I guess that it was impossible that having two teachers as parents did not have any kind of impact in my life. The thing is that, wherever I go, I always like to try to understand the educational system that the country has. So here you guys have a post that shortly explains how it works in Italy.
The school is divided in three different levels: Scuola Primaria (during 5 years), Scuola Media (during 3 years) and Scuola Superiore (during 5 years). This means a total of 13 years of education, which means that they have an extra year of education compared to Spain (to sum up: they start the University at 19 years old).
When they finish the Scuola Media, at 14 years old, they have to decide the path they want their studies to have. In this sense, they choose between three different options with three different grades of “professionalization”
- Liceo. This is chosen by the people that know for sure that they want to go to the University afterwards. It is not professionalized at all, they study different fields in a quite theoretical way. It is difficult to find a job just with a liceo. There are different “Liceo”: Classico (Human Studies), Scientifico (Science), Linguistico (Languages), Artistico (Arts), etc.
- Istituto tecnico. This option is in between the previous and the next one. It includes more practical subjects and it is more professionalized than the previous one but not as much as the next one. After doing it, people can either go to the University or find a job. There are also different types of “Istituto tecnico” like, for example, the Istituto Tecnico Industriale Statale (ITIS).
- Istituto professionale. This option is the one more orientated to finding a job. In fact, students can choose in Year 3 if they want to continue studying the last two years or if they’d rather to start looking for a job.
After finishing the “Scuola Superiore“, Italians need to take one special exam (Maturità). Differently from the Spanish “Selectividad”, the exam is not in order to enter the University but to finish High School (Most bachelors do not require anything while some of them ask for another specific exam).
The Maturità Exam can be done through the three paths previously mentioned and includes three different levels of exams: one of Italian (the exact same for all the country), one of the specialization (the same for each of the specializations) and, finally, four exams made by your own school for four of the subjects you took. After that, you face the oral part: you defend the thesis you wrote and you can be asked about any of the subjects you took during the last years (but normally they only ask you for the ones of your specialization).
After this exam, students can either go to the University or to an “Istituto Tecnico Superiore” (that is only 2 year and it includes hours in an enterprise from the first month). But given that the post is already long let’s leave the University for another post.