Connecting with teens around the world Name Maria Mura Age 17 City Sardinia Sardinia is a mountainous island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is part of Italy, but it is also close to Tunisia and Spain. I live in a small village with only 3,000 people next to the sea. There are not a lot of facilities, but we are very attached to our traditions, especially our festivals, food and dialect, so there are a lot of local events. Tourists like coming to the region because we are very friendly and the scenery is beautiful. I study Latin, Italian, maths, chemistry, biology, physics, French, Spanish, English, art, philosophy, history, geography, economics and PE. School life is challenging: I go to school from 8am to 1.30pm, then go home to do homework. I usually spend three or four hours on homework. My first language is Italian but I can also speak French, Spanish and English. I like shopping, reading and watching movies. I go to art classes twice a week and drama classes once a week. I am also a catechist - I coach a group of children about Catholicism. What I like most about my country is the food, the hospitality and openness of the people, the culture and our peaceful lifestyle. With my friends, I usually go to the park and chat or listen to music. At the weekend, we go for dinner at a pizzeria or restaurant, and sometimes we go to the cinema. I eat meat and salad, soup or pasta for every meal. I only have to cook if I'm in the mood because usually my mum cooks for the whole family, but sometimes I help her. I have to make my bed, keep my room tidy and clean the bathroom every time I use it. When I'm on holiday, I have to help my mum clean the house. For example I have to wash the dishes and sweep the floor. In the summer we tend to spend every day at the beach. At Christmas and Easter, we go to our relatives in other cities. Usually I wear jeans with very colourful T-shirts, shirts or jumpers. During summer, I wear dresses, skirts and shorts. I especially love accessories like bags, shoes and costume jewellery. My favourite sport is swimming and I just love the sea. I'm a very cheerful and lively girl. I'm extroverted and love finding out about different cultures, countries and people, and will ask a lot of questions to find out more. I love trying new, exciting activities, and learning new facts to enrich my knowledge. I'm quite strict on myself - I always want to improve in everything I do. I can be a bit touchy, but I never stay angry for very long. I don't have a favourite idol, but I have great respect for anyone that becomes a leading figure because of their hard work, intelligence and dedication. I think that teenagers in my country are really active and very attached to their families. As most people in Italy are Catholic, the most important festival is Christmas. We usually celebrate by going to church and spending time with our families. Hong Kong is a fantastically exciting city. I'm currently on the AFS Intercultural Exchanges programme, studying and living here for one year. It's so different from my homeland, but I love it.