What is the difference between American and Italian high schools?

Luca Dogliani

Everyone here knows how American high schools work, but few people know how high schools work in Italy.

It’s very different from what we’re used to in West Seattle High School.

West Seattle students stay in school from 8:50 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. for six periods, with a one-hour lunch. The week starts on Monday and ends on Friday, with an early release on Wednesday.

In Italy, students stay in school from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for five periods, with one break of fifteen minutes in the middle of the morning. So, in Italy, students stay at school for five hours. The school week is six days, so school starts on Monday and finishes on Saturday.

American students go to a school that is close to where they live. For example, high schoolers who live in West Seattle go to either Chief Sealth or West Seattle High School, which are both in West Seattle. In Italy, students will investigate what each school teaches and then decide where they would like to go. So, Italian students choose their school based on the major they like.

American students do more work at school compared to Italian students. In Italy, the kids will listen to their teacher lecture and then go home to study for two or three hours. Essentially, Italian students have more work to do at home.

Italian students have a different class schedule each day. They have ten different classes; the mandatory courses are Italian literature, physical education, English, history, math, and science.

Italian high schools should change how they do things. They should decrease the number of days students go to school a week.