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Primary and secondary education in Italy for foreign students

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Education information

Prestigious primary and secondary school education in Italy is an excellent opportunity to get high-quality knowledge and a certificate that meets international standards, as well as to get acquainted with many attractions and sights in Italy. Due to the list of TOP-10 primary and secondary schools in Italy, you will definitely find the most appropriate option for you. 

Educational system in Italy

Complete school education includes 3 levels:

  • primary school (5 years);
  • I cycle of secondary school (3 years);
  • II cycle of secondary school (5 years).

Foreign students can get education in private boarding schools and international schools. They can start their education in secondary schools after graduating from 8th, 9th or 10th grade. Also, they can study International baccalaureate programme.

Accommodation facilities in TOP-10 Italian schools

In Italian schools, foreign students have following accommodation: in a host family and in residence. Families are carefully selected by the representatives of educational institutions. The residence accepts students from 11 to 13 years old, it is possible to accommodate in full and half board. The latter provides a 5-day stay at the school and accommodation at the weekend in the family.

Student activities are organized by experienced professionals. Students are always under supervision of teachers and educators, curators help students achieve academic goals. Parents have a great opportunity to regularly get reports on achievements of their children - information is sent via e-mail.

Studying programs in TOP-10 primary and secondary schools in Italy

  • In elementary school for dtudents at the age of 6 to 11 years old (two-level scuola elementare cycle), children learn arithmetic, writing, reading, music and drawing, a foreign language, optional to their attention is offered religion. As a result of the course, examinations are given and issued by the diploma di licenza elementare.
  • Sciola media (11-14 years): studenta study natural sciences, mathematics, geography, history, Italian language, music, art, foreign language.
  • In secondary school (14-18 years old) students choose the curriculum between the standard, profile and preparatory (pre-university). The profile of education at this stage of education, in essence, determines the future occupation.

Studying in 10 best boarding schools in Italy for foreign students

Private boarding schools in Italy provide developed infrastructure, modern technical equipment. Studying in Italian private and boarding schools is focused on personal development of each student, great attention is paid to improving creative abilities of children and their physical education.

After graduating from Italian boarding school, students receive a certificate (matriculation certificate). The educational institutions do not issue their own documents, all of their students pass standard state examinations for obtaining certificates of the appropriate sample.

4 advantages of studying in Italian schools for foreign students

  • Italy is the best country to study design, fashion, art, history, architecture, etc.
  • There are no annual standard exams for students in secondary schools. Written examinations are given when students get to a new educational level.
  • Education in Italian boarding schools allows to get wide opportunities for further studies, as well as for career development.
  • Studying in Italiam schools allows to prepare for admission to prestigious higher educational institutions in Italy and in the world.

Learning programs-summary information

Name Meaning Equivalent Min. age Duration,
Next stage Cost
GCSE General certificate of secondary education secondary education (non-accomplished) 14 1–2 A-Levels 15,000 USD+
A-Levels Advanced level secondary education (accomplished) 16 2 University 15,000 USD+
BTEC Business and Technology Education Board secondary special education 14 2–3 University/ work 15,000 USD+
Oxbridge Preparation Preparing for Oxford and Cambridge secondary education (accomplished) 17 1 University 15,000 USD+
International Baccalaureate International baccalaureate secondary education (accomplished) 16 2 University 18,000 USD+
Foundation/ Pathway Year Preparatory year admission to the 1st year of university 17 1 University 14,000 USD+
NCUK The Northern consortium 2 year university 17,5 1 2 year University of NCUK 13,000 USD+
Special Preparation (Medics/Math/Business) Specialized training - 14 optional optional 4,000 USD+
Academic English Academic English Language school 8 + 6–12 months School or University 8,000 USD+

Advantages and disadvantages of English schools

Advantages Disadvantages
The opportunity to enter the best universities in England, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Europe, the world Expensive
High quality of education and academic standards Strong workload
Perfect English after graduation The need to change the social environment; it takes time to adapt
Useful contacts The difficulty of choosing the most suitable school for the child, requires a qualified specialist

