Education Opportunities and How to Enroll in Public Schools
for Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Italy
*Refer to Glossary of Terms
Anyone between the ages of 6 and 16 has the right to an education in Italy. This guide provides key information on how to access public education and other educational services, such as language classes.
The information provided below includes:
1. Key Facts: Italian Public Education
2. What You Need Before Enrolling
3. How to Enroll at a Public School or Vocational Program
4. Help with Enrollment/Appeal
5. Language Schools
6. Vocational Training
7. Higher Education
1. Key Facts: Italian Public Education
All Italians and foreigners under the age of 16 have the right to an education.
Public school registration must be completed online for all grades except kindergarten (which requires a paper application).
Usually, the registration period for a new academic year starts mid-January and ends in February (in 2018, registration started January 16 and ended February 6). But, under Italian law, it is possible to enroll at any time during the school year. The guardian should make an application directly to the school of interest if the student is enrolling in the middle of the academic year. The only reason a student may not be permitted to enroll is if the chosen school has reached maximum capacity per class for all sections. A school that does not have a place available is responsible to identify another school where the child can register to ensure his/her right to an education.
Online registration is currently available for vocational training centers in the regions of Lazio, Liguria, Lombardy, Molise, Piedmont, Sicily, Tuscany and Veneto.
2. What You Need Before Enrolling
A completed Application form (explained below)
The following documents:
Certificate of family status (certificato di stato di famiglia) from the registry office in your commune.
The student’s birth certificate (certificato di nascita)
Proof of immunization against hepatitis B, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and haemophilus influenza-type B (with relevant translations if needed).
A photo of the student and permit to stay (permesso di soggiorno) or residence certificate (certificato di residenza), if an application for residency has been made.
Optional: Translation of the home country’s school curriculum to help the school properly place the student.
The guardian can declare that they possess the necessary documents without producing them. However, if information on the application form is found to be incorrect, the guardian may be prosecuted. In any case, Italian law requires schools to accept all children under age 16 even if the necessary documents are not yet available. In that case, enrollment has a “temporary” status until all documents are provided. During this time, the guardian must submit a written statement of intention to substitute the missing documents.
3. How to Enroll at a Public School or Vocational Program:
Compare programs... The governmental website Scuola in Chiaro provides information sheets on schools of all levels and allows you to compare different vocational training options.
Know the code of the school or vocational training program. You can find the code by searching for the school at Scuola in Chiaro.
Register online... If you are a new user and do not have a SPID identity or Polis credentials, you need to register for MIUR services by inputting your tax code and checking the “I am not a robot” box for security.
Fill out the form... In the next step, you will be asked to fill out a form with your personal data and e-mail address.
Check it’s correct... When you finish the form, a summary of the data will appear. You MUST select “confirm” to create your account; if there are errors, you can still go back and make corrections to the form.
Confirm your account by email... An email will be sent to the address you provided. Click the link in the email to confirm your account.
Change your username and password... A second email will be sent to you with a username and password that you will use to enter the online registration service. Once you use the username and password provided by the service, you will be asked to change the password. The new password must have at least 8 characters and include a number, a capital letter, and a lowercase letter. You must then select “confirm” to finalize that password.
Start registration... Now that you have an account, you can register. Click the “Access the Service” (Accedi al servizio) button and enter your username and password.
Open an application... Once you have entered your account, you will need to click on the button “Submit a new application form.” Enter the code for the school or vocational center that you found at Scuola in Chiaro.
Enter in personal data... You will be asked to fill out the required personal data about the student.
Enter in school-specific data... Each school may request different types of information, depending on its specific interests. Some data is mandatory and other data is optional.
Confirm the application... A summary of the application will appear, and you will have the opportunity to correct the application. You can then finalize the application and send it to the school by clicking on the send button. Once you have sent the application, you cannot change the application except by contacting the school directly. You will receive a confirmation in your email that the application has been sent.
Watch your email... You will receive updates about the status of the application through your email.
*The school will either confirm acceptance or direct the application to the alternative school you indicated if it does not have space for the student.
*The information for these instructions were taken from the official Ministry of Education registration website. You can read the registration manual to learn how to change your email, password, and related issues.
4. Help With Enrollment/Appeal
EDIT: After the abolition of the SPRAR system (reception centres for asylum seekers and refugees), there are now only facilities limited to refugees and unaccompanied minors. In fact, many reception centres have been closed and all the hosted people have been sent to other facilities or, in the worst cases, remain on the streets.
SPRAR (Protection System for Refugees and Asylum Seekers): a governmental project to help and protect refugees, will guide you through enrolling at school or an Italian language school for adults. SPRAR offers services in these areas:
Enrollment in L2 Italian courses for adults and school enrollment for minors.
Support by a linguistic mediator
Assistance in accessing social, health, and educational services.
