FAQs

If you have questions that are not answered below please give us a call at 978.725.6828 or send us an email at syasummer@sya.org.

What is the schedule like at SYA Italy Summer?

Upon arrival in Italy, you will spend two days of orientation with all students and staff before meeting your host family.

For the first month of the program, you will be participating in SYA (school) “events” 6 days-a-week. Sundays and evenings will be a peaceful time for you to relax with your English-speaking host family and experience a true cultural exchange. Four days-a-week you will have classes and center your activities in Viterbo, while twice-a-week you will go on day trips to classical sites.

All students attend four classes: first period will focus on the Latin language (grammar review), second period on Latin passages specific to locations you will be visiting, third period on Classical culture – mythology, history, and civilization. Fourth period, after lunch, will be a time to learn about modern Italian language and culture. This last course should not be seen as a “discipline,” but as a fun tool for getting more out of your experience in Italy.

On “local” afternoons, you will participate in activities such as: art classes, cooking classes, playing soccer, and guided tours. On the days visiting essential Classical sites in and around Rome, your days will be quite full! And during the final week, you, your classmates, and teachers will travel together to experience famous Classical sites in and around Naples, such as Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Cumae.

What will my host family be like at SYA Italy Summer?

You will learn your host family’s name and contact information two weeks before departure. Your host family will speak English, but we encourage you to practice your basic Italian language skills at home with them as well.

Many of the host families have children the same age as you, but we cannot guarantee from year to year that everyone will. We do our best to fill any specific requests. Each student will have their own private bedroom. Some have private baths, but others will share with host family members.

Most host families are not the same as for the year-long program, as we like to give the yearlong families a break. Some families live inside the medieval walls of Viterbo, while othersin small towns just 15 minutes by car or bus. What they have in common is that they are very excited to have SYA students living with them! They look forward to sharing their culture with you and learning from you about your culture.

How will I stay in touch with my family in the U.S?

All students will receive a pay-as-you-go phone when they arrive in Viterbo, which they are required to keep on them at all times and return at the end of the program. They will also have access to wifi both at school and at home. We do not place a limit on email/messaging/calls to your family and friends back at home, but ask that you keep the frequency of these communications within reason.

We discourage parents from visiting while the program is in session. We want you to spend the short amount of time you have making the most of the opportunities SYA, your host family, and Italy provide. Parents who choose to visit typically arrive at the end of the program in order to extend their travel with you.