High School Summer Abroad in Italy

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La bella vita is alive and well in Italy. From the incredible history of Rome and Venice, to the art of Florence, the fashion of Milan and the beaches of Naples, not to mention the football and gelato happening pretty much everywhere—Italy is the place to be.

Highlights
  • Language: Italian, the language of Dante is spoken all over Italy—although some of the regional accents can almost seem like another language!
  • Popular Destinations: Rome, Florence, Naples, Milan
  • Cost of Living: Prices vary quiet a bit in rural areas versus big cities, but in general prices are pretty average compared to the rest of the western world.
  • Fun Facts: In Italian culture, the number 17 is considered unlucky. In Italy notice that buildings often do not have 17th floor, hotels don’t have a room 17 and even the Italian airline, Alitalia, doesn’t have a seat 17.

There are tons of different programs to appeal to everyone. Are you a master chef? Consider a program that will get you into the kitchen, or even give taste of culinary school! Do you want to paint like Michelangelo? There are a lot of art-focused programs that will help you perfect your techniques. If you’re a history buff, look for programs that will take you to all the archeological sites in Rome and beyond. And if you just want to travel, there are great programs that will get you out and about.

Vuoi parlare l’italiano? (Wanna speak Italian?) – Most programs offer basic Italian language classes in addition to other activities. But if you really want to whip your Italian language skills into shape, find a program that gets you studying full time.

There’s a lot of planning to organize your summer abroad, but just take it step by step and you’ll be eating pasta in no time!

Requirements:

After you submit a killer application for the program of your choice, you may be nervous about your chance of acceptance. Don’t let the stress get to you! Most programs are looking for passionate participants who are excited about the culture and adventure of Italy. Few programs will require knowledge of the Italian language, although they may ask you to take a test to show your language level.

Housing/Accommodations

Depending on your choice of program you could be staying in a youth hostel, dorm, or host family—or maybe all three!

Because most summer programs combine a variety of activities with travel, you may find yourself in a couple different living situations. From old churches converted to hostels to university dorms, there are myriad possibilities.

Keep your eyes peeled for programs that emphasize a host family component. Living with an Italian family (while it may be scary to think about living with strangers) is the best way to experience REAL Italian life—not to mention eating the best Italian food! Your program will pair you with a family that matches you, and you can be that it will become your new home away from home!

Preparation

Do you have a valid passport? Before you head out, make sure you check out passport requirements AT LEAST two months in advance (average processing time is 4-6 weeks!). If you’re under 16, you’ll have to appear at your regional passport agency in person. Don’t stress the paperwork though, if you’re staying less than three months you won’t need to bother with a visa to experience Italia.

Financial Costs

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but there are ways that you can lessen the cost of traveling abroad. These programs, while all-inclusive, can get pricey, costing several thousand dollars. Though you won’t be wasting money on buying breakfast, that’s still a hefty price tag. BUT, a lot of programs provide scholarships that cover some (or all!) of the costs of studying abroad in Italy. Check out the information on your program website.

There are also many opportunities fundraise in your community—ask the local paper if you can write a weekly column from abroad in exchange for some cash, or start a lemonade stand (really, every little bit helps!)

Make sure you budget some cash to cover extras. You’ll want a scoop of gelato sometimes (always) or souvenirs and gifts to bring back home.

Top Reasons to Spend a Summer in Italy

There are lots of reasons to go abroad in High School— besides that it looks great on a college application. A summer abroad is an awesome way to get a little independence. I mean, we all love our mom, but sometimes it’s good to get out on our own (just make sure you pack a sweater; you don’t want to make mom angry). It’s also a great way to try something new—want to start painting but can’t fit 3rd period art into your schedule? Find an art program in Italy and see what you think! Going abroad is an amazing adventure that shouldn’t have to wait until college!

Contributed by Julia Brady

Showing 21 Programs

Italy

Travel For Teens
Italy has long been considered the country of every traveler's dreams, and TFT will show you why! Our Italy directors have sp...

Italy

SPI Study Abroad
Located in the heart of scenic Tuscany, SPI Study Abroad's Italian immersion program in Siena, Italy is ideal for all languag...

Italy

Abbey Road Programs
Study abroad in Florence, Italy with Abbey Road! Spend this summer learning about Italian art history, language, cuisine, fil...

Italy

Art History Abroad
If you are between 17 and 22, AHA's 2-4 weeks courses are a brilliant way to pass some of the summer while doing something wo...

Italy

CIEE Global Navigator High School Study Abroad
There’s no better place for an Italian immersion than in this small, easy-to-navigate, university city in northeast Italy. Ta...

Italy

Bold Earth Teen Adventures
Explore Italy like nobody else! This fourteen day adventure will bring you to small, authentic Italian villages, around incre...

Italy

Travel For Teens
Participate in a fantastic service and travel program with Travel for Teens! Spend your next summer break abroad volunteering...

Italy

The Experiment in International Living
Embark on an Italian culinary adventure and learn about the traditions and cultures that produce the country’s legendary cuis...

Italy

Study Abroad Europe
The Florence University of the Arts has teamed up with Study Abroad Europe to offer an awesome opportunity for high school st...

Italy

Abbey Road Programs
Western Civilization is a unique educational journey in time that gives our students an opportunity to learn first-hand about...

Spain

Bold Earth Teen Adventures
Take off on a 28-day adventure through Europe! Visit France, where you'll explore cosmopolitan Parisian streets as well as th...

Italy

Art History Abroad
This course travels through Italy four times a year, exploring all aspects of culture, such as history, music, politics, food...

Italy

School Year Abroad (SYA)
Study abroad in Italy with School Year Abroad. You'll take classes in Italian language, history, and culture in addition to y...

Italy

AmeriSpan
AmeriSpan’s summer Italian language program in Lignano is an amazing opportunity for teens ages 12-18! Students spend 4 hours...

Italy

Spoleto Study Abroad
Spoleto Study Abroad Summer Session is a hands-on immersion arts and humanities program for students, ages 15-19, interested...