Ciao, Kansas City

Foreign exchange student describes college application process in Italy

Stephanie Kontopanos, Assistant Editor

Though most apply to colleges in their last year of high school, senior Simone Aguzzi has started now, even though he has one year of high school remaining in Italy. Currently, he plans to attend the University of Milan in 2023 and study engineering or statistics.

“During the fourth year, you can start applying for colleges or universities. I did,” Aguzzi said. “You can also do it your fifth year of high school. You just apply and do these little exams. If they accept you, you’re in. If they don’t, you just retry.”

Similar to the ACT or SAT, part of the application process in Italy involves a standardized test.

“They just verify that you know some things about math, English [and] Italian comprehension,” Aguzzi said. “You can take it once a month.”

As opposed to the Common Application, Aguzzi’s process was simplified, as it didn’t require his grades or an essay — only the test.

“I did the exam three weeks ago. I got accepted,” Aguzzi said. “In the future, if I will want to join them, I’m already in.”

In the U.S., study abroad, internship and employment opportunities are abundant, but in Italy, the main focus is on academics.

“They don’t do anything with [clubs] at school usually,” Aguzzi said. “During high school, we have to do community service, but during university, I don’t think so.”

When choosing what school to apply to, various aspects of the University of Milan appealed to Aguzzi.

“It’s near my city,” he said. “I know a lot of people in Milan, so I guess it’s my dream school.”

Aguzzi didn’t consider applying to colleges in the U.S., mostly for financial reasons.

“It’s too expensive to go to college and universities here,” Aguzzi said. “On average [in Italy], it’s probably not more than three, four, maybe $5,000 per year.”

His experiences as a foreign exchange student in America, Aguzzi believes, will help him in college.

“This experience taught me a lot of things, and I’m more open-minded,” he said. “I feel like it will impact my experience during university in a positive way.”