Originally from Michigan, Jay now calls Torino, Italy home.
Q + A with Jay
WHERE ARE YOU FROM IN THE USA? I am from Walled Lake, Michigan, in the Detroit area WHERE ARE YOU CURRENTLY BASED? WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE? I currently live in Torino, Italy. I teach in the lower school of a private international school in Torino.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU OVERSEAS? I met my wife Valentina, who is Italian, while she was living and performing research at the University of Michigan. She kept extending her work visa in the US until her job would no longer allow for an extension. She moved back to Torino and when my teaching year was completed I followed her into the city. This was the best decision that I have ever made. I proposed two months before I moved to Italy and we married 13 months later in June, 2016.
DID YOU STUDY ABROAD IN THE PAST (OR PRESENT)? IF SO WHAT PROGRAM AND WHERE? When I was in undergrad at Central Michigan University I took part in a study abroad program in 2007. Each semester there were two teaching abroad programs. In the fall you could visit Ghana or England and in the spring, the Dominican Republic or Australia. I decided to get as far away as I could so I decided to teach fifth grade in Tema, Ghana for three months with a small group from our university. This was a great experience as it was very different from any other travel I had done previously.
ANY WORDS OF WISDOM FOR FUTURE YOUNG AMERICANS? For me it has been important to live somewhere completely different and not feel like a visitor on vacation. Most importantly, I have gained an appreciation for a different way of life, much more than a week or two of vacation can provide. I think that social media has made our world smaller in both good and bad ways. There is the potential for a false sense of understanding because we see so many images and videos on television and the internet about other cultures. It wasn't until I moved to Italy that I truly began to understand the "European" way of life. In short, you should go abroad, and gain international experience. It has been my experience that international travel/experiences have been beneficial in the workplace. FOLLOW JAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA: