From the reign of the Roman Empire through the birth of the Renaissance until its current place as a global center for art and culture, Italy has long been a land of beauty, power, and intrigue. By traveling to Italy as a high school student, you will have the opportunity to explore a historically rich and diverse country with your peers amidst a breathtaking Mediterranean backdrop. Are you ready for a taste of la dolce vita (the sweet life)?
Italy is a large sprawling country with one of the largest populations in Europe. There are a wide array of locations, big cities and small towns alike, that offer international programs for high school students in Italy.
Rome is the country’s capital and largest city, and as such is a popular destination for high school programs in Italy. Rome has steadily been building upon itself for thousands of years and today you will be amazed by the diversity of magnificent architecture on display throughout the city. From the Colosseum to the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, some of Europe’s oldest and most impressive monuments line the grand cobblestone streets of Rome.
Florence is another common place for high school programs in Italy. Famed for its tremendous influence in arts and sciences throughout the Renaissance, today Florence remains one of the premier cultural hubs of Europe. Boasting a wealth of world class museums, high end fashion boutiques, and mouth-watering eateries, high school programs in Florence are highly enriching experiences for students with a particular passion for the arts.
While Rome and Florence are the country’s most popular destinations, options in Italy far exceed these two great cities. Milan, Venice, Bologna, Palermo, Naples, the list of potential locations for high school programs in Italy goes on and on, each more fascinating and unique than the next. Spend time exploring all your options and consider carefully the pros and cons of each place.
High School Programs in Italy
Many high school programs in Italy are centered around exploring the language, culture, and history of the country. A typical structure of a high school study abroad program in Italy combines the chance to take classes for academic credit with further opportunity to explore your surroundings through interactive field trips and cultural outings. Some high school programs in Italy will take a general approach to Italian cultural studies, while others might hone in on specific subjects of interest such as art, architecture, or culinary studies.
You will also have the opportunity to choose a cultural exploration program that typically takes students to several destinations across the country, instead of being grounded in one location. While the latter is more likely to grant academic credit for enrollment, the former can be a great way to experience many different aspects of this multifaceted country. In either case high school programs in Italy tend to last between two and eight weeks, and are primarily offered during the summer.
While Italian language study is a common feature of many high school programs in Italy, it is typically not required of students to have any knowledge of the language prior to departure. While a beautiful language, Italian is not offered as a subject at many high school across the world, so learning the language will be purely for practical purposes.
Costs & Affordability
Italy is an economically advanced country and a very popular tourist destination, and as such it is a fairly expensive country for high school programs abroad. Costs of living vary significantly across the country however, the big cities generally being more expensive than rural areas.
Accommodation & Visas
Homestays are the most popular form of accommodation provided in high school programs in Italy. By living in a homestay you will enjoy the very rich sense of family life that is a fundamental part of the Italian people, and benefit from total cultural immersion as well. For exploration programs that move around frequently, you will likely be staying in a variety of housing situations, such as hotels and dormitories. In any case safety is a primary concern of high school programs abroad in Italy, so you can rest assured that students will be supervised and accounted for.
You might have to obtain a visa to travel to Italy for an international program, depending on what country you come from and how long you plan on staying. Italy requires citizens of some nations to apply for a visa prior to entry, while others will only have to apply if they plan on staying for longer than 90 days.
Benefits & Challenges
A high school program in Italy will prove to be one of the most adventurous and enriching experiences of your young academic life. Beyond the classroom, the challenges which come with adapting to life in a new country will help you grow as a person and expand your worldview. At once a picturesque, culturally wealthy, and downright fun country to travel to, Italy should be at the top of every high school student’s list of places for international programs.