Today our guest blogger is Salisbury University alum Brynn Trevizo! She spent part of her summer in Northern Italy, tutoring a young student in English and seeing the country’s beautiful sights and sounds.
July 19, 2018:
I cried on the airplane on my way to meet my host family.
Let me rewind, my name is Brynn Trevizo and I am 21 years old. Back in April I made an irrational and spontaneous decision to travel to Italy this summer. I had been researching programs to travel such as studying abroad or volunteering, but when my college’s Center of International Education told me about API I fell in love. They offered a variety of programs all over the world including opportunities to study abroad, teach, tutor, and volunteer. To tutor in English for one month was much more affordable than any other program I had previously come across and the only requirement was to be a native English speaker. Tutoring seemed like a great fit because I love helping others. I chose Italy simply because I had never been there before. After calling my mom and having her support, I immediately decided to start the process of applying. And just like that I made the best decision of my life. I was quickly accepted into the program and later placed with a family of four in a town called Laveno-Mombello in Northern Italy.
I have previously traveled to seven other countries, but never alone. My anxiety and my parent’s concern made it the perfect excuse for my mom to travel to Italy with me to make sure I got there safely. We planned to visit Rome for a few days before my mom would go back home and I would jump on a quick one hour flight to my host family’s hometown. Rome was absolutely amazing and I was very comfortable having my mom there. Unfortunately the days went fast and I quickly found myself back at the airport hugging my mom, my comfort, goodbye. As I boarded my flight so many things were racing through my brain, “What did I get myself into? What if my host family and I don’t get along? How am I going to go an entire month without seeing my friends?” I have gone skydiving and I have run off a cliff while paragliding, but I have never experienced anything as scary as sitting on an airplane in a foreign country completely alone not knowing what the next month of my life would consist of.
As I exited the airport and saw my host family holding a “Welcome Brynn!” sign and I saw their faces light up when they saw me, I knew everything would be okay. Today I am writing this piece on day seven of my journey and I have made more memories in this one week than I have all year. I was placed with the greatest family I could imagine. Volfango is the father, Erica the mother, Emma the daughter I am tutoring in English as she prepares for 10 months abroad in Canada, and Tommaso the son. From the beginning they have done everything they could to make me comfortable and make this summer unforgettable. My family lives by many lakes and mountains making it such a beautiful place to call home. The family has taken me tanning, swimming, up a lift to the top of Sesso Del Ferro, paragliding, on a paddleboat, on convertible rides and out to dinner to watch the sunset from the best views, to the market, to meet their extended family, and on walks around their town along the lake. They have plans to take me to an amusement park, on motorcycle rides, to their house in the national park which requires a four hour hike, to the largest mall in Europe, and to a music festival, just to name a few. Every day they have cooked me authentic Italian meals and delicious desserts. We have spent hours talking and asking questions learning as much as we can about each other. I am forever grateful for all they are doing for me. As my time here continues I hope to dive deeper into their culture and learn as much as I can. I hope to be able to communicate in Italian by the time I leave here and I hope I can give Emma the confidence she deserves in English.”