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The Rete delle scuole autonome della Lombardia, officially named “Autonomia scolastica e relazioni internazionali” offers a program of study, training and cross-cultural experience to native speakers of English for the 2009-2010 academic year. The program, established  in 2005,  promotes linguistic and intercultural exchange within Europe and across the globe.
The program is open to individuals who are currently completing or have recently completed (within the last 18 months) college level Italian language and culture. Students enrolled in a M.A. or Ph.D. program of Italian language and culture in a North-American university are also encouraged to apply. .
While the program is intended for students or recent graduates of Italian, it is also open to those enrolled in other disciplines who would like to have an intercultural experience of study and training in an Italian school.
Program Terms:
1.        The selected candidates will plan a program of study and training that is in accordance with their university curriculum and their cultural and linguistic goals. The program shall be carried out at an appointed school in Lombardy The interns will assist the Italian teacher in the teaching of English, as mother tongue assistants. (In the case that the internship is recognized from a university credit by the candidate’s home institution, that university’s approval is also required)
2.        The selected candidates must be covered by medical insurance.[1]
3.        A monthly reimbursement for expenses of 600 Euros (net) will be provided. Such reimbursement can be offered in non-monetary form such as provision of lodging.
4.        The hosting schools will designate an advisor to each appointed candidate. That advisor will be the candidate’s principal resource and point of reference and help with the initial transition and settlement in Italy. This includes helping the students to find housing (apartment, room, or room with a family). The advisor’s identity and contact information will be given to each candidate or their home institution before the summer.
5.        The selected candidates are committed to assist with the instruction of English for 12 hours each week. They must also participate in 13 supplemental hours a week pursuing other activities of study and self-development, projects, conversations with students, office hours, excursions, meetings with the advisor, and writing reports for the assigned school. The schedule is arranged with the advisor designated by the directors of the program.
The selected candidates may be able to attend courses (also selected courses - corsi singoli) at a local university. The courses should be consistent with the above mentioned activities and must be approved by the advisor and program directors.
6.        Depending on position availability and candidate preference, the program will last from 3 months to a full academic year (between October and May). This time period will be settled before the students departure.  The date of departure must also follow the guidelines of the Italian Consular Office regarding a proper visa.
7.        The allotted period of absence for each participant including all medical and personal motives is 15 days and must have justifiable merit.
8.        Upon completion of the program, the school will award each candidate a certificate of completion that will state the details of the program.
9.        The interns will have the opportunity to take CELI international examination for Italian language competence at the Istituto Pacioli, Crema. The CELI certificate will be issued upon successful completion of the exam.
Criteria and consideration (in order of importance):
1.        Candidate’s interview (via Skype or telephone)
2.        Letter of recommendation from a professor addressing the motivation, competence, skills, and character of the applicant
3.        Experience teaching any language to non-native speakers (preferably experience teaching English to foreigners)
4.        Status as an Italian major or minor recently graduating with a degree in Italian (within 18 months) or status as a M.A. or Ph.D. student specializing in Italian language and culture
5.        Completion of at least 3 semesters of university level Italian and have earned a minimum B grade in the course. If not the case, proof of the equivalent proficiency and knowledge of Italian is required
6.        Experience of studying or working abroad, or participation in cross-cultural activities in North America
7.        A cumulative GPA of 3.25 or its equivalent
8.        The intention, confirmed by a professor, to study Italian in a masters or doctoral program
Documents to Submit with the Application:
1.        A cover letter to accompany all the materials.
2.        A short essay (800-1000 words) written in Italian or English addressing the theme “Italy and Your Country: Confronti.” The essay may address questions such as: What similarities and differences have you noticed or do you expect to find between the culture of your country and Italy’s?  How do you think you could contribute to the cultural, intellectual, and linguistic enrichment o an Italian student of English?  Why do you wish to apply to this scholarship in Italy? (PLEASE NOTE: A high level of proficiency in Italian language and culture gives preference to those candidates.)
3.        A letter of recommendation from a professor (use the form provided in the website of the program).
4.        A transcript of university grades from the most recent term of study.
5.        A copy of a college/university diploma (B.A. or higher).
6.        The Application Form available in the website of the program.
All the forms (letter of recommendation and personal info), FAQ and other information can be downloaded at:
If the number of initial applicants admitted does not fill all available positions in Lombardy, students from other disciplines may then be admitted.  Except criteria points 4 and 5, the guidelines for selection would be the same.  However, completion of at least 1 semester of university level Italian earning a minimum B grade or proof of its equivalent proficiency and knowledge of Italian would still be required.
How to apply:
Send everything by email. Please scan all the hard copies of the documents you would like to submit and send them electronically
Send all the documents to BOTH THE FOLLOWING EMAIL ADDRESSES no later than 11:59pm (Eastern Standard Time) on March 22, 2009:
1.        Giuseppe Strada, Coordinator of the Rete delle scuola della Lombardia, Principal of Luca Pacioli High School -
2.        Carlo Cipollone, Scholastic Officer of the Italian Consulate General in Boston, USA -   
The candidates will be selected by a committee organized by the Rete delle scuole autonome della Lombardia (Prof.ssa Cati Benelli, Prof. ssa Paola Severngini, Prof. Giuseppe Strada) in collaboration with the Education Office of the Consulate General of Italy in Boston (Prof. Carlo Cipollone) and the Department of French and Italian of Dickinson College (Prof.ssa Nicoletta Marini-Maio). The committee will rank the candidates and assign scholarships accordingly until none remains.
In order to avoid bureaucratic delays (the visa process, etc.) the committee will immediately begin the selection process. Therefore, candidates are asked to send application materials as soon as possible.  The selection committee will notify successful candidates to their email address and  on the program website  by April 27, 2009.

Prof. Giuseppe Strada
ITCG Luca Pacioli - Crema
Via Seminario, 7
26013 Crema, (Cremona) Italy
Tel. +39 (0373) 8082 / 86044
Fax +39 (0373) 86193

Prof. Carlo Cipollone
Ufficio Scolastico
Consolato Generale d’Italia
600 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02110
Tel +1 (617) 722-9409
Fax +1 (617) 722-9407

Nicoletta Marini-Maio, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Italian
Department of French and
Dickinson College

Bosler Hall 217
Carlisle, PA 17013
Tel. (717) 245-1592
Fax (717) 245-1456

[1] N.B.: In order to obtain a visa, the Italian law requires assistants to verify coverage by health insurance. Health insurance can be American or Italian. If the student chooses Italian insurance the basic health insurance (called INA) can be acquired upon payment by postal order. This option would cost approximately 100 euros per year and covers emergencies and medical services needing emergency care.

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