Foreign Exchange-Denis Raparelli


Jenna Ashley, Staff

If you’re already having a hard time in Spanish, imagine what life would be like speaking five languages. For Denis Raparelli, a foreign exchange student from Italy, this is completely normal.  17-year-old Denis is from the center of Italy about an hour away from Rome. She’s grown up with her mother speaking Spanish and father speaking Italian. She also decided to learn German, English, and French.

Denis states, “A YouTube channel first interested me with the opportunity to become a foreign exchange student.” She also explained that coming to the United States was a dream of hers. Denis is currently living with Ryan and Stefanie Hathaway. She says she feels very comfortable with them.

The most challenging adjustment she has had to make was the food, although she does like to go to Red Robin and Lix Frozen Custard. Denis also loves going to Busch Stadium, and she enjoyed going to an Ed Sheeran concert. The most comforting item she brought from home was a picture of her and her friends back home.

Denis had to go through a long process including tests and meetings to have the opportunity to become a foreign exchange student. When she first told her parents, her mom (being a mom) wasn’t the happiest. Her dad was very happy and her parents were very supportive of her.

If you were to travel to her country, she suggests you go in the summer to the beach. But don’t go to larger towns in the center…they’re very expensive and don’t have very appetizing food. Italian food in Italy compared to Italian food in America is very healthy and simple. When Denis grows up, her dream is to be a flight attendant or a surgeon.

Although Denis is only here for this year, she’s already having an amazing time; and says, “You don’t realize how long a year feels.” She says she will miss watching American sports, her American friends, and especially her exchange parents when she heads back home.