students outside of campus building

2018 Summer Italian Intensive Course for College Credit

From High School to Higher Education: Earn Three College Credits in Only Three Weeks in the Summer

See MAIN PAGE for info about current edition

The Inserra Chair and the Italian Program (Department of Modern Languages and Literatures), in association with the Early College Program and Summer Sessions, in partnerships with a consortium* of local high schools, and with the co-sponsorship of IACE (Italian American Committee on Education), are glad to offer, for the second consecutive year, a program that links the high school and college learning experience in the tri-state area.

This intensive course in Italian was launched in the summer of 2017: see VIDEO, PHOTO GALLERY and STUDENTS’ FEEDBACK (scroll to bottom of page) from the first edition. It is taught on the Montclair State University campus by a native speaker instructor with direct knowledge of both the HS and university systems, and coordinated by an experienced high school teacher.

The program aims to consolidate rising senior students’ intermediate Italian skills on their way to an advanced level. Students benefit from an engaging college experience on a campus boasting a dynamic Italian program and proximity to New York City. The course also includes off-campus activities such as visits to museums and Italian companies in the NY-NJ metropolitan area.

  • CHI? HS Students from NJ, NY and CT schools who have successfully completed Italian 3 Honors or equivalent
  • COSA? Combination of academic work and cultural activities (including field trips) and group lunches in Italian
  • QUANTO? $750.00 all-inclusive – See available scholarships below!
  • QUANDO? July 23-Aug. 9 (Mon. through Thur.)
  • A CHE ORA? 9AM-1:30PM
  • DOVE? Montclair State University campus
  • COME? Apply through the ONLINE FORM (no late fee until July 1)


    The course is taught in the target language and embraces in-class activities, field trips, and guest speakers. Its immersive approach allows for the study of more complex language structures and the expression of emotions, personal opinions, agreements and assessments. The analysis of literary and journalistic excerpts increases the student’s vocabulary and ability to comprehend written texts. Guided exercises develop the student’s ability to write an essay in Italian. Verbal exercises support fluency and the ability to communicate spontaneously and effectively. Videos and film excerpts along with songs support communication and cultural discoveries. The development of these competencies, skills and communicative abilities prepares students for college-level (e.g. Advanced Placement) courses and exams. The students explore such topics as immigration and Italian identity, Made in Italy and sustainability, fashion, food, translation, etc. as part of an approach that fully integrates language and culture.
  • SCHEDULE: 9AM-12:20PM followed by lunch (12:30-1:30PM) with speakers and activities in Italian
  • OFF-CAMPUS ACTIVITIES:– Guided tour of Scavolini showroom (Soho) by director Daniele Busca (Theme: “Home Design and the Italian Sense of Living and Wellness” – see video “Ieri come oggi, Scavolini si racconta”) – Aug. 7
    – Magazzino Italian Art (Cold Spring, NYC): Guided tour by Digital Media Manager Meghan O’ Brien (Theme: “The Aesthetic and Political Relevance of Arte Povera in Italy and the U.S.”) – July 26
    – Eataly (Madison Square, NYC): Guided tour and activities (Theme: “Slow Food and Italian Culture”) – Aug. 1
    – Paola Camillo (Design journalist for Living/Corriere della Sera): “Italian Design between Tradition and Innovation” – Date TBA
    – Enza Antenos (Assistant Professor, Italian Program, Montclair State University): “The Role of Made in Italy In Today’s World Economy” – July 25
    – Kathleen Bennett (Art historian and Chairperson of the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission) and Frank Gerard Godlewski (Architect): “The Influence of Italian Styles on Montclair Architecture” – July 30
    – Marisa Trubiano (Associate Professor, Italian Program, Montclair State University): “The Art and Technique of Sub-/Sur-Titling for Cinema, Opera, Theater” – July 31
    – The Mazzeo family (Business owners in Montclair): “A Bi-Lingual/Cultural Family Brings Italian Fashion to New Jersey” – Aug. 2

To apply for the course (and the scholarship program), fill out this ONLINE FORM
Note that, as part of the application, you will need to ask your current Italian teacher to write a letter attesting to your level of preparation (academic ability, maturity, personal qualities) and grades in your Italian classes. The letter of recommendation goes directly to the Program coordinator, Patti Grunther, at


– Application opens: March 19
– Application deadline: June 4 (extended to July 22 with no late fee)
(students are notified after two weeks, while scholarship winners will be notified in two rounds: end of April and end of May)
– Late application fee of $50 (after July 1)
– Term bill payment (July 9)

SCHOLARSHIPS (the scholarship application is part of the general application)
[The amounts of the individual scholarships are decided based on the number of applicants for financial support to guarantee a broad distribution of funds]
NOTE THAT FINANCIAL SUPPORT IS STILL AVAILABLE AS STUDENT FEE REDUCTION FOR ELIGIBLE STUDENTS APPLYING after June 4 until July 22 ($250 fee for cultural activities will be covered by the Inserra Endowment and accepted students will be responsible for $500 only – for eligibility see ONLINE APPLICATION FORM)


