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The countries where kids spend the most time doing their homework [infographic].

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Does your kid constantly complain about hours and hours of homework? If you're Italian, it could reach fever-pitch! According to research conducted by the OECD , 15-year old children in Italy have to contend with just under 9 hours of homework every week, more than anywhere else in the world.

When it comes to after-school workload, Ireland ranks second - children there spend approximately 7.3 hours per week doing their homework. Elsewhere, 15-year olds in the United States have to sacrifice 6 hours per week for homework while Asian nations including Japan and South Korea are very forgiving with just 3.8 and 2.9 hours per week respectively.

*Click below to enlarge (charted by   Statista )

Niall McCarthy

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How many days a week do Italian kids go to school?

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Schooling in Italy

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Are you concerned about how well your children will settle into an Italian school? I have spoken to a family who have already done it and compiled a guide to the Italian school system.

The biggest difference you will find in Italian schools is the long summer holidays. They start around the 9th June and end in the second week of September. Yes, three months of fun down the beach or in the countryside with their friends. There has been talk of reducing it to fit in with the rest of Europe, but when you see how hot it gets in southern schools in the summer, you’ll understand how difficult it would be for children to work in that heat.

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Many Italians cities have international schools with good reputations and small class sizes. If you are only going to be in Italy for a short contract or have teenage children, these may be the best option. Your children will then be able to continue their education in English with a similar curriculum. These schools can be rather expensive, however, and it will take longer for children to integrate into their Italian community.

Education is compulsory from the age of 6 – 16

Fees vary greatly from school to school. I have seen fees published ranging from €3,500 to 21,000 per year, averaging around the €9,000 mark, but many other schools will only release their rates when a parent enquires.

do italian students do homework every night

School classroom

When Ian and Lucy moved to Puglia and opened their holiday apartment business in a beautiful restored masserie, Masseria Giulio  their daughters aged six and nine came with them. They considered sending them to an international school, but the nearest was 25 minutes away and they were concerned that their daughters wouldn’t have any friends nearby. I asked them how they approached sending them to an Italian school?

Ian said: “We were both very keen that the children should (hopefully!) become bilingual, as we believe that confidence in being able to learn and speak different languages would open up a huge range of opportunities for them in the future. So, we decided that our preferred option would be to send the children to a local Italian school. Our first step was to arrange a meeting with the headmistress of the school and discuss what the girls could expect and also how the school would be able to support them. This was hugely important for us, as it gave us confidence in the system and the level of assistance that our girls would receive. We decided, along with the headmistress, that our eldest daughter would be better off repeating a year of school. This proved to be a really good idea as it meant that in some subjects e.g. mathematics, she was re-doing things that she already knew, but just doing them in Italian. One real benefit of this was that there was always at least one subject where she was “top of the class” and achieving excellent results, which was important for her self-confidence.”

do italian students do homework every night

Their six-year-old had already done one year at school in England. As children don’t start primary school until they are six in Italy, it was easier for her to start school with other children her age. When the girls started school they were the only English children in the school and their Italian was limited to counting to 20, colours and the basic yes/no/please and thank you. I asked how the school and other pupils reacted to this?

Ian told me: “The teachers, pupils and parents have been amazing. Most have looked at having a native English speaker in their class as being more beneficial than any delays that may have resulted from our children needing a little bit more support. One of the things that has really benefited our children is that at our local primary school the same teacher stays with the class throughout their time there. This meant that both our children were able to build up a good relationship with their teacher and also that their teachers were better able to judge how well their Italian comprehension was improving, and to keep challenging them to get better. This stability also meant that each new year was less of a scary prospect and was one less change that our children had to deal with.”

They both have a big group of Italian friends and attend several after school clubs.

Now the girls have been at an Italian school for two years. How have they settled in?

Ian said, “Our children now need no (or very little) extra support and are treated exactly the same as all their classmates. Their Italian is doing really well (they’re probably a couple of years behind on the depth of their vocabulary but are gaining ground all the time) and it is fantastic to see our eldest daughter writing long history essays on the Ancient Egyptians in Italian. She has just moved to Scuola Media (middle school) this year and seems to be loving it. She will be 12 in a couple of months and is turning into a typical Italian teenager – wanting to go into the local town to ‘hang out’ with her friends in a local café!

