When I first arrived, before school started, I didn’t have any friends and I couldn’t speak Italian. However, when school started I met my classmates and we became friends. At first it was difficult to communicate with them because they couldn’t speak English very well and I couldn’t speak Italian but two months after my arrival, things got better. We started hanging out together, going shopping, traveling to other cities in Italy together. My friends helped me understand the lessons at school.

Rodaina Magdy
Rodaina Magdy

My Italian friends are really good, yet they are different than my friends back home. Because each group of friends comes from a different background, they behave also behave differently. However, this difference doesn’t affect our ability to communicate.

I have to admit that my Italian friends made this program much more enjoyable. I consider them my sisters as my hosting family doesn’t have any girls.

I am also lucky enough to have my AFS friends from other countries, such as Mexico, Thailand, or the USA. I met them at AFS camps and orientations, or in the Italian course. We hangout together and understand each other very well because we are in a similar situation. Spending time with these friends is an excellent opportunity to meet and learn about people of different cultures.


By Rodaina Magdy, AFS student from Egypt on exchange in Italy. Rodaina is one of the young deserving students who received the 2016 Investing in Africa’s Future Leaders scholarship to participate in a year-long school exchange program with AFS.