Welcome Lisa Barbieri

Say hello to Italian Exchange Student, Lisa Barbieri.

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Welcome Lisa Barbieri

Exchange student Lisa Barbieri

Exchange student Lisa Barbieri

Exchange student Lisa Barbieri

Exchange student Lisa Barbieri

Emma Kessi, Reporter

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Walking the halls of Scappoose High School you may see a new face roaming past.

Lisa Barbieri is an exchange student this year. She is from a town in Italy called Acquanegra Sul Chiese, a small village of around 3,000 people. Barbieri will be studying at Scappoose High for one year under the AFS (American Field Service) program and was one of a handful of selected individuals in all of Italy to get a scholarship to study in the United States.

Barbieri discovered she was coming to Scappoose only a week before leaving. Not knowing what to expect, she was initially surprised with our large tree farms and the lack of fenced front yards around houses.

She is being hosted by the Banz family. “They treat me like their daughter,” said Barbieri.

Her town, Acquanegra, is small and charming. While walking through, you may notice that houses, shops and fields intermingle, portraying a quaint, picturesque village. There is a substantial population of older people in the town and it is common to see people on most days out and about.

Sunrise in Acquanegra

A tradition celebrated in Barbieri’s area is a week-long collective birthday party for all eighteen-year-olds. In the summer, a tractor pulling a trailer carries all the eighteen-year-olds around the area. The youth party all night, every night for about a week. This tradition arose out of the abolition of the Italian army draft in 2003. As new generations grew up this tradition has become less about celebrating the abolition of the draft, and more about celebrating newfound adulthood and the freedom that comes with turning eighteen. 

Barbieri and friends

Food is a key part of Italian culture. On special occasions like Christmas or Easter, Barbieri says a meal can last almost half a day. The Lombardy region, in which she lives, has an array of specialty cuisine; one of the most famous being Tortelli di Zucca (Pumpkin Ravioli). Its ingredients are quite unusual, ranging from more typical ingredients like parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, to ingredients like baked pumpkin, sweet Amaretti biscuits, and caramelized fruit in mustard syrup. Barbieri enjoys this dish, but her favorite meal is Carbonara, a creamy dish consisting of spaghetti, bacon, eggs, parmesan, and a hard sheep’s cheese called pecorino.

School in Italy is similar to school in the United States until high school. At this point students choose which subject they want to study. Barbieri chose to study language and is attending a language school in a town about 30 minutes away from her home. Barbieri’s younger brother goes to an auto mechanic school. Students such as her brother will be introduced into internships in nearby companies where they can get essential work experience. Barbieri claims that it is very rare for a teen to have a job and to attend school. She says that even if she wanted to get a job, it would be very hard for her to find the time as she often studies four to five hours a night.

Class time in Italy

Although Scappoose is quite different from Italy,  Barbieri is excited to experience the new culture and experiences that lie ahead.