For young people, living abroad and attending a local school is a great adventure: a formative, educational, and cultural life experience for study and learning about a people. The motivations of a foreign youth for coming to Italy to study are many: perhaps they love the beautiful country, its art, its history, the historic cities, the landscapes, the design, the variety of Italian and regional cuisine, the Slow Food movement. Then there’s the lifestyle, the hospitality, and last but not least, Italy’s language and culture. What makes all this possible, given the ambition of such a project for someone so young, is the ability to stay with a family, entering the very heart of the chosen country’s society, learning and exploring the culture within, from a privileged position.
How do others see Italians?
Let’s consider the image Italy has built over the years. In the early 1900s, the country was considered a land of poor, starving emigrants, looking for work. Then, as their skills and abilities became more widely known, they gained a reputation for being great workers, excellent masters of tailoring, carpentry, and cabinetry: people with skills, abilities and a desire to redeem themselves. Luckily, Italy is also a land of able navigators, artists, painters, sculptors, creative, fashion stylists, designers of furniture and machines, of chefs… the list is endless. Abroad, Italians are said to be chatty, friendly, imaginative, refined, stylish, tasteful, who often wear designer clothing, are terrible drivers, detest rules and pay only lip-service to laws; they are flexible, and always open to compromise; they only eat pasta and pizza, the women are beautiful, and the men are Latin lovers. This description is a very superficial way to label an entire population.
The stereotypes are a poor fit for all and lose their effectiveness thanks to the possibilities opened up by the many communications options available today. Now, few of us trust what we have heard; we want to deepen our understanding, to learn in person, and hospitality is the way to achieve this, to help people understand and appreciate the uniqueness of each of us. This need is what powers the welcome and opens the front door to a young person who wants to try out a new location.
What You Need to Know
Arrival Camp in Rome
On arrival, Master Studio organises an intercultural camp to get to know the exchange students who are taking part of this experience, to help boost confidence, and to share the differences between the countries, explaining Italy’s rules, traditions, and culture. The arrival camp helps the students to understand that qualified staff is always available for helping. They can contact the staff any time needed; even if they just need someone to talk to during a difficult period, or want to share a wonderful experience.
The Host Family
The volunteer Host Family is a key protagonist, along with the student, of this adventure. Welcoming a student into your own home is a difficult choice and requires patience, time, sensitivity and attention to the student’s needs, just as with your own children. The student will be arriving at a family with its own characteristics, its own life, its own past, and a balance created over many years, based on explicit and implicit rules, customs, and shared interests.
Did you know that with Euro Master Studio you will have the possibility to choose the area where you would to spend you exchange year? Would like to stay in the area of Rome or Milan? We can make it real– area choice program is available on request!
A foreign student is obliged to attend a school, and to obtain good results. Usually, the nearest and most convenient school for the family is chosen, taking into account the student’s academic level and skills. Depending on the student’s Italian language skills, they will be assigned to one or more classes following subjects similar to those studied in their home country, and follow a customized schedule. This does not exclude the possibility of studying new subjects.
Did you know that with Euro Master Studio you will have the possibility to choose the type of high school would like to spend your exchange year? Scientific program, Art program, Catering Program, Cambridge program and more are available on request!
The student is not alone when facing the program. They are assisted by the Area Rep, a local person who accompanies, and takes care of, both the student and her/his host family, assisted by the staff of Master Studio. The role of the Area Rep is of supporting the student along her/his program, ensuring she/he understands her/his own responsibilities, and explain and ensure that all family and school rules are abided by. The Area Reap is the student’s mentor.
The family must communicate with the student and talk clearly to them, explaining the rules without making any assumptions. All difficulties can be overcome through communication.
The family also has their own expectations. Students should be respectful, available, flexible, courageous, strong, constant, enthusiast. They should also expect to take part in the family’s management and perform chores assigned to them. And what should the student expect from the host family? Affection, hospitality, and availability. This act of great generosity on the part of the family, and the efforts of both, is repaid in spades by the student’s smile and affection.
This is a programme of study, not tourism. Therefore, the family has no obligation to organise excursions around the country. The family does not have the worry of following the student during the day, being available all the time, and always positive. Families don’t do this for their own children, so there is no need for them to do so for their exchange student, who must be allowed to manage his own time by himself.
It is a cross cultural experience where the Exchange Student has the chance to know the “Bel Paese”: beautiful countryside, lovely beaches, highest mountains, historical towns in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.