STUDY HIGH SCHOOL ITALY
A High School year in Italy
✔ Preparation Course in Milan
✔ European Tour
✔ Great variety of school subjects
✔ Warm and welcoming volunteer families
✔ Language requirement
Italy, situated in Southern Europe, is famous for its history, art, music, literature, heritage sites, amazing and varied landscape, monuments, handicraft and its tasty food. The country which is usually known as a ‘museum in the open air’, is home of the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites (43).
Education in Italy is compulsory from the age of six to the age of sixteen. Both private and public schools are controlled by the State through the Italian Ministry of Public Education.
Italian host families are volunteers. They decide to host because they believe in cultural exchanges, they want to get to know a new culture and sometimes they would like to speak English in order to improve it. Of course they want to help you in learning Italian.
Situated: Southern Europe, in the Mediterranean sea.
Area: 301,388 square kilometers
Inhabitants: 60.870.745.627 (census 2012)
Official language: Italian
National holiday: 2 June
Celebrities: Sophia Loren, Totò, Alberto Sordi, Fellini…
• For native english speakers: no language requirements
• For all other nationalities: 2 years of Italian
Italian teachers speak in Italian, (rarely in English), therefore it is very important that the student has adequate knowledge of Italian. Otherwise he or she will not be able to follow the school classes.
• School year mid-September to mid-June.
• School classes six days a week, Monday through Saturday.
• Schools controlled by the Italian Ministry of Public Education.
• Six basic types of secondary school.
• Exchange students usually placed in Scientific or Linguistic Lyceum.
• Volunteer families all over the country. Typical family two parents and one-two children. Live in apartments.
• Very protective towards their children and their students. Immediately try to solve the problems.
• Students expected to speak English with the family sometimes.
Education in Italy is compulsory from the age of six to the age of sixteen. Both private and public schools are controlled by the State through the Italian Ministry of Public Education. The management and administration of schools are locally organized, with district school councils and province school councils. High school is for students aged fifteen to nineteen. There are six basic types of secondary school:
– Liceo Classico-Classics Lyceum
– Liceo Scientifico-Scientific Lyceum
– Liceo Linguistico-Linguistic Lyceum
– Liceo Artistico-Artistic Lyceum
– Istituto Tecnico-Technical Institute
– Istituto Professionale-Vocational Institute
Students who are willing to attend university usually will choose Lyceum, while the Technical and Vocational Institutes tend to lead directly to specific careers. Exchange-students are usually placed in Scientific or Linguistic Lyceum as they offer several subjects, including foreign languages. The school runs from mid-September to mid-June. Classes are typically held in mornings only, from 8 am to 1–2 pm, six days a week (from Monday through Saturday). From Christmas time to a week after New Year’s Day, schools are closed all over the country. There is also a week long break for the Easter holidays. Italian schools usually don’t organize afternoon sport activities, so students are expected to spend part of the afternoon doing their homework and self-study: social life begins around 6 pm and is mainly concentrated to the weekend. There are no school uniforms. There is generally less familiarity between teachers and students in Italian schools compared to schools in many other countries. Exchange students will normally not get grades, but they are expected to show an interest in all subjects, study diligently, complete their assignments, and make an effort to speak Italian. Please note, that Italian teachers and students are not forced to know the exchange student’s native language, so the sooner he/she will learn Italian, the best it will be for him/ her. Exchange students are expected to respect the teachers, the school rules and the classmates. Before student’s departure, the school usually gives them a certificate of attendance.
HOST FAMILY LIFE
Italian families all over the country open up their homes and volunteer as host families. The typical Italian family normally consists of two parents and one or two children.
They often live in apartments which they like to keep tidy. The student must be able to help out in the host family’s home like all other family members. Exchange students should keep their rooms tidy, help at dinner time and share family tasks like taking care of pets and younger siblings.
Italian families (especially host mothers) are usually very protective towards their children. They like to know as much as possible about their lives, and they really worry about their problems and immediately try to solve them. This is often perceived as an over-protective attitude, but it simply reflects the habits of an Italian mother.
Anyway, the host family will give the exchange student some independence, (to go out with friends, etc), but he/she will have to be polite and responsible, always asking for permission to go out, saying where and with whom, and phoning if he/she will be late. If students are used to a great deal of independence and freedom in their home country, they should be prepared to change their lifestyle; the host family will most likely have a curfew time when they expect students home, and may or may not allow them to go out with friends every weekend. Be prepared to get to know and to adapt to a new culture! Communication is essential to a good host family/student relationship, Italian people are often outgoing and they like spending time together. Whether discussing a discovery about cultural differences, a problem, or a positive event of the day, the bonds of mutual trust and affection strengthen when the student communicates openly and freely with the family.
With communication and time, the student truly becomes a “member of the family”. The family usually expects the student to speak his/her native language from time to time (especially if it is English),while learning Italian, in order to help the host family improve their own foreign language skills. This makes for a true international exchange! A special moment dedicated to communication is mealtime. Italian families like to eat together at the table and talk about daily activities, about themselves, about things to do, etc. The three most important meals are: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Breakfast is usually a small meal which is eaten in the kitchen and consists of an espresso, cappuccino or lemon tea and a croissant. Lunch is around 1–1.30 pm and dinner is around 8 pm. They can be served in the kitchen or in the living room and usually consist of a “primo” (some variety of pasta), a “secondo”, the main course (some meat or fish), and finally some fruit or a sweet desert. On special occasions, or if you are being served at a restaurant, you can also have a light “antipasto” (entry), which can be ham and melon, mozzarella with tomatoes, etc. Italian families like eating together or with friends, preferably during dinner/lunch time and not during the day. Italian mothers prepare very good dishes so it is kind to taste them. Students usually appreciate Italian food! Italian men always shake hands when meeting, and girls exchange a light kiss on the cheek.
It’s normal to say hello to people in the neighborhood or when entering an elevator or a shop. Members of an Italian family usually kiss each other on the cheek! Family life and activities are important to the Italian family and the exchange students should always try to be part of it. If in the host family there are children of the same age, it is nice if they go out together, doing sports, shopping or anything else. The host family will be glad to share activities, visits and weekend excursions with the students, and students are expected to show interest and enthusiasm in return.