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The way of life when living in Italy

Teagan Trent shares her experience living somewhere new

Victoria Webb

Guest Writer

November 3, 2023

Photo courtesy of Jill Trent

VENICE WITH A VIEW- Teagan Trent stands with her younger brother Taylor Trent in front of a bridge while walking through the streets of Venice, Italy.

Teagan Trent and her brother were sitting down at their kitchen counter, their parents had something to tell them. Teagan thought they were going to Disneyland but that was nowhere close to where they ended up going.

Soon after, Teagan moved to Bologna Italy at the age of eight. Since her dad's engineering company needed him to work over there. Teagan enjoyed Italy very much even though her reaction to the news was not positive.

Moving to Italy

“I didn't want to move,” Teagan Trent said. “I cried for a long time. I was eight and it was kind of hard when you have only known one thing for your whole life then one day all of the sudden your parents are just like we're packing up and moving.”

Once she arrived in Italy there were many new things she had to get used to. One was that mainly everyone there spoke a different language.

“The first year was really hard because you basically don't know anything that is going on,” Teagan Trent said. “I couldn't understand anything that was going on around, it's like the cashier would ask you if you want to buy this, it's $2.50 but you have no idea what they said. The first year was like a culture shock and you don't know people and don't have friends or family there either.”

On top of not understanding anything going on, Teagan and her brother Taylor had to start school. They attended the International School of Bologna where their grades became way smaller with only around 20 kids in each grade.

“We went through everything together because the first day of school we had to go to the same school and we all walked together and did everything together for the first couple of days,” Teagan’s brother Taylor Trent said.

Life in Italy

In Italy, life was still very different from life in America. At school, they had teachers from all over the world, the school curriculum was different and so was the food.

“One of the biggest differences at school was their food,” Teagan Trent said. “In the middle of the table is the fruit of the season and you would get pasta bianco which is white pasta and they would have a sauce with that. You would go back to your seat and eat that with bread and then you would go up for a second course which was meat or potatoes. You would get a full hour to eat, but you could not pack food from home.”

When there, Teagan was required to learn Italian at school. She said that since she was so interested in learning Italian she got a tutor who helped her learn it even better.

“I had an Italian tutor whose name was Lucia,” Teagan Trent said. “She would basically pick me up from school one day a week and we would go around the city. She would take me to different places and I would speak to the actual Italian people by ordering and talking, it was fun and I learned a lot.”

Another big difference in Italy was the way you would get around. Instead of riding in cars, people would walk to most of their destinations.

“Everything is outside your door and you don't need to get in a car and drive,” Teagan Trent said. “I would be able to walk to school, the grocery store, walk to sports, walk to dinner and I miss that aspect of it.”

Going Home

When COVID came around some of Teagan's friends began going back to their home countries. So that created a discussion on whether her family should go home too.

“We came back from our ski vacation and school closed because of COVID and so I did one week of online school at my house which was kind of hard,” Teagan Trent said. “My parents decided to leave because we didn't want to be stuck in our apartment which had no outdoor space for anyone. My dad jokes that we were the last plane out of Italy because right when we landed the headlines were ‘Italy Shuts Down’.”

Now that she's been back for a few years her family is planning a visit to Italy, to see their favorite places and their friends who still live there. Looking back, Teagan did many excellent things when in Italy.

“The only thing she didn't do well was take the news well but once we got there she and her brother did everything together and explored,” Teagan’s mom Jill Trent said. “She really had a great time, met lots of friends, and enjoyed her small classes and her small school.”


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