Fantuzzi has a fantastic first impression of U.S.


Kai-Jia Yue, Social Media Manager

Hailing from Florence, Italy, Matteo Fantuzzi is spending his senior year here in Westford.  Coming to the United States to experience the culture and language, Fantuzzi is excited that he was chosen to come to the US for a year. Currently, he is staying with sophomore Danielle Labarre.

Last October, Fantuzzi had to take a language and a mental health test before  going through a selection process to come to the US. Originally, Fantuzzi only wanted to visit for a month, but hearing about the experiences other students had coming to the US, he decided to prolong his stay to a year.

“ I [have] always wanted to come here to America. Everyone in Italy has their own American dream. Lots of my friends joined the same [program] as me. Many of them put the U.S. as their top choice […]. We are influenced a lot by American culture,” Fantuzzi said.

Upon being accepted into the exchange program, Fantuzzi only received word that he would becoming to the US one month before he was supposed to get here, and only received his exchange family 2 weeks before he was supposed to arrive in the US.

He was part of the crew team for the fall, and he tried out for the swim team, however quit not long after due to personal reasons. He likes how there are so many different clubs and teams to join and the wide variety of activities the school has.

Although both Florence and Westford are very different, Fantuzzi sees how both towns have lots of history behind them.

“When I was in Italy I thought American culture and Italy culture were pretty similar. But when you’re inside the culture you  see some differences.[…]It’s very different from here. There’s lots of history behind Florence, but also Westford is one of the oldest towns in Massachusetts,” Fantuzzi said.

A major difference Fantuzzi noticed was how little public transportation there was in Westford.

“The only problem is that I can’t drive. I’m a little stuck. Unfortunately because here there is no bus service and stuff like that,” he said.

One of the main differences Fantuzzi finds in the school system is how he had all the same classmates all through high school. He also noticed how the teachers don’t switch classes, but the students do. Fantuzzi also mentions how WA has many different classes, where as in Italy there are specialized  schools for each subject.

“I noticed that when you’re in class […] you are very respectful to your teachers. Sometimes in Italy part of the class is making so much noise and the other part [other half of class] is trying to take part in class,” Fantuzzi said.

He also likes how the homework in America is a lot more practical than the home work given in Italy.

“In Italy we have lots of pages to study, to memorize here its more practical you remember what you are doing your not understanding that is on the book,” Fantuzzi said.

As well as enjoying how the classes and homework is run, Fantuzzi enjoys how close you can get with the teacher .

“I really like how all the teachers teach because they are more friendly they help you […] In Italy its more like they say something but you don really care. They try to help you but they are farther from you,” he said.

Fantuzzi enjoys the people that he has met and the welcomes the community has given him.

“I find here awesome people. They are really kind with me. I heard about New England people that were cold[…] They are wrong. I found people that are really welcoming ,” Fantuzzi said.