The academic community of La Consolacion College welcomes Italian student Alexandru Parpauta as the campus reopens for in-person classes this August. He is among the foreigners undertaking study abroad program in Bacolod through the AFS Intercultural Programs Philippines.
Alexandru hails from Turin. A bank in Italy sponsored his participation in the intercultural exchange program. At 17, he is determined to develop self-confidence and independence and he thinks that studying abroad is a great opportunity for him to grow.
“People of my age may think that I am wasting time and money as I will be missing a school year in Italy, but I know that the opportunity for me of being able to live in a foreign country will give me more knowledge and skills that are important for me to function effectively in a society characterized by cultural diversity and global mobility”, he said.
Alexandru looks forward to pursuing a career in the medical field abroad. He will be part of the 12th-grade STEM class.
“I have a wonderful relationship of trust and support, allowing me to live in a very communicative and loving environment. In the eyes of my friends, I’m always the person who can make everyone laugh and make the funniest jokes, that’s why they consider me the soul of the party”, he added.
“I’m looking forward to making new friends, discover new hobbies, and passions. I would like so much to join school clubs and participate actively or perhaps organize activities that will allow me to develop social and leadership skills and also impart what I know to help the community” Alexandru said.
Under AFS Philippines’ study abroad program, intercultural exchange students have to be hosted by a Filipino family and will be treated just like a family member to provide them with maximum opportunities to learn about the local culture according to Larry Franco, President and Activity Coordinator of AFS Negros Chapter.
“We are very happy to have a loving volunteer host family for Alexandru. Our foreign students are a gift to their host families as they too grow from the intercultural exchange program through close interaction with the foreign student they are hosting and regular communication with their families abroad”, he said.
Franco said that the goal of the AFS Philippines to promote intercultural learning is not only for the foreign student but for the local community as well. “AFS is very grateful to LCC Bacolod for having been a reliable partner school in Negros”, he added. LCC Bacolod has hosted the most volunteer and exchange students since the re-organization of the chapter in 2008.
Sr. Joan Brigida Corazon S. Infante, OSA, LCC Bacolod President is very supportive of the intercultural exchange program. Being a product of international education herself, Sr. Joan sees that the students have so much to benefit from a diverse learning environment. “In a diverse learning environment, students will develop cultural sensitivity and understand different perspectives, which are important for our students to succeed in a complex global environment that requires open-mindedness and creativity,” she said.
LCC Bacolod plans to organize an Italian Language Club which promotes the learning of the Italian language with Alexandru.