Photographer:Fotograaf: Anna Heckhausen
Home Sweet Home
Sofia Discacciati (19, Italian), first-year Liberal Arts and Sciences student, pays 420€ per months for a 20m2 room near the Markt
“This is my house, this is my home.” proclaims Sofia Discacciati with utter conviction. “My friends, my boyfriend, my whole life is here now.” They keep her company from the pictures above her bed. But even more, these pictures mirror shifts in Discacciati’s life. “I changed the photos. I printed some pictures of my new friends and replaced old ones. Coming here, I wanted to see something different, I wanted to change. And I feel like I have changed a lot.”
This also shows when Discacciati is visiting her family and old friends. How her parents treat her; how her friends talk - “It’s like going back to high school. Every time I go back to Rome, I feel confined. People there don’t know me as the person I am now. I love to spend time with them, but we are living and creating different lives now, so I feel like a visitor. It’s a bit sad but at the same time, I am glad because it proves that I have grown up.”
Still, Discacciati is far from losing touch with her Italian roots. “There are some things about me that will never change. Small things, which identify me as Italian: If I had to choose something to eat for the rest of my life, it would be pasta.” The luring scent of such freshly-made pasta frequently spreads from the kitchen, where Discacciati cooks with her housemates, neighbours and closest friends – all Italians. Discacciati admits: “When I came here, I had planned to make loads of international friends, but these Italian girls and I immediately became really close.
Despite her small Italian community, the international environment is what Discacciati loves about Maastricht. “Maastricht is becoming more and more mine. Not only my room is my home, but the whole city. Maastricht is somehow small but through its people it manages to be big.” Through its people from all over the world. I am proud to be Italian, but I have always liked to be with international people. After some time, you just bond and forget where the others are from.”
After her bachelor, Discacciati wants to explore a new country. “I’m so close with my family that I don’t want to live too far away forever. But now is the time that we can experience new things. And there will always be time to go back home.”