Study Italian at a Secondary School in Italy

Summary Information

  • Accommodation: Host Family
  • Duration: 2 to 10 months
  • Ages 15-18
Explore Italian life on a Secondary School Abroad programme

This progamme allows Irish students a chance to experience the Italian school system first-hand and fully immerse themselves in Italian culture, language and lifestyle. Ideal for Transition Year students, the dates are flexible throughout the academic school year. Available for as little as two months, up to a full academic year, students attend an Italian secondary school as auditors and live with a carefully selected Italian host family. This programme gives Irish students the opportunity to achieve fluency, gain independence and grow to become mature young adults.

The application deadline for Autumn 2017 is March 31. Contact Gillian on 021-4551535 to discuss your application.


Living with a host family will give your child a full insight into how Italian people really live and a complete immersion in the language. Students stay with host families on a full board basis. The host families are carefully selected by our network of local coordinators all over Italy, excluding large cities like Rome, Milan, Venice and Florence. Students and parents alike should be open to a placement in any region of Italy as requests cannot be facilitated. As a member of the family your child will share in the family's daily life and take part in their normal day-to-day activities. Each family is carefully screened to ensure that the homestay is a successful and positive part of the experience abroad. Italian host families get a token allowance for hosting students.

Host families will provide:

  • A genuinely caring environment
  • Clean and comfortable surroundings
  • Convenient access to school
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
  • Shared or single bedroom

All families are visited, counseled and regularly contacted throughout the student's stay.

There is no such thing as a "typical" Italian family. Suitable host family placements may include single parents, couples without children, extended families living in the home as well as the more traditional family with young or older children. There will not necessarily be a child the same age or gender in the host family as your child. The search criteria is for a warm, caring, and comfortable environment for students to be nurtured and thrive in while they away from home.

In addition to the host family, the experience is enhanced by the role of the student's local coordinator. This is the local contact person for each student who can help them adjust by their guidance and support throught the programme. This person lives in the local community and is familiar with the cultural difficulties students may experience in the adjustment process. Each month, the local coordinator with contact them to ensure they are well and that the student has no questions or concerns. In addition, a member of Italian staff can always be reached by the student 24 hours a day in case of emergency.

We accept all levels of Italian speakers, but a basic minimum knowledge is required. We normally require at least a A2 level (referring to the European Framework) for applications but higher levels are advisable for assimilation purposes. International students attend as auditors, meaning they will not be assessed by the Italian schools but will receive certificate of attendance at the completion of the programme.

Classes take place for five hours each morning from Monday to Friday. Afternoons are free. School placements are made by the school principle in accordance with the interests and academic performance of the participants. If a participant's Italian proficiency is low, students may be placed in a lower class than their current Irish equivalent. Schools are public. Public schools are non-religious, whereas private schools are very often Catholic. No school uniforms are required in Italy. Schools can have an emphasis on languages, sciences, classical studies or technical skills. Classes in general last 55 minutes. Participants are asked to bring clothes suitable for physical education classes (shorts, tracksuit, t-shirt and sport shoes) and sports that maybe available. Textbooks and materials if required are up to the participant to purchase after arrival.

Flights and train tickets are not included in the programme fees. Once the placement has been confirmed, EIL will advise you as to when and where to arrive. Transfer from the nearest airport or railway station on arrival to the host family as indicated by EIL is included in the programme fees. The host family or local coordinator will meet the student upon arrival and bring them to their new home. The transfers for the student's return back to Ireland are not included.

Transportation to and from school varies from community to community. Students will be advised when they arrive how to get to school whether by bus or other means. The cost of this local transportation is up the student to cover during the programme.

Friends will not be placed together.  This is a programme designed for independent and individual students.  Emphasis is on full language and cultural immersion.  If friends apply together, they will be intentionally separated and placed in different communities and schools.

Students may not return home for the duration of their programme.  This includes Christmas and Easter holidays, and mid-term breaks.  All family visits must be limited to the end of the student's programme, not at the beginning or in the middle.  After years of experience, we find that such visits disrupt the adjustment process and can lead to further homesickness and integration problems.

Students and parents cannot "reject" a host family placement in favour of a new one.  Once host family details are sent to the student, they are final.  Cancellations will incur loss of deposit.

EIL and WEP Italy reserve the right to send home any student whose health requires it or whose conduct is considered improper or offensive to the host family, community or school.  Such conduct includes drug use, unacceptable sexual behaviour, excessive drinking, violation of the law or failure in schoolwork.  In the event that the student is returned home, either alone or accompanied, parents or guardians are responsible for all expenses above those covered by the fee.  In such cases, no refunds will be available. If a student chooses to end the programme early on his or her own accord, for reasons including travelling home for a holiday or during mid-term, no refund will be given.

Further conditions of participation are included in the application forms.



  • Can students request to be placed in boarding schools or private schools?

    There are no boarding schools available on this programme to Italy. The best schools are chosen according to availability, the host family and quality parameters.

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  • Can you offer placement in specific types of schools, e.g. music focus, science, sporting facilities, equestrian, etc?

    No. As these types of schools are selective and almost always private, they are not open to international students.

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  • Will student receive a formal transcript?

    No. Foreign students are enrolled as auditors and will not be officially marked or graded. They will receive a certificate of attendance instead.

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2017/2018 Academic School Year Prices

Call Gillian on 021-4551535 for more details. 

Fee Includes

  • Placement into a carefully selected school
  • Application, registration and school insurance fees
  • Accommodation with a carefully selected host family
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
  • Return transfers to/from nearest airport of host community on arrival
  • Monthly contact from local coordinator
  • Assistance in acquiring books and school materials
  • Group orientation in Rome at start of programme
  • 24-hour emergency telephone service
  • Academic advice and counseling
  • Help with preparation for travel back to home country
  • Insurance with CareMed

Not included

  • Flights
  • Textbooks
  • Transport to and from school if necessary
  • Return transfers to the airport on departure
  • Personal spending money

Dates- Coming Soon!

Full Year: 



It is possible to start a programme at any time during the academic year as long as the application reaches our office 3 months before requested arrival date. Late applications may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

For September start programmes, applications must be received by 31st March 2017.

  • Full application form, completed in Italian.
  • A deposit of €1000
  • A "Dear family" letter - written in Italian
  • Copies of 3 most recent school reports
  • 9 Passports sized photos
  • 6 informal photos with family and friends
  • Medical/parental release forms
  • Health certificate if undertaking treatment
  • Certificate of vaccination
  • Copy of passport and E111 card

Further materials maybe requested as part of the application process. We ask student and/or parent to forward this information in a timely fashion if requested.

Applications must be received at least 12 weeks in advance.