Art teacher Amy Beitzel and her family are hosting Iacopo Pavan until this fall.
By Maria Teresa Morrison
LEWES – Iacopo (Jacob) Pavan, an 18-year-old Italian exchange student from Cittadella in the province of Padua, is attending classes at Cape Henlopen High School.
While in the United States, he is hosted by his art teacher Amy Beitzel, her husband Matthew and their two children.
Iacopo’s mother, an English teacher in Italy, encouraged him to learn and speak English, going beyond the classes offered in elementary schools there (normally beginning at age 6), with the benefit of practicing outside the classroom. He said he’s enjoying his time in the United States and the opportunity to meet new friends and appreciate other cultures.
Over the spring break, Iacopo is looking forward to a visit to New York City with his host family, having already visited Baltimore and Annapolis with other exchange students. His adventure and stay in the United States is being sponsored by ASSE (American-Scan-dinavian Student Exchange) and Mondo Insieme.
He said he is particularly enjoying his psychology and criminal justice classes at Cape Henlopen.
When he returns to Italy in the fall, Iacopo will complete a year of study at his “liceo”
(high school) Tito Lucrezio Caro, where he is studying linguistics, classics and science.
He noted some differences in the daily routine in Delaware and in his hometown. In Italy he attends school from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., six days a week. Lunch is not provided in school there, so most students return home and then have the afternoon free to explore personal interests such as sports and music.
When he is home, Iacopo spends afternoons training with his soccer team, which plays matches on weekends. However, he wasn’t in Delaware in time to play with the Cape Henlopen soccer team, and activity he said he misses.
He said his host family has helped him become accustomed to American family life, such as having the evening meal at 5 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. He noted that cultural diversity in America is not unlike that in Italy, saying that customs and language (including colloquial expressions) vary from region to region. After completing his final year of study in Italy, Iacopo plans to attend university and to revisit the United States to travel or maybe again to study.