venerdì 9 settembre 2016


I have been to Germany for a week during summer break and I actually learned and did so many things so I am just gonna write down a list of facts I found interesting or things that I found different from my country.
1- You can give out certain plastic bottle to groceries stores and get money out of it.
2- You can start driving when you are 17, but only with your parents. Once you turn 18 you can drive by yourself.
3- I actually know how to distinguish a biergarten with an outdoor restaurant: the first one has tables with benches, restaurants have tables with chairs.
4- There are two different kind of beers that have lemonade in it; and they are pretty good.
5- In the Baverian region people wear a typical dress during ceremonies like weddings and Oktoberfest
6- There are many Americans fast food: McDonald, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts etc.
7-They have a lot of bakeries.
8- They love bread.
9-They really like biking, there are always cycle paths.
10-There are no speed limits on the highways
11-You can see the alps from Munich thanks to the föhn
12-When you ask for water in a restaurant it is likely that they'll give you sparkling water
13-High school system is complicated. There are three different kind of high school. One of the three doesn't allow you to go to college. You need to attend one of the other two in order to go to college.
14- It's illegal to buy cigarettes if you are under 18 but you can smoke them legally. It's common to have teenagers asking you if you could go buy cigarettes for them.
15-Even if they live in a big city with good colleges is common for them to go away for college

lunedì 25 luglio 2016

What I felt once I was back home.

When you go back to your home country you have different feelings.
You feel different, you know you are different, you have grown up and you want everybody to see it. Most of the times, though, nobody sees it and it sucks. You feel like nothing changed, you did, but your city is the same as when you left it, the places you go are always the same and it almost feels like you didn't actually stayed abroad for one year, it seems like you've only dreamt about it. You are happy, too. But just for a couple of days.  You want to feel different, you want others to be like "hey dude, you've changed" but it seems like the only thing they can do is saying "say something in English".
The thing that hurts more is that they don't understand that you didn't go on vacation. It wasn't that easy. You may have posted pictures on social media about happy moments during your exchange year and they saw only those ones. They don't know what's behind those pictures, they don't think there is anything behind.They weren't with you while you were crying or while you didn't have a place you could have called home.
Yes, you did something amazing, an experience that changed your life in better but it was freaking difficult and your friends were at home with their parents, with their friends, in the places they have known their whole life thinking that for you everything was easy and beautiful.
And while you just wanted to come back home, they were probably thinking "She/he is so lucky, she is there etc", yes, you were lucky because it's one of the best thing you'll ever experience, but they can't understand how difficult it was. They can't understand that in some moments you just wanted an hug, a kiss on your cheek and a "everything will be fine" from your parents.
 I can talk for hours about what I did or what were my feelings but nobody will understand me unless they are former exchange students. People went on with their lives but you are still stuck with all the memories, you can't stop thinking about that time when you did this or laughed at that. Friends, family or random people  wanna hear what it was like or what you did but how can you explain how it was without saying everything? You can't. You should have to start talking about it until forever but I am sure that after 5-10 minutes they would be bored of you. So you won't know what to say. How can you talk about a year long experience just in a conversation without being boring?

The first couple of days in your home country you are overwhelmed with excitement and happiness because you are gonna go to that place again, you are gonna eat your favorite meal again, you are gonna see your friends again and this is exciting...but then all of this just ends. And you are left with only sadness, you miss your host family, your friends, your house, your school and the traditions you used to have every day, for one year. You have fought so much to build a life there and then when you've accomplished what you wanted you had to leave it. You always think "I am gonna go back as soon as possible" but you soon realize that people there will go on with their lives, too and once you'll be back to visit, you will be only visiting. You won't be staying.

Add me on snapchat: ehifra and Instagram: francescaa_papa to find out about my adventures in real time!!

venerdì 22 luglio 2016

A new beginning.

Everything started with a "Francesca, do you want to spend a period of time in the USA?"
My mum knew me and knew that it was the biggest dream I have ever had. I always tried to save money because I wanted to go study in America.
I wanted to attend an American College, I wanted to live my American Dream and nobody could have stopped me from doing that. But then I have grown up and realize that it was impossibile. I could not go to an American college with that little of money. College is freaking expensive there and unfortunately doesn't take just that little of money.
So, when my mum asked me if I wanted to spend a just a little period of time in America, my answer was a huge yes! Of course I wanted to.
That's how my journey began. That's how my biggest dream became the best thing I have ever done in my life.
I spent one year in Chandler, Arizona and even though I could have been luckier and end up living in New York, San Francisco,  some tropical place in Hawaii or Seattle I didn't.  There were times where the only thing I wanted to do was leave Arizona or go to another school...I have hated my school and my city but then it became my home and I started loving every bit of it.
I love it so much that I wish I could come back to start school on Monday, as everyone in Basha is gonna do, even if that mean starting school in the middle of July.
I am gonna come back in Chandler for sure (even if it won't be the same), I am gonna travel to new places and make new memories. I am gonna find another place to call home even though I will neve forget the experiences and the places I have lived at.
I want to write about what I discovered and what I learned from this year abroad,  but I also wanna write about my new adventures and a little bit about me.
And for the one that are interested...
I am Francesca Papa and my major dreams in my life right now are: become a surgeon(so get in medical school) and travel around the world!