Say HELLO to our friend TOMASSO NETTO!


Will Eaton, Writer


New school, new friends, new country. That’s a lot of change for a foreign exchange student. Top it off with a pandemic, and it’s a story in the making. This profile in particular centers around student Tomasso Netto and how he has managed all the aforementioned changes. 

Tomasso Netto is a senior at Helena High, but his home is 4,905 miles away in Naples, Italy. Netto, like most Europeans, loves soccer. Netto practices 3 times a week with the Helena High Boys soccer team and still manages time for school, homework, and hanging out with his friends. Netto said in 10 years’ time, he would like to be living in Australia or the U.S. and be working as a space engineer.  

From a young age, Netto knew about the exchange program and his parents encouraged him to take part. In April of this year, Netto decided to pursue it. After filling out the extensive paperwork, he got his placement 10 days before arrival. Overall, he feels very lucky to have the opportunity to study abroad.  

According to Netto, the biggest difference between the U.S. school system and the schooling in Italy, are the classes offered here in America. In Italy, schooling consists of the basics, such as math, science, history, reading & writing. Whereas here in America, we have many classes for various interests. A difference Netto likes about American schooling is, “the teachers prepare you more in life for life.” For example, more life skill classes are offered, not just pure academics. Teachers are also more understanding of school activities and sports, and in Netto’s case, soccer.  

Covid has affected Netto’s life in many ways. Last year in Italy, they had a strict stay-at-home mandate. Netto’s city in particular did schooling online like most of the world. With more access to teachers and classmates, Netto thinks this school year will go a lot better.  

So, if you ever have the opportunity to talk to a foreign exchange student, make time for a chat, you may just learn something new! Welcome to America Tomasso, I wish you a meraviglioso year at HHS!