NDA Welcomes International Student from Italy


Joseph Giganti, Frannie Wied, Staff Writers, Journalism I

A second international student joined Journalism I class last week.  Here are two stories that grew out of interviewing one of the newest Tritons.  The first is by senior Joseph Giganti, the second by freshman Frannie Wied.

When asked what is the general idea Italians have of Americans, Anita Mannuzzu answered, “That you guys eat very bad food, lots and lots of junk food.”

Mannuzzu is Notre Dame Academy’s newest transfer student, coming from the city of Sassar, located on the Italian island of Sardinia. 

“It’s considered the ‘Italian Outer Banks,’” Mannuzzu said, describing her hometown. 

She is currently being hosted by the Watzka family, who is also hosting Eva Gillet, an exchange student from France.

“It’s different than France, because I’m just an only child in France, but it’s cool because I really like her ,and we have a good relationship together. I think for the year that it will be good because we can talk to each other,” Gillet said. 

Mannuzzu has been dreaming of coming to America as an exchange student since she was child, saying she started studying English in elementary school.

When she left Sassar, she said her mom and grandma were both sad and worried, but in the end, supported her journey. 

“They knew it was my dream and wanted me to pursue it,” said Mannuzzu. 

Asked about the way she processes the language in her mind when speaking it, Mannuzzu explained, “When I think of phrases or sentences, I think them in English, but whole speeches I think in Italian, then translate it into English in my mind.”

Mannuzzu said the biggest difference between American culture and Italian culture was the emphasis on technology. “Americans know more internet/technological things, and in Italy we focus more on education.” 

Mannuzzu says that she doesn’t look forward to any one specific thing about being in America, but wants to experience it all, starting here at NDA.–Joseph Giganti


Notre Dame Academy has the pleasure of welcoming another foreign exchange student, Anita Mannuzzu, a native of Sardinia, Italy, who will be spending the whole school year here.  Mannuzzu and Eva Gillet, an international student from France, are staying with the same host family.

“It’s known as the Italian Outer Banks,” said Mannuzzu about her picturesque Italian home. Her home island is a popular tourist destination in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s famous for its summer vacation spots, rugged terrain and clear, pristine waters. 

Even though this is Mannuzzu’s first time in the U.S, she’s had her heart set on coming to America for a long time.

“When I was 11, I went to England, and after that trip I decided I wanted to study in America to improve my English,” she said. 

The hardest part of Mannuzzu’s journey so far was saying goodbye to her friends and family. She is very close with her mom and grandma, so it was difficult leaving them. 

“My mom was very sad, but she also knew that it was my dream to come here,” she explained.

Mannuzzu had quite the shock upon her arrival. After several international flights, she landed in Chicago, where her flight was cancelled. After scrambling, trying to find out what to do and where to go, she was able to sort it out. She said that it all went super fast and was a lot to process right away–and definitely not what she was expecting her first American experience to be. 

Mannuzzu has already noticed differences here from back home. In Italy there were no sports affiliated with the school, and all of her classes were taught in one room, something that she enjoys.

“Having one classroom is nice because you can really get to know your classmates and form good relationships with them,” said the new international student. 

Another shock Mannuzzu had was the clothing worn here. 

“Everyone dresses differently–a lot more casual than in Italy.” 

From the moment Mannuzzu arrived, Mrs. Brown and her journalism class were shocked with how good her English was. 

“I never took extra English lessons,” said Mannuzzu.  “We started learning in elementary school and kept progressing from there, in middle school and high school.” –-Frannie Wied