REVIEW OF Canadian College Italy BY student, Isabelle Trudeau
- Date of Review
February 28, 2023
Gr. 12 (current)
(4) Student Experience
CCI is an amazing place to step out of your comfort zone and start discovering who you are. You are completely immersed in Italian culture as soon as you step out of school buildings, which can honestly be intimidating at first. The language barrier for most is the biggest challenge, however, all of the students are in the same boat and it ended up being one of the things that bonded us all together during my time there. The school is very structured when it comes to school work, we have study hall every night from Sunday through Thursday to ensure that we are up to date on our work. The biggest thing that I would change about the school is how fast-paced everything is. Given that we have the same 4 classes every day, the material goes by extremely quickly and can sometimes feel very drowning.
(4.5) School Leadership
The personnel of CCI is extremely student-focused and they truly care about our well-being. Our amazing guidance counselor goes above and beyond for us, our headmaster personally tutors students that are having difficulty, and teachers come in early to answer any questions we may have about upcoming tests. Our principal offers a grandmotherly figure to all incoming students who are having difficulty adapting and are missing home. One of the best parts of CCI is probably the staff who are always ready to support us.
The teachers are very demanding and depending on your schedule the course load can be a lot to deal with, however, the teachers are always there to support you with whatever questions you may have. In most cases, the teachers are very clear with their expectations and provide the necessary rubrics to ensure you can tailor your work to the project's guidelines. In one particular case, we had a teacher that had very vague expectations, however, we noticed that that class was the exception and not the rule. When teachers at CCI mention success, they don't solely mean academic success. They want us to grow into educated, and well-rounded individuals capable of thinking for ourselves. They don't need you to have a 95% average for them to view you as successful, they view you as successful if you put effort into everything you turn in.
The work can be challenging but our teachers are very good at what they do and they are committed to helping you succeed. They will gladly offer extra tutelage or refer a peer tutor to help out. CCI has a diverse course selection, from all the core subjects such as English, calculus, and philosophy to prepare us for university, to classes such as Business management that teach us real management skills that can be applied to everyday life and group work. I have also taken the data management class offered by the school, which made it clear to me that I enjoyed problem-solving and managing statistics. That class was the reason I decided to change the major I would apply for at University. I, however, can't see the real-life purpose of learning derivatives in Calculus, but I know that it is more about teaching us problem-solving than the actual derivative.
The extracurricular opportunities at CCI are absolutely incredible. Any possible activity you want to do from scuba diving to pottery making or even perfecting your archery skills, the school can find a way to make it happen. Our school participates in the Duke of Edinburgh's award which means that you must choose a skill, a sport, and a volunteering position and do 1 hour of each, every week for 13 weeks. This keeps us active and is also a great way to take your minds off of any of the inevitable homesickness feelings.
The school has a very diverse cultural background, we have people from basically every continent which allows us to build international friendships. Students in my experience have been super warm and welcoming and I believe that is because everyone is in the same boat. We all don't know anyone at the start and it is much too small to not be friends with everyone which leads to us all becoming very close. The students who tend to do better are those who are dedicated to their work, disciplined with their time, and don't need to constantly be reminded to do their work. For most of us, it is our first time living away from home, and we do have some freedom associated with that. Those who abuse it are those who tend to struggle a little more.
(4.5) School Life
I would take new students to the main piazza and up the main corso (street) first. I could take them to the residences but what makes CCI different and worth the experience is the town we live in. I would offer the prospective students recommendations on where to get gelato and coffee. What they will truly remember from their time with the school isn't Calculus class or where they slept, it's the fun memories they will make going out after school with their friends to get some food or a coffee to talk about this and that and enjoying the Italian lifestyle. The experience of living in Italy is something that is truly unique, the culture shock experienced by most North Americans is what will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
At the beginning of the year, the school felt foreign and weird. When you first get here you are living with 60 other people that you have never met in your life. It's scary, to be honest. After a week or two you start settling in and talking to everyone. You meet people that will become your closest friends and after the third week, you can barely remember the foreign feeling you felt that first day. Our Dons are also there for us and are happy to help with whatever issue you have. If you have a problem with your mattress being too hard or an issue you want to talk about they are always all ears. Within a month, CCI feels like a second home and you can't imagine not living with the people you've so quickly bonded with. All of the boarding students create a very special bond within the school, and I won't lie, day students do have a much harder time getting included in the group.
(4.5) School Location
Our school is situated in the middle of a very historic small town, therefore, our campus is the town. The four buildings are all within 5-10 minutes from each other and we tend to gather in the main Piazza around lunchtime on our way back to school. The cafes near the school are also hotspots for CCI students. Who doesn’t want to start their day off with a good cappuccino?
The admissions process was extremely easy. I remember sending an inquiry email on their website and getting a response from the school within the week. They set up a presentation about the school with one of the owners and that's when I knew CCI was the place for me. The biggest piece of advice I would have for someone applying would be to ask to speak to a current student and get a tour of the residences. No one will be better suited to answer any questions you have than someone who had those same questions only a few months prior. They were also very quick to get back to me about acceptance which made the entire process so much less stressful. Another piece of advice is to fill out the roommate form as honestly as possible, and be as transparent as possible in order to get the best possible match to live with.