My Milanese Homestay: Basically an Italian Sorority House

Blair Betik
January 25, 2017

Back in Dallas, I don't do the whole "apartment" thing. It's too much of a hassle, feeding yourself, paying rent, having to clean the toilet, and other adult things. Instead, I live in my chapter's swanky sorority house, with 30 other women, catered to by a private chef, and cleaned after by a housekeeper. Living with all women has been something I have become really used to, and honestly, nothing has changed since coming to Italy. 

I live with four women; a mom, and her three daughters. They are my Italian srat sisters, basically (although, only one is blonde and they never wear pink, but it's the same idea). 

It's been two weeks in my Italian sorority hou- I mean, homestay. I've developed a good rhythm here in Milano. We eat dinner together every night, and speak only in Italian for the majority of the meals. However, inevitably, near the end of every dinner, a mini English-Italian lesson begins, when someone picks up a fruit or a fork and asks "Blair, come se dice in inglesse?"

Beatrice, the eldest daughter at 22, is scholarly, quirky, yet really sarcastic. Benedetta, 19, is silly, spacey, and social. Chiara, the baby, is your classic thirteen year old- giggly, dramatic, and obsessed with Ariana Grande. 

On Tuesday nights, the girls stay at their father's house, and I have one-on-one dinners with Laura, the mom. Educated as a biologist, Laur atells me about the research she performed when writing her thesis at university, when she tested the rivers of Lombardy for pesticides, and analyzed their effects on freshwater ecosystems. She tells me about her mother's cooking, about when Chiara was a baby, about family trips to their house in the mountains where they always make massive American breakfasts during summer vacation. 

On Friday nights, Bea takes me to her boyfriend, Andrea's, bar. Andrea is hip and cool, with quirky tattoos and dermal piercings. Benedetta's boyfriend, Stefano, usually tags along too, your classic cool Italian guy, who makes tons of loud jokes, loves his mama, is always hungry, and has a goattee. 

At Andrea's bar, BOOM, I have met all of Bea's and Andrea's closest friends. I think I've met 5 different Alessandro's, 2 Giuseppe's, and the whole Gospel crew (Matteo, Marco, Lucca, and Giovanni). Pia is my favorite, a girl who studied in New Mexico through Erasmus, and is fluent in English. Arancia and Luana are also incredibly fun, loud girls, who always ask me "Blair, do you prefer American boys or Italian boys?" loudly, in front of Italian boys. 

I love my Italian homestay, my sisters, and the great community that comes with it. They are so open to me struggling through my Italian sentences, to testing out their English on me, to introducing me to every single one of their friends. Bea, Beni, Chiara, and Laura are going to make a Milanese out of me yet, and I'm definitely okay with it.

Blair Betik

<p>A museum-loving, cappuccino-drinking, Game of Thrones-obsessed sorority girl from Texas, I study art history, anthropology, and Italian at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. If I ever go missing, check the nearest museum for the Mediterranean antiquities gallery.</p>

2017 Spring
Home University:
Southern Methodist University
Art History
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