At Livingston High School, there was a chorus of Benvenuti a Livingston! to welcome 17 Italian students who have arrived for a two-week exchange.
The high school students from Latina, Italy, will be staying with their host students and families for an “authentic living experience” that goes beyond language and culture, said Guy Rabner, a LHS World Language teacher.
Their trip was rescheduled after Hurricane Sandy prevented the group from arriving as originally planned. Their flight to the states was anything but smooth as a baggage carrier strike further delayed their plans. “We could leave Italy, but without our bags,” said Jacopo Ripepi, one of the students who finally arrived on Monday.
The students are staying with their host families through Thanksgiving. They’ll also visit New York City and Boston, and attend some classes at Livingston High School.
“I try to provide an experience that I would have liked to have as a kid,” said Rabner, who has organized the Italy Exchange program biyearly since 2005.
The Italian students are traveling with teachers and the principal of Liceo Scientifico Ettore Majorana, a demanding science/math-oriented high school.
In February, LHS students of Italian language will travel during February break to Latina, a small city just south of Rome, to live with the same Italian teens who stayed with them, completing the exchange’s cycle and living experience -- “arrivederci in cielo” -- until we meet again.