The Italian Exchange Program

Many will remember the Italian exchange students who visited Burlingame High School last year. Approximately 30 students from Carpi, Italy arrived in California. For many of them, it was their first time being in America, which means that their first day outside their home country was spent walking our halls.

Currently, students from our school are preparing for a similar trip. Those who hosted last year’s exchange students will be venturing to Italy over spring break to gain the same authentic, cultural experience the Italians did. However, the trip comes with a high price tag, and for many the plane ticket alone is a significant expense. To support as many students as possible, Signora Antonella has been working extensively to create and execute fundraising programs. Section J.5 of the San Mateo High School District’s board meeting page maintains that “No students will be denied participation due to lack of funds.” Antonella wants all of her students to be able to participate in such an enlightening trip, one that has existed for over 10 years with Burlingame’s sister school in Carpi, Italy.

For these past few months, Signora Antonella and the AP Italian students have been raising money in various ways. At the start of the semester, Signora encouraged all students to participate in Mixed Bag sales. They received packets filled with two magazines and an order form. They were instructed to go around and promote sales from fellow students, parents, teachers, and anyone else interested in purchasing from the magazines. Some of the merchandise included kitchenware, clothing, and accessories. A percentage of the profits went to the Italian Exchange Program, and the rest went to the Mixed Bag company.

Another facet of the Italian fundraising program has been selling Italian biscotti. Antonella and the students prepared the cookies at home and brought them to school to package them at lunch. To prepare for the tree lighting ceremony in Burlingame, they reserved a table on the Avenue and decorated it with the colors of the Italian flag. There they sold the cookies until nearly all of biscotti were gone.

These students have been working very hard to raise as much money as they can. According to the school district page, “The contract for 35-39 participants is $3,500.00 per participant for an amount of $129,500.00.” Seeing this sum, it becomes evident why scholarships and fundraising are of the utmost importance to these dedicated, Italian students. Antonella claims, “We need to raise 22,000 dollars by the time the trip comes around, 11,000 by January 10th.” If you’re looking to contribute to the Italian trip, the best means in these coming days would be to keep an eye out for upcoming events.

Posted on January 1, 2017 .