Veronica is a 23 year old student, studying in Milan and this summer ultimateXchange helped her fulfil one of her dreams of traveling to the U.S, and she was certainly not disappointed. We caught up with Veronica after her trip to find out how it went.
So Veronica, how was the travelling? Was it your first time in the U.S?
I left on 12th July and after a 15-hour-long journey, I arrived in San Francisco. It was my first time alone outside of Italy, so I was just a bit afraid and lost, but when I met my host family at the airport I was immediately reassured.
What were your host family like?
They were wonderful and very nice, they treated me like a daughter and made me feel at home - which was not taken for granted when you are 10,000 miles away from home. I have found a second family and I hope to come back and visit them soon.
Where did you stay? Did you like California?
I stayed in San Jose; the house was up in the hills and therefore the view of the city was amazing and peaceful, out of the traffic and out of the frenetic life. And California, wow it was simply amazing. Everything is bigger, stunning and the landscapes are breathtaking. I visited many places and did many things over the three weeks I stayed there, with the high school ultimateXchange group (who were there at the same time), alone and with the family I was staying with.
What kinds of things did you do?
With the group we went to the computer history museum in Mountain View. It was really interesting to discover the history of computers and technology over the years. We also watched movies and had an Italian dinner. We visited Google in Mountain View and Facebook in Menlo Park. We went to a football game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and for a baseball game at San Jose Stadium. We went to the beach, we had fun on the rides of Santa Cruz boardwalk and we did many other nice things.
When I was alone, the family offered to drop me somewhere to give me the opportunity to visit something while they were at work. In this way, I visited downtown Santa Clara and the University of Santa Clara and downtown San Jose. I took the train to visit the University of Palo Alto and the shopping centre. I also took the train to meet an Italian friend in Hayward.
With the family, we went to a street market where I saw all the different products that they have. We went to their church. We visited San Francisco, which is a beautiful city and really worth seeing with all its characteristics. Monterrey, where we went to the aquarium - wonderful!
You’re Italian, so food is very important. How was the food in America?
Well, we cooked together - gnocchi, pesto and pizza. They love Italian food. Also, I experienced America through food. We ate many different things, from burgers to Mexican food and Indian food… and, obviously, American desserts; pancakes, cupcakes, muffins, cheesecakes, donuts, s’mores… the food has been one the best part of this experience, absolutely!
Wow, it sounds like you had a fantastic time. Would you agree?
Well, to sum up, this has been an incredible experience; I have seen beautiful places, been in touch with new cultures, met new people and created a long-lasting bond with my host family.
I would definitely do this trip again!
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