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If you ask an Italian why you should come to Italy the answer will probably be because Italy has the best food, the most beautiful language, the greatest culture and world class soccer teams. Well, it’s hard to disagree. This country sure has a lot to offer!
High School Classic is the traditional high school exchange programme, chosen by most of our students. It is the perfect programme for those who long for a genuine high school experience abroad and who are willing to embrace all the surprises it can bring. Here’s how it works: based on your profile, we find you a suitable host family and school, and the best part is, it can be anywhere in Italy, from the dreamy countryside to the historic cultural centres! If you’re open to adventure and are willing to let yourself be surprised by your exchange experience, this is the programme for you.
There are lots of great cities like Milan, Venice, Florence and of course Rome. The countryside is full of beautiful spots and the country has a fantastic climate. You can enjoy beach life at the Mediterranean Sea and winter sports in the mountains.
You will quickly get new friends in your class in school. Italians are very easy and outgoing and they know how to enjoy life. Kick some ball, sip a cappuccino at a café, talk with new friends, love life! And the fashion and all the boutiques… If you like good shopping Italy is the place for you.
Population: 61 million
Area: 301 000 km2
Country code: +39
High school in Italy includes grades 9 to 13 and is called Scuola Secondaria Superiore. Most exchange students are placed in year 11 or 12, usually in a class with focus on either science or language. Joining an Italian class on these levels is very rewarding. Grab the chance to try high school the Italian way!
The Italian school atmosphere is usually rather strict, but there are no school uniforms. Your teachers will expect you to focus on your learning while you’re in class. There are no language requirements to be accepted. However, we do recommend that you have some basic knowledge of the language, in order to follow what the teachers are saying. Everything will be in Italian and before you know it, you will probably be thinking in Italian too. Can you imagine?
In most Italian high schools you attend class from Monday to Saturday, but the school days are relatively short. You often finish around lunch, when you go home to eat with your host family. Meals with the family are important in Italy!
As an exchange student in Italy you will immediately realise that family is very, very important to Italians. Our warm and caring host families are carefully selected and live both on the mainland and on islands like Sicily and Sardinia. They're proud of their culture and eager to show you the Italian way of living from the inside and open their hearts to you.
Italians are often talkative and open. They like to talk about basically everything and anything. This will be beneficial for your language skills and you will quickly improve your Italian. Without even thinking about it, you will pick up new words and expressions at home.
A lot of the conversation takes place around the pasta and pizza filled dinner table – because food is really important too! You’ll soon realise that you haven’t had pasta for real until you’ve tried a home cooked Italian meal.
Many of your new friends will probably be into sports of some kind. As you might imagine, soccer is very popular all over the country. Even if you don’t play, watching a Serie A game is a cool experience. Other popular activities are swimming, volleyball or going to the gym. If you live in the north, close to the Alps and the Dolomites, you’ll find that skiing is very popular.
You don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy life in Italy. Italians love socialising and they are proud to show you their favorite spots and not least their fashion! Your new friends can take you to the best shopping malls in your area and show you the most unique boutiques.
Some days you just want a nice and calm activity. Join your friends when they visit a café! Italians know their coffee. You can get the perfect espresso, cappuccino or macchiato wherever you go. Just remember, if you order a latte in Italy you will probably be served a glass of milk, since latte is the Italian word for milk.
Take a break from school work and take the chance to join some of the trips we arrange during the year. In the Italian autumn (Fall), we usually visit Rome for five days. Some of the famous attractions we will see include the Vatican City with St Peter’s Basilica and the Colosseum. In the Italian Spring, we travel to Tuscany and explore Florence and Siena. Your local contact person will give you more information about dates and prices for these trips. Let us show you Italy!
Your exchange starts with an amazing Welcome Camp in London! The Welcome Camp gives you the best possible start to your time abroad, full of sightseeing, seminars, new friendships and lots of fun.
Milan, Florence and Rome are three of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating cities, and you can choose to make one of them your home during your high school exchange.