St. Stephen's School in Rome, Italy, is a non-denominational, co-ed, English, International Boarding and Day School, for students in grades 9-12. Founded in 1964, St. Stephen's provides a demanding classical and liberal arts college-preparatory curriculum. We use our unique position in the historical centre of Rome to enhance our signature courses as well as our wide range of arts, clubs and sports programs. Our graduates obtain the International Baccalaureate Diploma and the American High School Diploma.
Our Take: St. Stephen's School, Rome
St. Stephen's School was founded by a group of North American educators who took the American independent school as a model, though with the intention of superseding it, literally creating a “pace-setter,” in their terminology, that other schools would seek to emulate. Notably, it was non-denominational, firmly set within the liberal-arts ideal, offering a course of study toward educating students to take active part in civic life, locally and globally. The founders chose Rome because of its stature in world history and its proximity to some of the prime moral, artistic, and political antecedents of western life. Unusual for the time, it would also be an international school in the sense that we think of it today, one where students come from around the world to grow and learn together, gaining a sense not only of their talents, but also how to deploy them in international settings. In 1975 it became the first school in Italy to adopt the IB. Today the enrollment remains intentionally small, with a high student-instructor ratio, and is attractive to students who share a dedication to learning in a truly international and intercultural environment. The facilities are as good as it gets, sparkling in every way, located in a villa—one that itself sympathetically reflects the architectural heritage of the region—steps from a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Circus Maximus, Roman Forum and the Colosseum. Instructors also arrive from around the world, all bringing a close experience of the IB and a passion for what it can offer. A majority of students live locally, though boarding is available, and the school is rightly a draw for students arriving from IB programmes in the US and Canada. Throughout, St. Stephen's continues to realise the founders’ desire to create an institution that would be more than just another school, one that would exemplify the cosmopolitan ideal and serve as an important model of academic excellence.