The Renaissance Man: Sergio Cazzaro Interview

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For Sergio Cazzaro, America means so much more than a new experience. At 18 years old, he has already received a scholarship to the University of Illinois-Chicago, with aspirations to enter the medical field.


Getting settled

Sergio was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, and was raised in an Italian home, giving him exposure to different cultures at a young age. Having an older sister with a mother and father back home in Venezuela, Sergio adjusted quite well to the culture shock that is being alone with just a host family in the United States.


“The first four months were the hardest, but I stay in touch and FaceTime home every 2 weeks,” said Cazzaro.


The weather was a big difference for Sergio as he misses the warm climate in Venezuela (70-80s) year around with no snow.


“It’s damn cold, man,” Sergio said.


With help from the Exchange Students Program, Sergio didn’t decide to come to Wisconsin but was picked by a host family that best suited both parties involved. He added that if it was his choice, he would be just off the coast in California.


Interestingly, the bright 18-year-old noted this wasn’t his first experience in the U.S. as his family has a home in Florida, yet he still acknowledged being close to a big city like Milwaukee was awesome.


Life in America

American life was certainly a big change for Sergio, but it has brought some new interests. His favorite American food is burgers, and Red Robin is the best in his opinion. Sergio also enjoys spending time downtown with his friends.


Another big change is the education system here in America. Sergio was surprised that he was able to pick his own classes because in Venezuela, his classes were already assigned. This allowed him to pick classes that he believed would benefit his future education in college.


“American school is so much easier with retakes,” said Sergio, “and there are more diverse classes. You have the ability to choose classes; it’s very nice.”


America is a popular place for Venezuelan students to receive an education, and Sergio was happy that he received a full scholarship to UIC. On the other hand, many different students travel to western Europe for college because it is drastically cheaper to attend. There are many more opportunities in these countries compared to Venezuela, which is why Sergio has friends that are going to attend college in both America and Europe.


On Sunday April 2, Sergio returned back home to his family in Caracas, which he pointed out is the most violent city in the world, with the most homicides per 100,000 (119.9 people). However, he won’t be gone for long, as he is excited to move downtown Chicago and start his university experience there.

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