The experience of a lifetime

Travelling on an exchange program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that shapes your future. Check out this short guide to plan your exchange in Italy. Please join an Information Session Webinar and then contact us to make that plan a reality.     

About high school in Italy

As an exchange student in Italy, you will experience life as an Italian teenager. You will have the opportunity to practice your language skills everyday and create new connections and friendships. Attending an Italian high school is an exciting experience that will develop you both as a student as well as a citizen.

Please note that some Italian high schools may require a payment of an enrolment fee upon arrival. This fee is not included in our program fee since the value depends on each school. The cost can vary from $30–150.

Enquire now

Subjects and school activities

In Italy, all high school subjects are mandatory. The subjects may include Math, History, Italian Literature, Physical Education, and English, but they depend on the school you attend. You cannot choose your own subjects. The school may, however, allow you to have a free lesson to give you more time for Italian studies.

You usually go to school from Monday to Friday, but some schools have classes on Saturdays as well.

Most of the high schools do not offer any extra-curricular activities such as sports or art clubs. The Italian teenagers are active in sports clubs around town. Plenty of Italian schools arrange trips for their students for two or three days in Spring. These may be trips around Italy but also in Europe. Please note that we cannot guarantee that your school will organise a trip like this, but it is common.

Enquire now

Semesters and breaks

The Italian school year is divided into two semesters. The first one starts in September and the second one by the middle or end of January.

Most schools have a two-week Christmas break, one-week Easter break, and summer break from June–September. In addition to this, there are some public holidays. There are also different religious holidays depending on the city or region you live in.

Enquire now

Your spare time in Italy

Your spare time as an exchange student in Italy will depend on where your host family lives. All exchange students’ experiences re different, and you can be sure to experience Italy in your own unique way.

It is highly recommended for you to join your host families and friends’ activities after school and on weekends. They may go to the beach, downtown or to different sports events. By being open-minded and curious about their way of life, you will experience and explore your local Italian community during your stay.

Sports and activities

Italy’s pleasant climate creates opportunities for you to stay active. You can enjoy everything on offer in nature by going skiing, swimming, and hiking. Or perhaps enroll in more regular activities and sports such as volleyball and basketball in your spare time. The high schools usually do not offer extra-curricular activities to their students, meaning you will need to find local clubs in your city. Your host family will be happy to help you join clubs in their nearby area.

Soccer (football) is the most popular sport in Italy. The national team have won four world cup trophies, making it one of the most successful teams in the history of the cup. If you play, we highly recommend you join a team after school hours. If not, it is still fun to support a Serie A team during your exchange program. If you ever have the opportunity to watch a game live, you should certainly go. Football is a great way to immerse in the Italian culture and to feel like a part of the community.

Enquire now

Staying with an Italian host family

Staying with an Italian host family is the very best way of immersing in the Italian culture. You will develop your language skills, find out more about the Italian traditions and customs, as well as enjoy homemade Italian food. But most importantly, you will become part of a caring Italian family who is keen to show you their version of the country.

Family, friends, and food

One of Italy’s most known traits is that the Italians are close to their family and friends. The Italians frequently have family gatherings and enjoy spending time together. This will give insight into their culture, meet new friends, and have plenty of opportunities to practice your Italian skills.

Food is, obviously, another essential part of the Italian culture. Your host family will prepare all your meals during your exchange program. You will enjoy delicious meals made with seasonal ingredients. Prepare for an exchange full of pasta , oven-baked pizza, bruschetta, prosciutto ham, tiramisu desserts, and lots more.

Remember, that your host family is curious about your background as well. Introduce them to some typical meals from home, teach them some useful phrases, and share movies and music with them.

Learn about host families

About high school in Italy

As an exchange student in Italy, you will experience life as an Italian teenager. You will have the opportunity to practice your language skills everyday and create new connections and friendships. Attending an Italian high school is an exciting experience that will develop you both as a student as well as a citizen.

Please note that some Italian high schools may require a payment of an enrolment fee upon arrival. This fee is not included in our program fee since the value depends on each school. The cost can vary from $30–150.

Enquire now
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Subjects and school activities

In Italy, all high school subjects are mandatory. The subjects may include Math, History, Italian Literature, Physical Education, and English, but they depend on the school you attend. You cannot choose your own subjects. The school may, however, allow you to have a free lesson to give you more time for Italian studies.

You usually go to school from Monday to Friday, but some schools have classes on Saturdays as well.

Most of the high schools do not offer any extra-curricular activities such as sports or art clubs. The Italian teenagers are active in sports clubs around town. Plenty of Italian schools arrange trips for their students for two or three days in Spring. These may be trips around Italy but also in Europe. Please note that we cannot guarantee that your school will organise a trip like this, but it is common.

Enquire now
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Semesters and breaks

The Italian school year is divided into two semesters. The first one starts in September and the second one by the middle or end of January.

Most schools have a two-week Christmas break, one-week Easter break, and summer break from June–September. In addition to this, there are some public holidays. There are also different religious holidays depending on the city or region you live in.

Enquire now
banner-img

Your spare time in Italy

Your spare time as an exchange student in Italy will depend on where your host family lives. All exchange students’ experiences re different, and you can be sure to experience Italy in your own unique way.

It is highly recommended for you to join your host families and friends’ activities after school and on weekends. They may go to the beach, downtown or to different sports events. By being open-minded and curious about their way of life, you will experience and explore your local Italian community during your stay.