“How well our children would settle in and do at school was the biggest concern that we had when we decided to sell up and move to Italy. But kids are amazingly resourceful and just seem to get on with life rather than worrying about the extra challenges they have. They both have a big group of Italian friends and attend several after-school clubs (athletics, horse riding, swimming, etc). With the benefit of hindsight would we do it again… without a doubt! I really believe that our daughters’ experience has given them the confidence to deal with massive change, and it is interesting to hear how open they are about travelling anywhere in the world already.”

do italian students do homework every night

Parents collecting children from school

Guide to the Italian school system

School terms and hours.

To make up for the long summer holiday, Italian schools don’t have half-term holidays and many older children go to school on a Saturday morning. The school year is divided into two terms, ‘quadrimestri’ these are autumn and spring with a break at Christmas and Easter. At the end of each term, students receive a ‘pagella’, a report card with their grades. Six is a pass and ten is the highest mark. Parents also get the opportunity to meet the teachers, to discuss their child’s progress.

The school day usually starts at 8.00/8.30am and finishes at ten past one. Mid-morning they will have a 20-minute break to have a drink and a snack. However, more and more schools are switching to an 8am – 4pm school day, particularly in the cities and in the north, where it fits in better with parents’ working hours.

After school, children go home to have lunch with their family, then do their homework. This can be as much as two hours a day for 11-year-olds rising to five hours for older teens. But, they still find time in the evening to do various sports, dancing lessons etc. and these offer a great opportunity for children to make friends and practice their Italian in a relaxed atmosphere.

Attending an Italian school

As EU citizens, your children are entitled to attend school in Italy under the same conditions as nationals of that country and education is compulsory from the age of 6 to 16. They have the right to be placed in a class with their own age group, at the equivalent level to their class in the UK, regardless of their language level. If you are an EU national migrating to Italy for work, your children are entitled under EU law to receive free language tuition in your new home country to help them adapt to the school system there. Children usually adapt very quickly and soon pick up the language when they spend time with their new Italian friends. It may be more difficult for older teenage students who are already part way through a curriculum leading towards exams.

You can choose which school you think will suit your child, as enrolment in an Italian state school doesn’t depend on your living within its catchment area. However, if there is a high demand for places priority may be given to those children living nearest. Enrolment periods can vary, so check with your chosen school.

Italian Schools

There are six stages to the Italian Education system: Nursery school (scuola dell’infanzia), primary school (scuola primaria or scuola elementare), middle school (scuola secondaria di primo grado or scuola media), upper secondary school (scuola secondaria di secondo grado or scuola superiore) and University (Universita). There are also nurseries for under 3s, run both by the state and privately. Parents usually pay between €300 and €500 per month for these.

do italian students do homework every night

Pre-school children wearing smocks

Scuola dell’infanzia (Nursery/Pre-school) Age: 3-6

This is non-compulsory, but many Italian families do send their kids ‘all’asilo’ (to pre-school) particularly if both parents work. It gives young children the opportunity to start socialising and to learn basic Italian vocabulary. Children at pre-school usually wear a ‘grembiule’, a school smock over their everyday clothes. Boys wear a blue and white checked grembiule, while girls wear a pink/red and white checked one. State-run pre-schools are free, but you do pay about €50 per month for the cooked school lunch. There are privately run pre-schools charging around €150 per month. These prices may be more in affluent city areas.Scuola Primaria (Primary School) Age: 6-11

The educational curriculum covers Italian, English, mathematics, natural sciences, history, geography, social studies, physical education, music and art. Children are taught to write in a form of joined up writing called ‘corsivo’, which to English readers can sometimes make an “n” look like an “m”. Computers and iPads are often used, especially when presenting students projects. There are usually three main teachers per class and an English teacher who works across several classes. Boys usually wear a blue smock and girls a white one. They can be bought in clothes shops and supermarkets, and personalised with a sew-on motif. Some schools have switched to logoed t-shirts and sweatshirts for older pupils. Hours are usually either 8am – 1pm, Mon-Sat or 8am- 4pm, Mon-Fri. Schooling is free, but you will need to buy books and pay for lunch, if they finish at 4pm.

do italian students do homework every night

A secondary school in Italy

Scuola secondaria di primo grado (Secondary school) Age: 11-14

This level is also referred to as “Scuola Media” (Middle School). Students generally wear jeans and the school logoed t-shirt or sweatshirt. In Italy jeans are generally accepted as smart work wear, even in the workplace, although in offices they are usually worn with a smart shirt and jacket. Primary and secondary school children need a large rucksack (Lo zaino scolastico) to carry all the books back and forth to school, they will also need exercise books, pens, pencils etc. and most importantly a school diary (diario) to write their homework in. School hours are the same as for primary schools, and on occasion they may be asked to go into school in the afternoon for extra lessons when working on a project or towards a test.

