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Foreign exchange student heads home early



Leaving home is not an easy task to do, especially as a foreign exchange student. Federico Orlandini left his home town in Italy to come to the United States as a foreign exchange student at Wadsworth High School, however, his time here is being cut short due to the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Orlandini worked with International Student Exchange (ISE) to become a foreign exchange student. He decided to do this because his brother was an exchange student three years ago, and he had a great experience with the program. 

On July 27, 2019, Orlandini arrived in the U.S. with his planned departure date to be June 2, 2020. However, the ISE is sending the exchange students home immediately due to the Coronavirus outbreak in the United States. He does not know why the program decided this, but he believes that it must be better for their safety if they go home. Orlandini has mixed feelings about being sent home early.

Orlandini enjoyed playing sports while he was attending school at Wadsworth. He played football and basketball while he was here. Photo courtesy of Fredrico Orlandini.

“I’m sad that I will not get to participate in graduation and prom, but I’m ready to go back and be with my family, hopefully see my friends next month,” said Orlandini, 12. 

He also feels that he will be safer in Italy because they are taking more precautions. The Coronavirus has gradually been getting better with time as Italy has greatly limited human contact. In Italy the government has closed every school, business and factory. The only places that are allowed to remain open are grocery stores and hospitals. Police patrol the towns as well to keep people from leaving their houses if it is not absolutely necessary. They give people tickets if they do not have a good reason for being out.

Orlandini’s parents and grandparents live in Italy while his brother lives in Spain. They have all stayed healthy since they mainly stay home and only go out to go to the grocery store. 

“I am not worried about my family because they are healthy. I trust that Italy is doing everything for the citizens and their health,” said Orlandini.

Despite having his school year cut short, he still had a wonderful time in the U.S. and loved being part of Wadsworth High School. 

“It is an amazing experience that I will never forget. It’s not easy to live a year without your family and friends. It is also not easy to learn a new language and make new friends, but it is worth it,” said Orlandini. 

Fredrico posed with his family in Italy after a football game. Photo courtesy of Fredrico Orlandini

He loved being part of the football and basketball teams at Wadsworth, and he really enjoyed going to see an Ohio State game as well as a Cleveland Browns game. 

Even though Orlandini is being sent back to Italy early, he will forever treasure the memories that he made here in the U.S. and how much he has grown as a person.

“When I came here in July, I felt that I was still a child. Now I feel as though I have grown a lot, and I am an adult,” said Orlandini.

After this pandemic with the Coronavirus is over, Orlandini plans to finish high school in Italy and then attend college to become a doctor.

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Foreign exchange student heads home early