Sports and activities

Italy’s pleasant climate creates opportunities for you to stay active. You can enjoy everything on offer in nature by going skiing, swimming, and hiking. Or perhaps enroll in more regular activities and sports such as volleyball and basketball in your spare time. The high schools usually do not offer extra-curricular activities to their students, meaning you will need to find local clubs in your city. Your host family will be happy to help you join clubs in their nearby area.

Soccer (football) is the most popular sport in Italy. The national team have won four world cup trophies, making it one of the most successful teams in the history of the cup. If you play, we highly recommend you join a team after school hours. If not, it is still fun to support a Serie A team during your exchange program. If you ever have the opportunity to watch a game live, you should certainly go. Football is a great way to immerse in the Italian culture and to feel like a part of the community.

Enquire now
banner-img

Staying with an Italian host family

Staying with an Italian host family is the very best way of immersing in the Italian culture. You will develop your language skills, find out more about the Italian traditions and customs, as well as enjoy homemade Italian food. But most importantly, you will become part of a caring Italian family who is keen to show you their version of the country.

Family, friends, and food

One of Italy’s most known traits is that the Italians are close to their family and friends. The Italians frequently have family gatherings and enjoy spending time together. This will give insight into their culture, meet new friends, and have plenty of opportunities to practice your Italian skills.

Food is, obviously, another essential part of the Italian culture. Your host family will prepare all your meals during your exchange program. You will enjoy delicious meals made with seasonal ingredients. Prepare for an exchange full of pasta , oven-baked pizza, bruschetta, prosciutto ham, tiramisu desserts, and lots more.

Remember, that your host family is curious about your background as well. Introduce them to some typical meals from home, teach them some useful phrases, and share movies and music with them.

Learn about host families
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Soft Landing Camp in Bologna

Your Italian high school adventure starts in the historic city of Bologna. For five days, you will have the opportunity to discover the beautiful city as well as being prepared for your new life in Italy. Together with other Southern Cross Cultural Exchange students and other students from around the world, you will have the best start to your exchange experience possible. Please note, Soft Landing Camps are optional and at an additional fee.   September arrivals only.

Additional fee: AU$2,150 / NZ$2,290

Example Agenda

Day 1:

  • 14:00-19:00 Check-in, getting to know each other and filling out the residence permit package (if needed)
  • 19:30 Welcome pizza and movie night at the hostel

Day 2:

  • Breakfast buffet available at the hostel
  • 08:30-11:45 Italian Language classes
  • 12:00-13:00 Lunch take away at the hostel
  • 13:30-17:30 Guided Orientation Tour of Florence
  • 17:30 – 18:30 Free time for shopping
  • 18:30 – 20:00 Dinner in Florence before travelling back to the hostel

Day 3:

  • Breakfast buffet available at the hostel
  • 08:30-11:45 Italian Language classes
  • 12:00-13:00 Lunch take away at the hostel
  • 13:30-17:30 Guided Orientation Tour of Bologna
  • 17:30-19:00 Free time for shopping
  • 19:30 Dinner at a typical restaurant

Day 4:

  • Breakfast buffet available at the hostel
  • 08:30-11:45 Italian Language classes
  • 12:00-13:00 Lunch take away at the hostel
  • 15:00-18:00 Cultural classes: focus on host families, Italian High Schools and Rules
  • 18:00-19:30 Free time for packing
  • 19:30-22:00 Dinner and karaoke at the hostel

Day 4:

  • Breakfast buffet available at the hostel
  • 08:30-11:45 Italian Language classes
  • 12:00-13:00 Lunch take away at the hostel
  • 15:00-18:00 Cultural classes: focus on host families, Italian High Schools and rules
  • 18:00-19:30 Free time for packing
  • 19:30-22:00 Dinner and karaoke at the hostel

Day 5:

  • It’s time to meet your host family!
  • Depending on where your host family lives, you will be picked up at the hostel or you will reach them by public transportation (train, bus, plane). We will help you take the right mean of transport.

Day 4:

  • Breakfast buffet available at the hostel
  • 08:30-11:45 Italian Language classes
  • 12:00-13:00 Lunch take away at the hostel
  • 15:00-18:00 Cultural classes: focus on host families, Italian High Schools and rules
  • 18:00-19:30 Free time for packing
  • 19:30-22:00 Dinner and karaoke at the hostel

Day 5:

  • It’s time to meet your host family!
  • Depending on where your host family lives, you will be picked up at the hostel or you will reach them by public transportation (train, bus, plane). We will help you take the right mean of transport.

What’s included:

  • Full Board
  • Quad Occupancy and daily tourist tax
  • Italian Language classes
  • Italian Culture classes
  • Guided tours of Bologna and Florence + related transportation Cultural activities
  • Transfer from Bologna airport (BLQ) to the hostel (assisted by our partner organisation) – arrivals at the hostel by 2 pm
  • Transfer from the hostel to the host families (when applicable, assisted by our partner organisation)
  • 24/7 assistance

What’s not included:

  • Transfer from Malpensa airport (MXP) to the hostel – arrivals at the hostel by 2 pm
  • Personal expenses and meals when not indicated in the program

Exchange student stories from Italy

Jasmine

Jasmine shares experience from her student exchanges “A story of multiple exchanges”.

Read her blog story here.

Lucy

“You will be surprised by how quickly time will go so don’t waist it, take risks, and don’t be afraid to try new things because you might not get this chance again.”
– Lucy in Italy

Enquire now

The best way to prepare for your exchange program is to join an Information Session Webinar.
Please click here to register and then complete your details below and we will be in touch to answer your questions.

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