Scuola secondaria di secondo grado (Upper secondary school), Age: 14-19

Also known as “Scuola superior” or less formally as “Le Superiori”. There are three types of scuola secondaria di secondo grado. They are:

Liceo (lyceum) – as well as core subjects like history, Italian literature and maths, they will also specialise in a particular field. In Liceo Classico, for example, they will also do ancient Greek.

Istituto tecnico – offering both a theoretical education and a specialization in a particular field of studies (for example economy, humanities, administration, law, technology, tourism.)

Istituto professionale – this refers to vocational schools preparing people for specific trades, crafts and careers. Some schools offer a diploma after 3 years instead of 5.

do italian students do homework every night

Exam day at a school in Milan

Esame di stato / esame di maturità

Between June and July of their last year of secondary school, at around 18 years old, all students do final exams, which are particularly necessary when applying for university.

Universita (University)

Italy has some very good state and private universities, particularly in in the major cities like Rome, Milan, Turin, Florence and Bologna. Some courses can be taken in English, and others may have sections that are in English. When Italian students apply to university the fees are based on the economic position of the family (the parents and grandparents). The average-income family will pay in the region of €2,000 per year for a state university, while a higher income family might pay €3,500. Private universities charge more, in the region of €7 – 10,000 per year. Applicants are required to sit entrance exams for Italian universities.

Home schooling

Home schooling is a possibility for some families, but parents must annually notify the appropriate school authorities of their intent to home school. In addition, parents or guardians must demonstrate that they have the “technical” or “economic” capacity to teach their children at home. “Technical capacity” meaning that the parent must have completed two full academic years of schooling beyond the level of the children he is currently teaching.

One way of finding out what schools are in the area you plan to live, is to visit the Comune website  , click on the province your home is in, then click “Scuole Provincia di …………..”. You will then find a list of schools in the province and in each town within it.

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do italian students do homework every night

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10 Ways Italian High School is Different from American High School

Volunteer teach Italy Piedmont

Teaching is not my profession.  When I was very young, I used to pass out worksheets to my stuffed animals and teach lessons, but that is about as far as I got.  My transformation into Jen: English Teacher (and gym twice a week) has been like nothing else I have experienced.  Granted, I am the assistant teacher, meaning there is always an actual teacher present, with a teaching degree.  However, it is often up to me to lead discussions and ask the students questions.  Even the teachers sometimes look to me to confirm that words or phrases are being said correctly.

Not only has this job been something new for me, but the entire Italian school system has taken some getting used to.  My high school experience has been over for quite some time but I do remember it well.  And I actually find very few similarities between my high school experience and what my student’s lives are like. The students themselves are so different from those in America.  Maybe if the students were like they are here, I might consider a career in teaching.

My teaching experience so far has been good.  I like it, but it is definitely weird for me, having hundreds of kids every week just staring at me while I speak. I pronounce some things differently than they are used to.  They are taught British English.  The very proficient students and teachers even speak with a British accent!!  They ask me a million questions about myself and life in America.  Some have even asked for my help outside of school. They just want someone to have a conversation with and I am happy to help.  I am still getting used to the way things are here.  I never knew that my ability to speak English would ever be helpful to someone, but I am glad it is! There are new, different things that I notice everyday, but I am definitely taking full advantage of this once in a lifetime experience!!

Want to Learn more about Teaching English in Italy?

5 thoughts on " 10 ways italian high school is different from american high school ".

