#ETAtoITA 2016: Miguel Perez-Luna – Da Harvard a Lamezia Terme

Miguel Perez-Luna – Fulbright ETA to Italy 2015 – 2016

Miguel Perez-Luna è uno dei 5 statunitensi che trascorreranno l’anno accademico 2015-16 in Italia insegnare la lingua e la cultura statunitense presso le scuole superiori del Sud Italia. Miguel viene dall’università di Harvard e al momento si trova a Lamezia Terme (CZ) dove sta prestando servizio come ETA presso l’Istituto Tecnico Economico “De Fazio” e il Liceo Statale “T. Campanella”.


Miguel parteciparà alla nostra presentazione sulle opportunità di studio negli USA, il prossimo 15 aprile alll ore 15 presso l’ITE “De Fazio” di Lamezia Terme.

Nel frattempo lo abbiamo raggiunto Miguel per farci raccontare come sta andando la sua esperienza in Italia.



Hi Miguel! What brought you to Lamezia Terme? How long have you been here?
Since I was young, I have always been curious about Italian culture and all that it encompasses – food, art, music, history, etc. In college I had the opportunity to learn Italian and to study abroad in Bologna. I loved it so much that I wanted to return after graduation! I was fortunate to return to the South this time. I am now teaching English in two public high schools in Lamezia Terme as a Fulbright ETA and I’ve been here for over six months.


Had you ever been in the South of Italy before?
Before starting my Fulbright experience, I had never been in the South of Italy. During college I studied abroad in Bologna so I was familiar with the North, but not the South. I’m happy that Fulbright ETAs work in the South as it affords us a more authentic experience! Given that we are not in the most tourist of cities, we have the chance to live the more day-to-day life typical of the South.


How do you like your experience so far?
My experience so far has been incredible. After the initial culture shock at the beginning, I really started to appreciate every aspect of living here. The food here is spicier, the weather is warm, and the landscape is truly straight out of a postcard. Working in the classroom has been very enjoyable. We’ve been able to establish classroom environments where students aren’t nervous to speak and converse in English. Their motivation makes for entertaining lessons!



What’s one thing that may have surprised you about the habits and customs of the Italians you’ve come in contact with?
I have been blown away by how welcoming the people of Lamezia Terme have been. In my initial stages of adjusting to the city many of the teachers I work with gave a helping hand – from helping me look for an apartment to lending me apartment essentials. Since then I have been invited to dinner at teachers’ and students’ homes, I’ve gone on school trips with various classes, and now when I go for a walk on a Saturday evening I often bump into people I have met and we have a quick conversation. More than anything I feel like I belong to close-knit, familial community, and that is something I will surely miss when I leave.