Italian exchange student enjoying a “different” experience

Charlie Denison

Marianna Procino of Milan, Italy, is enjoying an experience away from home very opposite from home.

Photo by Charlie Denison

It’s not a stretch to say Marianna Procino of Milan, Italy, was surprised when she arrived at her new home of Winifred, Montana, a place she never knew existed.

“I was like, ‘where is Montana?’” she said.

A remote town outside of the Missouri Breaks far from a shopping mall or any kind of metropolitan prowess.... Well, it took a little while for her to get settled.

Starting one of two high school semesters, Marianna welcomes the challenge and welcomed the surprises.

“This is the opposite of everything I usually see,” Marianna said, “but I like to try new things, so I’m up for it.”

Considering the language barrier, getting started was difficult for Marianna, but that didn’t stop her for putting her all into it, and it’s this attitude that has improved her experience. As she’s continued to learn, she’s continued to enjoy her experience.

The people of Winifred also play a large part as to why her experience has been second to none.

“It’s even easier to make friends here than it is in Italy,” she said. “People have been great. They’ve been so nice.”

Marianna said she feels it’s especially been easy for her to make friends because, unlike in Italy, her teammates are also her classmates.

“Playing volleyball has been a nice way for me to make friends and be a part of a group here,” she said. “It’s also made school better for me.”

A swimmer in Italy, Marianna said she loves getting involved in athletics. Although she misses swimming, she has enjoyed the sports Winifred has to offer, especially basketball.

School has also been excellent, Marianna said, except for the homework. However, the classes – with the exception of the language barrier – are easier.

It’s also been interesting to get a feel for an entirely different culture, Marianna said, from understanding ranch life to understanding country music.

“I can’t say I’m that surprised country music is popular here,” she said. “We’re out in the country.”

So far, Marianna said her experience has been excellent, and she has a lot of fun ahead.

“My parents are going to come visit,” she said. “We plan to travel a bit together. I wish I could see every state, honestly, but that’d be pretty expensive.”



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