Semester in Ireland: Edoardo Cossetti's experience

Anya Savio, Lucrezia Grosso

The 3B student, Edoardo Cossetti, will tell us in this article about his life as an exchange student in Ireland, taking us on a journey with him to relive the highs and lows of his experience, school, work, and friendships.

Irland landscape


There were three reasons that convinced me to embark on this adventure: the possibility of learning the English language in depth, which, I think, is very important nowadays; the incredible fascination about the difference in life in this small village of ranchers compared to the beautiful but now monotonous life in Turin; and the idea of testing myself by putting myself in activities that I could not have done in my usual life and savoring this more "ancient" lifestyle, if one can call it that.


My adventure began after an initial extraordinary journey through Northern Ireland with my parents. My family greeted me at the door of my future home and I began to experience mixed feelings: fear, joy, sadness, and happiness.

I was greeted, then, by what would become my host sister, also a foreign girl who had arrived to learn English and came from Austria; I entered the house and, ready to welcome me, there was an Italian boy my age and another Danish boy a year younger, with whom I formed a wonderful relationship.

In the front row was this lady with a kind and carefree face who turned out to be my mom for the next few months.


After a few days I learned of the existence of our neighbors who, like my mother, were hosting exchange students; so I found myself with a German neighbor, a Spanish neighbor, and later an Italian girl also arrived; among all these people I formed a stronger bond with an Irish neighbor named Cillian.

Cillian, despite being sixteen years old, was already a very good farmer: he drove the tractor and often invited me to go to the pub with his friends, which in the long run helped me tremendously, allowing me to become as familiar as possible with this country, which at that time I could not feel more distant, unlike my "brothers" who were only among themselves.


To be honest, it was not always easy to be in Ireland because my "brothers" all went to one school and I went to another on my own, because of that and the way I was initially received by my Irish classmates, I began to doubt that that might not be the right place to spend the next few months.

But, just as in the books at the point where the protagonist seems to give up, an object or person comes along to raise his or her head again, so did the same thing happen to me: that is, Aray, a boy who came from the Canary Islands, Antonio who came from the same place, and Pablo, a boy from Spain, arrived.

The arrival of these three boys completely altered my stay in Ireland as they would not stop even in front of my craziest proposals: like bathing in the ocean in November or the city pond.


In Ireland, I undertook, following the college's advice, a course in which one day a week you are obliged to find a job: this activity was called "work experience," perhaps the activity that matured me the most!

In this work experience, I happened to do some bizarre things, like going to a cow auction to sell ours or digging a grave in the cemetery with shovels and picks and putting the coffin inside. Working for a florist, I also painted walls, washed store windows, and was sent on bike errands.

At the same time I worked, in the evenings, in a pub where I brought beers and cleaned up the floor, finding money here and there, at the end of the night, and according to the pub owner's advice, it fit better in my pocket than in the pockets of those who had lost it.


After these months, looking back on my initial misgivings and, I admit, my fears, I can now certainly acknowledge that this was a unique and unrepeatable adventure that allowed me not only to improve my English but, more than anything else, to mature through the many experiences that life put in front of me; I recommend it to anyone who has the chance to experience it because it can change the way you see things.