Telephone: +39 06 76980811; Toll-free: 800 242525; Conflict mediation: 800 922912
Address: Via Roma 101 -59100 Prato
If the Student is Not Accepted:
Some schools have shown resistance to enroll refugee children. If a student is not accepted, it is possible to appeal to the provincial educational authority or “provveditorato agli studi.” However, local experts advise using this only as a last resort, as in some cases it has resulted in retaliation against the minor. It is not in the minor’s interest to be enrolled at a school where he/she is at higher risk of being suspended or neglected in the classroom. To pursue this course of action, you should contact the “provveditorato agli studi” in your region.
5. Language Schools
It-schools.com, locations throughout Italy - This website connects users to Italian language schools throughout Italy.
Milan Municipality Language Schools, Milan: Italian language courses are provided to foreigners by the municipality of Milan in beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.
Municipality offices where you can go for classes if you live in Milan:
Viale Gabriele D'Annunzio 15
Telephone: 02.88448569 (centralino)
Viale B.S. Murillo 17
Via G.Pepe 40
via Alex Visconti 18
Sede XXII Marzo
Corso XXII Marzo 59/a
The Migration, Asylum and Social Integration Center at Programma Integra, Rome: Offering Italian language and vocational training courses for migrants and refugees, and promoting cultural events regarding issues of human rights and immigration.
Address: Via Assisi, 39/41, Rome
Telehone: +39 0645753490
Liberti Nantes, Rome: Liberti Nantes has an Italian class for asylum seekers, as well as free access to play sports on a football or rugby team. The Italian course is for beginner speakers (an A1 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). These programs are aimed at young men around 17 years old. Mothers who come with young children are also welcome.
To get involved in any of these activities, please use the corresponding e-mail address:
Touch Rugby: firstname.lastname@example.org
Italian school: email@example.com
Street Address: Via Marica, 80, 00158 Roma RM, Italy
Phone: + 39 347 658 7197
6. Vocational Training
According to Italian law, any child aged 14 can access upper-secondary education as soon as they have demonstrated the required competencies. If a minor does not have a certificate from lower secondary school, the class board can assess the minor through oral/written tests. Many unaccompanied minors end up attending Adult Learning Centers (“Centro Provinciale per l’Istruzione degli Adulti,” or CPIA) or get enrolled in the Regional Vocational Education and Training system.
Caritas, Rome (and other locations): This Catholic organization offers training courses to migrants and refugees. Opportunities include training in winemaking, farming, saffron cultivation, and university grants. For more information contact Michelle Hough at +39 06 6987 9752/+39 334 234 4136 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Municipality of Milan, Milan: Lists training, courses, and employment for immigrants possessing a permit to stay.
Address: Via Scaldasole 5. Milan, Italy
Telephone: 02 884 48246
Ciofs fp lazio, Rome, Colleferro, Ostia Lido, Ladispoli: This organization offers education, vocational training and adult professional training for a variety of job types. Three-year vocational training courses are recognized by the state and the European Union. Fourth year professional diplomas are also available as apprenticeship programs through a school/work arrangement. The organization provides information about sectors in which there are employment opportunities and which courses you can take to prepare for them.
Addresses for office locations:
Rome - Via Ginori, 10 (Testaccio)
Rome - Viale Palmiro Togliatti, 167 (Cinecittà)
Rome - Via Mauro Morrone, 25 (Nuovo Salario)
Colleferro - Via IV Novembre, 4
Ostia Lido - Via Marino Fasan, 58
Ladispoli - Via Trieste, 6
7. Higher Education:
The European University Association (EUA) has listed 15 Italian universities that have developed initiatives to improve refugee access to higher education in Bari, Naples, Rome, Teramo, Siena, Bologna, Turin, Pavia, Verona, and Trieste. You can search for universities with refugee initiatives in Italy (and the European Union) on this interactive map, which is being continually updated. These universities may offer any combination of employment opportunities, financial aid, integration initiatives, preparatory courses, and online learning services. In addition, 100 scholarships are being awarded annually to refugees in Italy through a joint effort by the Ministry of the Interior, CRUI, and ANDISU. Specific information about the scholarships can be found on the CRUI website. If you have questions, you can e-mail email@example.com.
Universitá Telematica Internazionale (UNINETTUNO), Rome: Also known as the “University for Refugees,” UNINETTUNO is the only higher education institution in the world where the student can be taught in one of five languages: Italian, French, English, Arabic, or Greek. The online university uses interactive online learning tools, including 3D and immersive learning, to bring students together in a virtual classroom.
Telephone (toll-free): +39 800 333 647
Address: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 39-Rome.
UNIBO Project, Bologna: Initiated by the University of Bologna and the Municipality of Bologna, the UNIBO project seeks to promote asylum seeker integration even as you wait to receive your political refugee status. The International Desk organizes orientations for students interested in enrolling and examines their school certificates and academic qualifications. You will also be given the opportunity to enroll in Italian classes and single learning activities for up to 30 course credits, without paying fees. When your refugee status has been granted, you may be eligible for a study grant.
Address: Via Filippo Re 4 40126 Bologna Italy
Phone: +39 051 2088101