Popular Italian foreign student enjoying life in Lodi | News
For the past six months, a fairly famous celebrity has been attending high school in Lodi. Well, she’s famous in her native Italy.
At 17, Maggy Gioia has more than 277,000 international followers as an Instagram influencer. She is also a model and uses her Instagram account to share trendy outfits and photos.
Last week, the Milan teenager, who is part Indonesian, was in New York at the request of the Indonesian Embassy to cover New York Indonesia Fashion Week 2022 on her social media platform.
“At first they told me they wanted me to share photos and stories for Instagram,” she said. “Then when I got there they said I could walk (the runway) so I wore a dress instead of tweeds. I met a lot of designers, models and people from Indonesia.
Although it’s called “Fashion Week,” Gioia said it’s more of a two-day affair, with Thursday being all about rehearsals and auditions. The actual show took place on Friday.
Not only is she an Instagram star, but she’s also a bit of an actress, appearing on TV shows in her native Italy.
So how did she come to Lodi? Well, she wanted to experience American culture and, through Cultural Homestay International, was selected to spend the 2021-2022 year in Lodi.
“Here, high school only lasts four years,” she said. “It’s five years in Italy, so I didn’t want to do that. But the people really brought me here. Everyone is so friendly. People are very different in Italy.
Gioia said people in Milan – located in northern Italy – can be very narrow-minded and judgmental. The families are small, they are more reserved, set in their ways, which most of the time, she says, are the “old habits”.
However, in southern Italy it is quite the opposite, she says.
“They’re more open, they use gestures when talking, they have bigger families and they’re just friendlier,” she said.
The weather in southern Italy is also nicer, she said, which is just one of the many things she loves about Lodi.
“I love the weather here,” she says. “Milan is very cold. The neighbors here are friendly, it’s very spacious. Here you have houses and courtyards, and there is space between them. In Milan everyone lives in apartments and apartments.
She said the school systems are also different. While American students move from class to class and see a variety of people throughout the day, Gioia said Italian high school students see the same group of classmates all day, for five years.
Also, physical education is a required course in America, but she said it felt more like something students do “for fun” in Italy. Gioia said United States history was one of her favorite subjects at Lodi High.
“Right now we’re learning more about World War II,” she said. “In Italy, you learn about the Nazis, the Holocaust, fascism. But here, we are talking about the Japanese internment camps. They tell you things that we just don’t learn in Italy.
Although she enjoys modeling, acting and sharing fashion photos on social media, she said it’s not something she would pursue long term.
After this year, she will be moving to Phoenix for her senior year – she is looking forward to the warm weather – and she plans to join the US Army Reserves or find a career at the Italian Embassy or the United Nations.
Whichever career path she chooses, she has said she wants to stay in the United States.
“Being an exchange student is like being in a new world,” she said. “It really opens your mind to new cultures and new people. And I wish I could leave something of myself to the friends I’ve made here. The best way to learn things is not to study with books on a desk for hours. The best way to learn is to travel and understand people, cultures and places.