Elisa Rossi

Grayslake may seem like a small town to North students, but to the Italian exchange student, Elisa Rossi, it’s a whole new world.

Every year, Grayslake North takes on exchange students from around the world. The students are welcomed into the school and town.

“It very different from my Italian school,” Rossi said. “I like how kind and nice people are here.”
Rossi likes the relationship she and other students at North have with their teachers. In Italy, students have a less familiar relationship with their teachers.

“They are more like uncles than teachers,” Rossi said.

In Italy, students and teachers have a more formal relationship than the students and teachers do here.

Rossi is from Northern Italy, and she goes to a challenging school that is very different from typical American high schools. The school is dedicated for the study of languages called “Liceo.” Studying in the school would be like taking AP classes in every language North teaches. She can speak Italian, Spanish, English and German. Her goal is to finish high school and to study in a medical field in college.

In America, many students start to learn languages in middle school or high school, but in Italy, students start to learn how to speak English in kindergarten.

“It’s more like a playtime in English,” Elisa said. “Learning English rather young is a normal thing in Italy to the point where it’s almost fun.”

Here at the school, Rossi is in three clubs including Debate, Perfect Pals and Sign Language Club.

“I enjoy being able to pick courses,” Rossi said.

Back home she gets to pick the school she goes to, which is “Liceo,” but not her courses or clubs.

In order to participate in this program, Rossi had to take many tests on her speaking and language skills. Once she passed, she got her scholarship to come to Grayslake and live with her host family, the Brownsteins.