Getting to know Jade Rizzo

Senior exchange student seeks new experiences


Joy Robinson, Reporter

Living in another country and coming to America isn’t the same experience for everyone. 

Life is different here than it is there. 

Senior Jade Rizzo is a foreign exchange student from Italy. 

“I wanted to experience a new country, new culture and coming here in the US it’s always been one of my biggest dreams,” Rizzo said. 

America runs its schools and lifestyles differently than how Italy or other countries do.

“My day here is definitely different from one of my normal days in Italy,” Rizzo said. “I go to school earlier here and I have lunch at school. We don’t do that in Italy. Also I have [cross country or track] practice everyday after school until 4:30; dinner time is different too.”

In order to come over to America she had to leave her family, her sister, mom, and dad behind.

“The hardest part was saying goodbye to my friends and my family,” Rizzo said. “Because they’re part of me, it’s really hard to restart from zero in a new city, with a new language without your affects.”

Rizzo says she misses the things people and things she won’t be able to do and see in America.

“I miss my family and all my affections,” Rizzo said. “Sometimes I miss my habits and my routine.”

She left one family to be welcomed into another family. She said she enjoys being with her host family.

“My host family is composed of my host dad, my host mom, my two host brothers, my host sister and another exchange from Mexico,” Rizzo said. “I’m aware that I’m lucky because I got a great family that cares about me and respects me for who I am.”

Her host family siblings all go to Floyd Central but she comes to NAHS. She was rushed into school after getting to America at 1:30 the day before and having to go to school at 6 the next morning. 

“My first day here was crazy,” Rizzo said. “I came to school and I didn’t know anyone or anything but some people helped me to find my classes and I made some friends.”

This year, in America, she decided to try new things like new sports. 

“I run here but I played volleyball in Italy,” Rizzo said. 

While running cross country, she has made new friends and had a new experience. 

“I have some good friends here but my closest friends are definitely the girls with whom I sit for lunch every day and my running teammates,” Rizzo said.

She left behind her friends and her past with volleyball in coming here. 

“I miss playing volleyball or hanging out with my friends during the weekends,” Rizzo said. “I also miss the family dinners at my grandma’s house.”

The coronavirus heated up again but it fortunately didn’t have any effect on Rizzo’s experience.

“Covid made things more difficult in some situations but in general I cannot complain,” Rizzo said.

She says she likes the school spirit and the sports that NAHS has to offer here. 

“If I had to describe America with three words: Diversity, Freedom and Opportunities,” Rizzo said.