By Sasha Narang ’18

Procrastinating in the classroom usually consists of subtle Snapchatting, the constant refreshing of your Facebook feed, and for the the most experienced procrastinators, watching Netflix with subtitles. However, Nick Bilotti ’18 dozes off by taking an array of European geography quizzes on Sporcle and scores perfectly on all of them. It was no surprise to the Staples community when Bilotti announced he would be spending his first year out of high school in Slovakia.

Although it was not his first choice, Bilotti explained how the process included narrowing down 30 countries to his top three choices. “Slovakia was my third choice, but I’m so happy I’m going.” Rotary, an international charity organization, will be organizing his trip.

While in Slovakia, Bilotti will be attending a high school where he will play sports as well as attend one rotary club meeting per week. “I’ll live with three different host families throughout the year and will live just as their children will,” Bilotti said. “Most weekends I’ll travel either with my family or with Rotary and volunteer a lot for Slovakian Rotary events.”

Although he will be leaving the United States for an entire year, Bilotti explains how he is not worried about the language barrier, nor about feeling homesick. He is fluent in Polish, which is an easy transition to the Slovak language. “The Slovakia language is very difficult…but I have a huge advantage,” he said.

In addition to becoming fluent in Slovak, Bilotti is looking forward to integrating into the Slovakian culture. He expressed his excitement for meeting his host family and befriending locals. “I’m really excited to explore new parts of Europe and also to learn to speak Slovak,” Bilotti said.

After recently being admitted into the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, Bilotti hopes to attend following his year abroad. “I am going to request deferral for a year, in order to do my exchange,” Bilotti explained. “But incase I am not approved for it, I will reapply next year during my exchange and hope to get in.”

If Bilotti is not accepted into the class of 2023, he plans to apply to other European schools. There, he plans to study international relations and language.

Although the experience will bring Bilotti out of his comfort zone, he is more than ready for his departure. “I am hoping to get amazing memories that I’ll have forever,” he said, “and to get connections and build a life in a new country.”

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