Expat families in Rome will be particularly interested in the schools available for their children. In Italy, it’s customary to send your kids to kindergarten (scuola dell’infanzia) for up to three years.
Pre-school is followed by five years of primary education (scuola primaria). In primary school, Italian children are taught reading, writing, math, English, arts, and music, as well as basic history, geography, natural sciences, and social studies.
The same curriculum as in primary education applies to lower secondary school (scuola secondaria di primo grado), except for the addition of a second foreign language. After three years, the students sit the licenzia media exam for upper secondary school.
Upper secondary education is divided into several types, depending on each student’s personal interests and academic achievements. Students who want to start a job sooner rather than later can attend an istituto tecnico or istituto professionale for three to five years. These institutes offer practical subjects with a commercial or technical focus as vocational training.
The liceo, on the other hand, is the fast track to a university education. There are various kinds of high school, of an artistic or academic nature. Students can specialize in music, the fine arts, or even dance, as well as the classics, natural sciences, humanities, or modern languages. The final exam (esame di maturità), in combination with an entrance test, paves the way to higher education.
While the Italian school system has a good reputation and is free of charge, expat parents often worry about the language barrier. If your child is comparatively young, shows noticeable ease at picking up foreign languages, or has another European language (especially a Romanic one) as his or her mother tongue, this could be a great opportunity for your kid to acquire fluent Italian skills.
However, if you are planning on returning to your home country soon, attending an Italian school will be too much of a bother for your kids. There are a considerable number of international schools in Rome. Many of them have their own nursery and kindergarten as well. As private schools, however, they charge annual tuition fees that can be fairly costly.
Make sure to check out the following schools well in advance of your move:
Adult expats living in Rome have plenty of opportunity to broaden their horizons. Rome has four public universities with an estimated student population of over 200,000. In addition to that, there are several English-language universities in the Italian Capital.
While the NATO Defense College and the LUISS School of Government cater to the military and the civil service, respectively, the American University of Rome and John Cabot University provide higher education for the general populace. Anyone who’d like to brush up their Italian instead should simply get in touch with the Società Dante Alighieri. They provide a number of classes for studying the Italian language, history and culture at any level of linguistic proficiency.
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