Sophomore Francesco Facciaponte’s dream of coming to America began a few years ago as he sat with his friends by a small lake near his home town of Aschassenburg, Germany.
“One of [my friend’s] siblings had gone to Australia, and it sounded so great to get away for a year and learn another language and another culture,” Francesco said. “I had never been to America before, and it sounded like fun.”
One impediment that kept Francesco from coming to America was his father, who stressed the unity of family.
“It took two years of convincing my parents for them to let me come to America —being here was something I had really set myself on,” Francesco said.
Francesco got his wish just a few months ago when he left Germany and came to Salinas, California.
He was in Salinas for three months before deciding it was in his best interest to move.
“The place I was living was dirty and moldy and I was just very uncomfortable. One of my friends [Luca Ciaccorini] got me in touch with a family in Los Altos so I moved here,” Francesco said.
Luca is also an exchange student at the school. He is currently staying with a family in Los Altos while attending four classes each day at the school.
An obvious obstacle for a foreign exchange student is the language barrier, which Francesco seems to have overcome. Although his English is accented, he uses impeccable grammar and can carry a full conversation with ease.
“I took English in my last school three months ago, then I came to Los Altos, so I have taken some classes in English before,” Francesco said.
According to Francesco, the main difference between America and Germany is the size of the area he is living in. In Germany, he was able to go wherever he needed either by bus or by walking. However, in America he is forced to take more private means of transportation.
“Here everyone has to use a car, and everything is just so much bigger,” Francesco said.
Another difference he noticed was in the people’s personality and diversity.
“People here are a lot nicer than in Germany, everyone in Los Altos has been so great, I was warned before coming here about Americans, but the people here are so diverse it is impossible to stereotype them,” Francesco said.
Francesco has plans to move back to his home country of Germany and complete his the rest of his education and will possibly return to the United States for college. After his educational years, Francesco hopes to use his fluent English and German to help him get a job in international business.
“I want to live here as long as I can. …I also really want to be able to see my family and spend time with them, and they are all in Germany, but I also have made a lot of friends here and I really like America,” Francesco said.