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Secondary school in Italy

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No matter what your age is, you have the right to finish middle and high school in Italy. You can use this article to learn more on:

Eligibility

No matter what age you are, you have the right to finish middle and high school in Italy. But first, you need to learn a good amount of Italian.

If you have any questions, you can always message us on Facebook. But speaking with the workers at your center can give you personalized information about your options.

Middle school and high school in Italy

Middle school in Italy is referred to as “scuola secondaria di primo grado,” or “scuola media.” Children generally attend middle school in Italy from the age of 11 to 14.

At the end of middle school, you will take an exam called the “licenza media.” It has both oral and written sections. When you pass this exam, you are eligible for high school.

High school in Italy generally lasts 5 years and is referred to as “scuola secondaria di secondo grado,” or “scuola superiore.” In Italian high school, you must take a specific educational path, in Italian “indirizzo,” such as classical, scientific or linguistic.

At the end of high school, to be eligible for university, you must take exams called the “maturità.” They cover all the subjects you studied in high school, but are especially focused on the “indirizzo” you chose.

The exam has both oral and written sections, and it must be taken in Italian. Click here for more information on the maturità exams on an Italian government website.

If you pass your maturità exams, you will be eligible to apply for university. Learn more about university in Italy here:

University in Italy

Enrolling in school

If you are under 18 years old

If you are under 18 and enter the Italian reception system, you should be automatically enrolled in Italian classes that prepare you for Italian public school.

If you apply for asylum in Italy while under 18, you may also be automatically enrolled in a public middle school or high school near you.

Workers at your camp or center may be able to give you information about your options for attending public school.

If you are over 18 years old

If you are over 18 and have any kind of permesso, you are entitled to enroll in an adult learning center, in Italian called a centro per istruzione adulti (CPIA). Click here for more information on these centers on the Italian Ministry of Education’s website.

If you are in a camp or center, the managers may be able to give you more information on your options for attending a CPIA near you.

At a CPIA, you will be able to take the courses you need to complete before you can sit for final exams. You can study Italian there, too.

To start studying for the exams, contact the CPIA closest to you and ask them how to enroll. Find the CPIA center closest to you by asking us on Facebook.

You can take either a middle school or high school diploma course. Your closest CPIA can help you determine which course to take.

Costs

If you are under 18, school is free.

If you are over 18, you must pay to enroll in a CPIA middle school or high school diploma course. The cost can vary between €30 and €150 per course, depending on the type of course you want to take.

Sometimes, it’s possible to get help paying for a diploma course at a CPIA. If you live in a camp or center, you can ask the managers if they provide this kind of help.

Most CPIA centers offer courses at night to allow people to attend after work.

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