– Italian Program scholarships ($1,000 total):
Winners: Jared Talavera (Clifton High School) and Kayla Ceaser (West Orange High School)
New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission scholarships ($1,500 total)
Winners: Abigail Huaccho (Elizabeth High School) and Julye Calderon (Pascack Valley High School)
Inter Club Facchetti (NJ) scholarship ($750 total)
Winner: Jadelin Juarez (Elizabeth High School)
– Scholarship in memory of Carlo Di Nardo Di Maio ($750 total)
Winner: Carolina Herrera (Elizabeth High School)
– Ieri, oggi, domani ($750 total)
Winner: Samantha Di Spirito (Middletown High School)
– The Italian-Indian-Colombian Company scholarship ($500). Preference is given to Hispanic, Latin American and African American students, especially from less advantaged inner city schools.
Winner: Scarleth Arciniega (West Orange High School)

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BILL PAYMENT (for fully and partially paying students – N/A for full scholarship recipients): Instructions


Original developer and coordinator: Patti Grunther

Patti Grunther lived in Italy for more than 20 years and has been teaching Italian at Watchung Hills Regional High School since she moved back to the U.S. with her family. She has taught Italian at all levels of the high school system as well as English as a Second Language and Linguistics at local colleges, including Montclair State University, Kean University and Bloomfield College. She serves on the AATI (Association of American Teachers of Italian) board as Mid-Atlantic Regional Representative.

Co-developers at Montclair State University:

Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies) and Marisa Trubiano (Associate Professor of Italian) ‌are two Italian Program faculty members who are interested in curriculum innovation and pedagogical issues in dialogue with the high school system. They work as the active liaison with a variety of offices on campus as well as with supporting institutions and individuals off campus.

Instructor: Matilde Fogliani

Matilde Fogliani was born and raised in Italy. She teaches Italian at Memorial High School in New Jersey. She is a Ph.D. candidate at The Graduate Center, CUNY in the Comparative Literature Department (Italian Specialization). She has been teaching Italian Language and Literature for undergraduates and she is certified to teach Italian AP. She speaks Italian, Spanish, English and French.

* The consortium is made up of private and public schools located in New Jersey: Montclair High School, Clifton Public Schools, West Orange High School, Elizabeth High School/Frank J. Cicarell Academy,  Saint Peter’s Prep High School (Jersey City), Palisades Park Jr./Sr. High School, Pascack Valley High School (Hillsdale).

Clifton Public Schools Logo maroon banner gray mustang

Please note that students do not have to attend a consortium school to apply – all students are welcome!
This loosely-knit group of New Jersey high schools collaborates with the Italian Program (MLL Department) at Montclair State University to strengthen ties between their high school and college Italian programs. Consortium schools help with promotional efforts and encourage their Italian language students to attend the summer immersion course. Consortium high school Italian teachers keep students informed about the program and the scholarship opportunities it offers. Any high school with an Italian program is welcome to join the consortium: please contact for further information.

The high school consortium at Montclair State University receives the support of IACE (Italian American Committee on Education) for this specific summer course.

“I liked how we were able to still have fun while learning Italian. I liked the fact that we learned about culture along with grammar. I also liked meeting and talking to new people.” (Tessa Unke)

“This was a positive experience for me in many ways; I felt very comfortable with the teachers, the students, and the overall atmosphere of the classroom. I was also happy with my experience from most of the field trips and activities that occurred outside the classroom. Prof. Grunther was an excellent teacher, and she was happy to help me when I needed help in the class. Most of the students had an impressive vocabulary, and they were also very knowledgeable about Italian culture and geography. I initially felt intimidated, and I remained very quiet at the start of the course. However, I soon realized that I was underestimating my abilities, and it wasn’t long before I felt as qualified as my other classmates. The program set a higher standard for me by putting me in a class where all of the students were similarly skilled in Italian. Nobody seemed to be the only person who knew what was happening in the classroom, and I felt as competent as the students at the end of the program.” (Manav Parikh)

“The different teaching styles of the teachers kept my attention through the day while also expanding my knowledge of the language.” (Nicholas Russoniello)

“I liked being around other kids who have the same interest in Italian as me and getting to explore more of the language.” (Abby Palfy)

“The program did a superb job in giving the students great confidence. I look forward to my conversations with them in September. One of my students expressed great satisfaction being “in a class where all of the students were similarly skilled in Italian.” This statement simply exemplifies my challenges as teacher in a differentiated classroom: allowing the advanced to shine while assisting those who lack skill and effort.” (Teacher who sent students to the program)


Comments about Eataly trip: “The perfect mix of fun, learning, and freedom. I learned a lot about Italian food and culture, including how it’s made. I learned a lot about Eataly and how they operate, and I enjoyed the food they gave us.” (Spencer Acciarito)

Special thanks to our past, continuing and new donors for understanding the importance of linking the high school and college experience and for supporting this program!
Organizations or individual donors interested in supporting this program are invited to contact Donations should ideally cover tuition in full (in increments of $750). Checks should be written out to the MSU Foundation (for Italian program’s pre-AP summer course scholarships, MSU account 2540) and send to:

Yanira Amadeo
Director of Development (College of Humanities and Social Sciences)
University Advancement
Montclair State University
Overlook Corporate Center
150 Clove Road, 3rd Floor
Little Falls, NJ 07424