Riccardo Clontropo: 2021-2022 School Year Foreign Exchange Student from Italy


Audrey Grindatti and Reagan Oestreich

Riccardo Clontropo from Rome, Italy, is here at Arrowhead studying abroad for his senior year of high school. English teacher Katie Herrmann and Senior Noelle Herrmann’s family are Clontropo’s hosts while he is in America. 


Katie Herrmann said, “We’ve never hosted an exchange student before, and we thought it might be a fun way for us to give a student an opportunity while also getting to learn about another culture. As a teacher, I’ve had the opportunity to see and learn from many exchange students throughout the years, so I knew how fun and enriching it could be to actually welcome a student into my family/home.” 


Clontropo said the biggest culture shock was, “Eating times. In Italy, we don’t really eat breakfast, and then we eat lunch at 2-3pm and dinner at 8-9pm. It has definitely been an adjustment with my lunch period being at 10am.” And his favorite part of the American high school experience is “…that you can meet many more people at school and that there are fun events that are part of school other than just learning.” 


Clontropo said, “One of my favorite things is that you can meet many more people at school and that there are fun events that are part of school other than just learning football games, for example.”


Noelle said that he got to choose which country he wanted to study in but he didn’t get to pick the state or area he would end up in. He wasn’t even sure if he would have a host family until late July early August. 


The Herrmanns said that not too many accommodations have had to be made when having Clontropo stay with them. Noelle said, “we have to make some small, general adjustments simply because there is another person living in our house. Although it was a bit odd at first, we really don’t think much of it now.” 


Clontropo arrived in America mid to early August 2021 and will leave mid June 2022. He will graduate and walk with the 2022 senior class in June.


Noelle said, “I can see us having a lifelong bond and friendship, and I hope I get to visit Italy, too!”