On October 27th, the Jesuit exchange program began the 2018-2019 Italian exchange program. On this night, 12 Italian students from the Istituto Leone XIII, a coed Jesuit school in Milan, finished their long 13 hour journey with one layover in Dallas. This was not the beginning for the American side who were at Homecoming, so the Italians spent the night with Magistra Lisa Druebert at the Galleria.
The next morning at the Le Méridien Dallas, the post-homecoming Americans met their exchange students early in the morning.
- George Dormer, clad in sweatpants, sweatshirt, and without a shower, met Michele de Brabant.
- Renowned redhead Cooper Herndon met Fillipo Malerba.
- Jesuit Classical League legend Rudder Alison met Carlo Sironi.
- Luke Austin met Niccolo Saporito.
- Wrestler Gabriel Farrel met Fillipo Pisati.
- Jack Welp met his buddy Alessandro.
- William “Cole” Lenzen met Servio Cardelli.
- Approximately 6’4” Jack Casey met Edoardo Dellacha.
- Dylan Butz met Lorenzo “Itsy” Izzi.
- Jamison Briscoe met Luca Danese.
- Rugger Sean Bowen met Edoardo Cerini, another Rugby player
- I met Alessandro Bartolotta, an absolute legend.
- And American host leader Lisa “Magistra” Druebert met Italian host leader Simona Cattaneo.
Over the course of two weeks, the students and pair of teachers experienced various parts of the Dallas lifestyle.
The group experienced four mandatory events, a welcoming barbecue hosted by the Dormers.
A rodeo at the Fort Worth Stockyards (left)
A tour of the Southern Methodist University campus (right)
And a private tour through the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington (left)
What they learned
Compared to Italy, the general feel of the Italian students was best put in words by Carlo Sironi: “America compared to Italy is huge and very modern, there are a lot of very big green areas. [It’s] different from Milan because of the open space.”
The trip was also very educational. Luca Danese says he learned “George Washington was the first president,” Edoardo Cerini learned “how to be a good Republican,” and Edoardo Dellachà learned that “Republicans are better.”
From a cultural standpoint, Cardelli Francesco Saverio says “The school system is very different, cities are bigger, let’s get this bread, and football is more popular than soccer. Here they eat a lot of fried food too.”
On the American side, Cooper Herndon speaks for all of us when he says “I realized how different their lives are from ours, but ultimately we aren’t that different as individuals. We bonded really well by chilling out, listening to music, and cracking dry humor jokes at each other’s culture.”
Gabriel Farrell says “we were really similar for the most part, especially because we shared an affinity for barbecue.”
On November 11, 2018 the Italians departed for home.