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Hey, everyone! I’m American, and I’m not sure if I want to be a teacher in Italy. I’ve been living in Italy for a year and a half now and I’ve been teaching English online. I’m still studying Italian (currently A2) so I have a lot of practice and studying ahead of me but I’ve been wondering about what it’d be like to teach here. I’ve been in shock as I’ve been reading. Let me just start with.. Wow, no open notes tests! Oral tests would really challenge the student to know the information right on the spot which is incredible. I can’t believe it. I’m still at a loss about schools being six days a week as well as students never needing to leave the classroom except for the single 15 minute break. Sounds like an entirely different atmosphere because all of the students will get to know each other very well throughout the year. Instead of having many different students in many different classroom settings, the students just get to relax in their seats while the teachers need to move. That actually avoids a lot of the usual interruptions at the start of the class since students are never tardy. They can feel comfortable with wherever their seat is and remain in their “zone” until the end of the day. I can remember many annoying issues having to rush from classroom A at one side of the school all the way to the other side of the school for classroom B, needing to use the bathroom, bumping into people, always rushing, etc. Sure, teachers take on that stress here but I think the learning environment is a lot better. I would have loved to go home for lunch, too. Fantastic! I appreciate the insight. I’m looking forward to reading more about this.

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Do you think a 16 year old student from america would do good in the Italian learning environment, or even just in the community? I am thinking of applying for a year in italy and am just curious on what comes with the schools there and the community.

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Hi Chloe, 16 year olds do meet our eligibility requirements to study abroad in Italy. However, age is not the only factor! One should be mature, a problem-solver, and ready to learn a new language. All of these factors help ensure you have a positive experience studying abroad.

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Hi Jen, I’m planning to travel abroad and teach in Italy, and it caught my eye that you said that there’s school on Saturday, I am a Seventh-day Adventist, meaning I keep the Sabbath as a holy day. Do you know anyone with a similar situation? Is there any way to get Saturday’s to be days of relaxation in the classroom?

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Hi! I’m Italian, and have lived in Italy my whole life. Generally, teachers have a day off during the week (each teacher has their own, and it’s the same throughout the whole year). You might be able to get Saturdays off, but there’s no guarantee. If you’ve got to work, you’ve got to work. We don’t have classes where we can relax, or have more fun. Every class is intense, and it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is. For example, I “majored” in human sciences, but my classes where: Human Sciences (psychology, pedagogy, anthropology, sociology), Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Philosophy, Italian Literature, English (literature from the third year), History, Art History, Latin, P.E. (2h a week)… and I think that’s it. So on a Saturday I could have two hours of Italian, an hour of English, an hour of Maths, and an hour of Philosophy. Our programs are really extensive, so there’s little to no time for fun projects. Teachers gotta teach, and students gotta take notes and study. Also “open notes tests” don’t exist in Italy. Students study. A lot. And most of our test are oral test.

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Five interesting facts about the Italian education system

 ROME - It’s no secret that education systems vary from country to country; governments authorise specific systems based on what they perceive to be effective for their citizens. So if you’ve never studied in Italy, you're unlikely to know how their education system works. But thankfully, despite the differences, students in different learning institutions across the globe can  buy assignments online from professionals .

 It’s hard to imagine how different other countries’ education systems could be if you’ve never studied abroad. So if you’ve studied in the United States all your life, you wouldn’t believe that September is back to school season in Italy.

 If you’re planning on transferring to a school in Italy, you should consider finding out the structure of their academic year. This way, you’ll be able to identify a suitable time to transition so you don’t waste too much time waiting for the next academic year to begin.

 Since Italy is such a culturally rich country, choosing to study here allows you to have a more diverse perspective of life. Experiencing people with different cultural practices stretches your conversational bandwidth and enables you to have more compassion for foreigners.

 And even if you have no plan of studying in Italy, continue reading to learn five surprising facts about their education system.

Students Have School on Saturday

 Unlike in the United States where weekends are considered a day off for students, in Italy, Saturday is just another ordinary school day. In fact, even individuals with employment are required to report for work on Saturdays.

 That means that when you relocate to Italy for further studies, you can say goodbye to partying on Friday nights. As a school night, you might as well use your time to look for reliable online resources you can use to improve your performance. If you struggle to find suitable topics for your essays, you could use your Friday nights to explore  Topics Base  for topic ideations.

 And since weekends are not considered time to rest in Italy, this is the time most students do their homework. In fact, teachers intentionally give students more homework as the week ends so they have something to keep them busy before another week begins.

