By Elizabeth Keane, Staff Writer

The time of year has come once again in which exchange students come from around the world to live with Prospect students and learn about american culture. The thirteenth annual group of italian exchange students flew in last Tuesday and soon met their partners for the first time in person.

This year, nineteen AP Italian and Italian 4 students are participating in the exchange, while twenty-one came from Italy. The Italians are in town for the next eight days, and Italian teacher Lyn Scolaro has planned a packed schedule for their time here.

“Every year, this is the most amazing and life-changing experience for everyone involved,” Scolaro said.

Scolaro organized a day in Chicago where the students go on a ninety-minute boat tour of the city, ride a private trolley, and have lunch at Hard Rock Cafe. The following day, the students will get to experience a traditional american breakfast and demonstration at Dave’s Specialty in Mt. Prospect.

Scolaro is especially excited because the students have been asked by the Milan Sister City Delegation to wear designer Italian costumes while walking in the Columbus Day parade. The costumes were designed and made at the Academy of Art and Design in Milan.

In order to prepare for an exchange like this one, Scolaro and the Prospect students have been organizing pieces of it for the past year. According to Scolaro, the biggest thing for her students to consider is not only housing a person, but housing a person that you didn’t previously know.

“They’ve been communicating with each other since May,” Scolaro said. “So after the initial shock of seeing each other at the airport for the first time wore off, they’ve been best friends ever since. You’d think they’ve been friends forever.”

Senior and AP Italian student Kayley Loving has been texting with her exchange partner Elena over the WhatsApp Messenger in order to get to know her, her likes and dislikes, and what she wanted to do when she came to Illinois.

Loving is most excited to go with Elena to the football game on Friday. Over the weekend, the pair plans to go shopping and to a pumpkin patch, as well as bowling with the whole group.

“I’ve never been out of the country before,” Loving said. “So I hope that through this experience I can gain a better understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life. I think that it will be life-changing to see a different perspective.”

Loving and her exchange student Elena with Italian teacher Lyn Scolaro.