Just like Italian cuisine, the Italian education system has something for everyone. You get quality and affordable education, an opportunity to improve your fluency in Italian and easy access to world-renown tourist destinations. The opportunities outside the classroom challenge your creativity and expose you to diversity, allowing you to grow socially and culturally.
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1. Dining in Italy
In Italy, food is important and, there are unspoken rules Italians follow when dining, even on a budget. For example:
- If a restaurant displays pictures of their food outside, quickly move on to the next joint
- Eat all the food they serve on your plate or pass on the meal. Leaving food on a plate is an insult to the chef in most eateries
- Unless you are a tourist, do not order a cappuccino after 11 a.m.
- Milk is a bad afternoon drink
- Don’t leave tips, they are in your bill
- Most restaurants prefer cash, avoid cards if you can
2. Study Hard
Your success in high school gives you admission to a university, while some universities giving admission tests before entry. Since families sponsor their children’s education (the country does not give student loans), there is a lot of emphasis on excelling on the undergraduate level. Additionally, their insistence on theory-based learning requires you to put in long hours in the library and attend all your classes.
One of the most stressful aspects of schooling abroad is accommodation. While life in Italy is slightly cheaper than the U.S., students continue to have a hard time getting affordable accommodation. Your options include:
- Living in a non-metropolis town where accommodation is slightly cheaper than in busy towns
- Cost sharing an apartment or house with fellow students
- Living on campus, which is often on a first come, first serve basis
- Homestay, which you can get through your university especially for exchange students or students on scholarship
Depending on your accommodation arrangement and the length of your stay, your total cost in the country will range from $4,000 to $30,000.
4. Oral Exams
Get ready for an oral exam; they are quite common in the Italian education system. Awarding of marks is done on a scale of 18 to 30, with excellent students getting 30 e lode (cum laude). The oral exams and the awarding system often impress international students, as they are easier to pass. To pass the oral exam, familiarize yourself with the Italian diction and speak Italian as often as you can until you can confidently express yourself in the language.
5. Moving Around
Italy has several means of transport; its world-class highway system makes a road trip exciting allowing you to visit its beautiful beaches and any one of the 44 world heritage sites without a hustle. If you want to travel outside the country, there are approximately 87 airports with international flights all around the country. If you do not like travelling by road or plane, you can board a train in any major city.
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Success in the classroom is dependent on external factors that contribute to your wellness, for example, a stress-free environment, a healthy diet and an active social life. Seek to find a balance between your academic and social life and you will achieve the success you desire.