We would like to thank the Mount Pleasant Rotary Club for sponsoring Milena Urroz. She is enjoying her exchange in Italy this year! Milena is 16 years old and is from Charleston, South Carolina. Milena loves playing the guitar. She has been playing the guitar since she was five years old. She also enjoys playing the clarinet as well. Milena has one goal and that is to become an agent for the FBI. She is having the time of her life in Italy. We want to thank Aquileia-Cervignano-Palmanova Rotary Club for hosting Milena! Below is a letter from Milena explaining how much fun she is having in Italy:
For the past seven months I have been living in Italy, apart from all my parents and friends back home. Before getting on the plane from Charleston to Venice my head was full of fear and questions. Questions like, “Will Italy accept me into their culture and traditions?”, “Will my host families open up to me and become like my real family?”, “Will I make friendships that will last throughout my life?” and the the scariest question was, “Can I do it? Can I be an exchange student for a year?” Seven months in and I have only had positive answers to these questions. I have melded into the Italian traditions as if I was Italian my whole life, the bond between my host families and I is unbreakable, I know for a fact that when I get on my plane to go back home and say “goodbye” to my friends that it won’t be the last time I see them, and the best realization I have made is that yeah, I can do it. I can be an exchange student for a year…..maybe even longer. The adventures that I have had here in Italy will stay with me forever, from getting off the plane at Venice and finding my host family, to my first walk around Venice, to going to my first club, to taking walks on the beach that remind me of home, to taking a trip to Naples, then to Verona, then switching host families and getting that new feel again. That feeling of being an outsider, but not in a bad way. Changing host families has to be one of the best adventures I have had so far, not because I didn’t like my first host family ( I loved them), but because its like starting your exchange all over. Its a new beginning, and I am all for new beginnings. I now have about three months left. I try not to think about the departure and try to think about the present because anything can happen. About my friends, my school, my city, and my family. I want to give a big thank you to everyone who helped me get to where I am, and I want to give a special thanks to Vicki Tatum, Lou Mello and my parents for their support and care.