Students Tend to Revere Teachers

 If you’ve studied in the United States all your life, you probably consider consulting your teachers as yet another thing that just is. Well, in Italy, you’ve got to have a good reason to approach your teachers. Most students would rather consult their peers if they’re having trouble understanding a given concept.

 The teachers, on the other hand, stick to teaching and only make informal conversations with their fellow teachers. It’s almost as if there’s a line drawn on the ground to separate teachers from students. Logically, this is to ensure that students respect their teachers because they’re more superior than them.

 That said, there are obviously exceptions to the rule because you will always find those friendly teachers who want to know what’s going on in their students’ personal lives. It’s obviously a delight to interact with teachers with a softer side who treat you as human before identifying you as their student.

Students Have Their Lunch at Home

 Unlike American schools that have cafeterias where students have their lunch before resuming class, Italian students get done with school at around one or two and head home until the next day. So parents in Italy have to ensure that they prepare some food for their kids’ lunch every day.

 As an American, you probably imagine that this must be so overwhelming for parents. But if you’ve always done something for your kids, you probably don’t give it much thought.

College is Five Years

 In most parts of the world, most undergraduate courses take four years to complete. But in Italy, the standard is actually five years. On September 15 th  every year, a new group of freshman students start their five-year college journey towards graduation.

The Grading Ranges from One to Ten

 If you’re a student in Italy, scoring an average grade of ten is excellent performance while one is the poorest you could ever perform. Actually, anything below six is considered a failure and a four is basically a zero. If a teacher gives you anything below a four, they are simply doing it to run your failure in your face. If you fail more than three subjects, you’re required to repeat that class to polish your performance.

Wrapping Up

 Now that you know these interesting facts about the Italian Education system, you can decide if you’re willing to go study in this country.


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How many hours is school in Italy?

How long is the school day in italy, how long is school in italy, do italians go to school 6 days a week, how long is summer break in italy, high school in italy | how the italian school system works.

Are Italian schools stressful?

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  1. Homework in Italian for every level

    do italian students do homework every night

  2. Solved Teachers want to know which night each week their

    do italian students do homework every night

  3. Why do students get homework?

    do italian students do homework every night

  4. 10 Fun Italian Class Activities

    do italian students do homework every night

  5. 6 Things Every Italian Student Should Do Daily

    do italian students do homework every night

  6. What to Do After Completing the Study Materials and Before You Take Your Exam

    do italian students do homework every night


  1. Italian Professor Teaches

  2. I Will Never Do Homework Ever Again

  3. Non Scegliere La Piscina Sbagliata Sfida da Multi DO Challenge

  4. Teacher Tribute

  5. Grande, Medio e Piccolo Piatto Sfida #5 da Multi DO Challenge

  6. Sfida Di Cucina


  1. The Countries Where Kids Spend The Most Time Doing ...

    Does your kid constantly complain about hours and hours of homework? If you're Italian, it could reach fever-pitch!

  2. How long is a school day in Italy?

    Do Italians go to school 6 days a week? ... However, on Saturdays, high school in Italy is in full swing. Students attend school 6 days a week here. Sunday is the

  3. Do Italians go to school 6 days a week?

    A typical school day in Italy starts around 8am and ends around 1:30pm. The students have 5 hours of classes and a lunch break. Italians have full school days

  4. Schooling in Italy

    After school, children go home to have lunch with their family, then do their homework. This can be as much as two hours a day for 11-year-olds rising to five

  5. 10 Things You Should Know About the Italian School System

    This is non-compulsory, but most Italian families do send their kids 'all'asilo'. Children are looked after by two teachers per class

  6. Month 3-Italian and American School System Discussion

    A typical school day in Italy starts around 8am and ends around 1:30pm. The students have 5 hours of classes and a lunch break. Italians have

  7. 10 Ways Italian High School is Different from American High School

    One of the assignments my students had was to tell me about their normal day. ALL of them said they study at least 3-4 hours every single day. They do not

  8. Five interesting facts about the Italian education system

    And since weekends are not considered time to rest in Italy, this is the time most students do their homework.

  9. How many hours is school in Italy?

    Students in Italy attend school Monday-Saturday, from about 8:30am to 1:30pm. There are about five classes per day, with one 15-30 minute break in the middle of

  10. 4. La scuola in Italia

    Does the school have ovals and playgrounds? Do the children wear a uniform? Do the children do homework every night? When are the summer.