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A chance to change perspective Nicholas Gasparro | Sat, Mar 24 2012 12:00 PM

For some students, it is a dream to go to Italy and experience life in the old country.

Starting this week the dream is a reality.

Twenty Bonita Vista High School students are participating in a two-week cultural exchange. Led by teachers Robert Pirazinni and Nikki Monfredo, students will see and explore the country they have been studying in the classroom.

“I have been waiting three years for this trip and I can not believe that it is just around the corner,” said Stelle Andrade.

The high school junior is stepping out of her comfort zone.

“Visiting these cities has always been a dream of mine, and I can not believe it is about to become a reality,” Stelle said.

For many of the students, it is the first time they have ever been to Europe and certainly the longest they have ever been away from home.

 “I have been doing this exchange for eight years now and every year there are new friendships built which is one of the reasons why I have kept participating in it.” Pirazinni said.

“I believe it is very important for students to expierence different cultures, traveling opens the doors to students’ minds and lets them experience a world they have never known before,” he said.

“Throughout the last couple of weeks winding down to the date of the departure I have been searching for reasons why I should not go, but ultimately I know that this trip will be an experience of a lifetime and will open my mind to a world I have never seen before,” Stelle said.

Nicholas Gasparro is a student at Bonita Vista High School and will  provide occasional updates about the  exchange program.

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