has really helped me understand what I want to do with my future. I really like building relationships with people, and living with people that have a different way of seeing things, who bring a different lifestyle has helped me to broaden my perspectives.
What has been something that you have found funny or strange that you’ve encountered during your time living with Americans?
Oh there are many. Number one is the way Americans eat [laughing]. They put weird stuff in everything. They like cheese on everything they eat, cheese on salad, cheese on this, cheese on that. They also make this weird mixture of olive oil, cheese, pepper, and something else and eat it with bread. That really looks weird to us Italians but the American students like it.
What are some of your favorite memories from living with Americans?
I have many. I very much like having an exchange of ideas at 3:00 AM in my room; sipping some wine, having conversations about what usually starts out as normal things and then we end up talking about politics, philosophy and so on. I really love it. Then, of course, playing music, singing, going out, and playing games together.
I’ve met so many good people. People that love spending time with Italians. People that want to know what it really means to live in Italy. People that try to learn and speak our language. So many different students with different ideas and different perspectives. They have given me so much.
I have American friends that I consider my brothers and sisters. For example, one is returning to visit Camplus this February and is one of my best friends from the U.S.. I know him from my second year here, he is awesome. He invited me and my family to come to the U.S. during Christmas to stay in New York with his family. While my family wasn’t able to organize a visit, it was so so nice of him to offer. These are the kind of people I’ve met.
I can say I’ve never met an American student that was not a good person or someone for whom I gained nothing from our relationship. You know, it is a really positive thing. If you are open to an exchange, you can gain so much from this kind of experience.
What kind of plans do you have for your future?
I’m not completely sure. My plans are changing, but one idea is to pursue a masters in business or international relations. Another idea is volunteering or interning for an international organization; or try to find a job in the U.S. for a year or two to see if living in the U.S. is something that actually suits me. I need to see if the U.S. matches my expectations are or perhaps it is just more of a dream.
Thank you Simone !