Top 21 boarding colleges in England 2022

1 Cardiff Sixth Form College
2 National Mathematics and Science College
3 Abbey College Cambridge
4 d'Overbroeck's College
5 MPW London
6 CATS Cambridge
7 Kensington Park
8 DLD London
9 King's College St Michael’s
10 Bellerbys Cambridge
11 Chelsea Independent College
12 MPW Cambridge
13 Bellerbys Brighton
14 CATS London
15 St Clare's Oxford
16 Bishopstrow College
17 CATS Canterbury
18 Bellerbys London
19 Ealing Independent College
20 Cambridge Tutors College
21 Abbey Manchester

Top 35 best schools in the USA - 2022 Smapse rankings

1 North Broward Preparatory School
2 Phillips Academy Andover
3 The Storm King School New York
4 Red Bank Catholic High School
5 Windermere Preparatory School
6 Shattuck St Mary's School
7 Cheshire Academy
8 Cate School
9 Ross School
10 Deerfield Academy
11 The Village School
12 Amerigo Los Angeles – Bishop Montgomery High School
13 Webb Schools
14 Kent School USA
15 The Winchendon School
16 Darlington School
17 Marian Catholic High School Amerigo Education
18 Grier School
19 The MacDuffie School
20 CATS Academy Boston
21 The Cambridge School of Weston
22 Milton Academy
23 Amerigo Education Napa Valley
24 American Hebrew Academy
25 Northfield Mount Hermon School
26 Mater Dei Catholic High School San Diego Amerigo Education
27 American University Preparatory School Los Angeles
28 Webb Schools
29 Kent School USA
30 Groton School
31 Maine Central Institute
32 The Lawrenceville School
33 Grand River Academy Оhio
34 Saint John Paul II Academy
35 Chicago North Shore

Top 14 best schools in Switzerland 2022

1 College Du Leman
2 St. Georges School Montreux
3 Institut Monte Rosa
4 Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz
5 Saint-Charles Collège et Lycée
6 Leysin American School
7 Hochalpines Institut Ftan AG High Alpine
8 Aiglon College Switzerland
9 Institut Le Rosey School
10 Institut Montana Zugerberg
11 Champittet College
12 Brillantmont International School
13 Surval Montreux
14 Ecole Pre Fleuri

Top 12 best schools in Canada 2022

1 Brookes Shawnigan Lake
2 Rosseau Lake College
3 Albert College
4 Columbia International College
5 Ridley College
6 St Andrew's College
7 Brentwood College School
8 Pickering College
9 Bodwell High School
10 Trafalgar Castle School
11 Fulford Academy
12 Shawnigan Lake School

Best boarding schools in England - 2022 Smapse rankings

1 Cardiff Sixth Form College
2 Sevenoaks School
3 Queen Ethelburga's College
4 Brighton College
5 The National Mathematics and Science College NMSC
6 Concord College
7 Westbourne School
8 Wellington College
9 Rossall School
10 d'Overbroeck's College
11 Dulwich College
12 Fettes College
13 Stonar School
14 Wycliffe College
15 Lucton School
16 King's School Canterbury
17 ACS School Cobham
18 Hurtwood House
19 Uppingham School
20 Scarborough College
21 King's College St Michael’s
22 Mill Hill School
23 Windermere School
24 Clifton College
25 Badminton School
26 Oakham School
27 Oundle School
28 Stowe School
29 Cheltenham College
30 Bromsgrove School
31 Sidcot School
32 Prior Park College
33 Millfield School
34 Oswestry School
35 Caterham School
36 City of London Freemen’s School
37 Buckswood School
38 Brooke House College
39 Taunton School
40 St Clare's Oxford
41 Repton School
42 Royal Russell School
43 King's Ely
44 Leys Cambridge
45 Leighton Park
46 Bedford School
47 Fyling Hall
48 Royal Hospital School
Good afternoon! You can help find a family to stay while studying in a certain city in Italy, in our case AZIAGO?
Smapse LTD
Good afternoon, Vadim! This will depend on the length of study and the need for a visa. Please contact us by email: and we will try to help you Regards, SMAPS
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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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