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2022 Summer Italian Intensive Program for Early College Credit (July 5-21)

Interested in improving your knowledge of Italian language and culture to advance your studies at both the high school and university levels? Curious to experience campus life through a short-term residential experience?

*See INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO FILL AND SUBMIT THE APPLICATION (bottom of webpage): Note that the application form asks for information about the class rank, which is not required. That line can be left blank.

This one-of-a-kind program designed for high school students on a university campus is available at Montclair State in an intensive summer format, including guest speakers and off-campus tours. In just three weeks, it prepares students to move with confidence from Italian 3 to an AP or advanced Italian class, while granting 3 college credits at a very affordable price. Offered for four years (20172018, 2019 and 2021 – COVID imposed a hiatus in 2020), the program by now represents a continuous service for high school students as well as recent graduates of New Jersey and the Tri-State Area interested in consolidating their learning from the past year and getting ready for their future university experience.


“The Italian Early College Summer program for high school students was an eye-opening experience not just as an opportunity to immerse myself in contemporary Italian language and culture with a focus on business, art, food and race relations, but mostly as an exciting first-hand encounter with a university to which I now want to apply for my teaching degree in Italian. Montclair State is at the top on my list of most desirable universities!” (Madeline Sandler, John Jay HS, Hopewell, NY; 2021 Summer program participant)

“The program provided strong preparation for this year’s AP class for my son. His teacher is impressed by his level of proficiency. My son also mentions how the program gave him real experience with living on a university campus, which makes him more comfortable for his transition to college. I am very pleased with the program and grateful to the organizers for the unique opportunity they offer”  (Kate Esaia, mother of Matt, a residential student in 2021).

Dates: July 5-21 Monday through Thursday for three weeks – NOTE THAT FRI JULY 8 IS INCLUDED IN THE SCHEDULE (to make up for the Monday holiday)

Time: 9am-1:30pm including lunch (students bring their own lunch)
ITAL 240 (permit required)
Schmitt Hall 125
$855 (tuition, registration, and activity fees – note that lunches are not included)
Residential option: $584 for 4 nights a week (Sun through Wed nights) for 3 weeks (first week goes from Mon through Thur night).
Note that students must be 16 and above to be able to reside in the dorm. This option may be subject to cancellation depending on revised NJ State COVID-related regulations.
Scholarships: Made available through the Inserra funds, scholarships are offered to select students with financial need. Please indicate your need in the pre-registration form or inquire at
Parking: Free (parking fees for summer sessions students are waived as long as they utilize only the Car Park Diem or surface lots for commuters).
Dining: See available options for the summer (Mon-Thur) here.


Do you have any questions? Please visit our FAQ PAGE, and for further inquiries contact the program coordinator, Patti Grunther ( FAQ

Taught in the target language by an experienced native speaker, the course immerses students in the language and culture with an emphasis on verbal skills which allows students to break the communication barrier. Students will be empowered to express emotions and personal opinions more comfortably while preparing for upper-level Italian courses, including the Italian AP exam. The course ITAL 240 (Intensive Italian Bridge Course) includes thematically-structured units on such topics as: immigration and Italian identity; Made in Italy (food, fashion) and sustainability, and draws from authentic materials including films, advertising, YouTube videos, music, news, etc. Overall, students benefit from an engaging college experience on a campus that boasts a dynamic Italian program and proximity to New York City for enriching cultural activities and tours. Upon completion they earn college credits that are valid at Montclair and cooperating universities.


Guided tours

  1. Thur. July 7 – Italian Montclair: La serra Italian nursery for a vegetable/plant presentation + Sicilia Mia foodstore for a presentation of Made in Sicily products +  Walnut Street Kitchen (cooking demo and lunch)
  2. Tue. July 12Botto House/American Labor Museum + Brick and Dough Pizzeria (pizza-making lesson + lunch)
  3. Tue. July 19 – Italian New York: Eataly (tasting tour + Tiramisù hands-on workshop)

Lunch speakers (The “Prendiamoci un caffè insieme” series of talks is an integral part of the summer program and attendance is required)PRESENTATIONS ARE IN ITALIAN
For a full set of bios and photos of speakers, see list of guest speakers in pdf file)

  1. Tue July 5Emilia D’Albero: An MSU alumna now an award-winning cheese monger discusses her career from an MSU student to an Eataly intern/events manager and her present role in the cheese and charcuterie sector
  2. Wed. July 6Teresa Fiore: Professor of Italian and Inserra Endowed Chair at Montclair State University introduces the Italian and LBC programs, and offers a campus tour
  3. Fri. July 8Valentino Agunu: Political activist, actor, singer, US Navy veteran illustrates BLM in Italy
  4. Mon. July 11Enzo Barracco: An Italian Emmy-nominated photographer living in Montclair talks about environmental justice through art
  5. Wed. July 13 – Julian Mossuto: A field marketing specialist for Adidas soccer talks about his passion and expertise: Italian soccer culture
  6.  Thur. July 14Giulia Baldini: NY-based Italian Brazilian journalist recounts her personal voyage from student to model and fashion blogger
  7. Mon. July 18Rossana Dall’Armellina: Yoga experts  in Italy (link and YT channel)
  8. Wed. July 20Frank Gerard Godlewski: An American architect once active in Italy talks about the Italian American neighborhood of Montclair
  9. Thur. July 21Final greetings from program’s organizing team and pizza lunch

Afternoon activities – designed for residential students (open to non-residential students upon request for a $20 fee – contact

  1. Tue July 5 – Emilia D’Albero: An MSU alumna now an award-winning cheese monger discusses the role of cheese in Italian gastronomy (with cheese tastings)
  2. Wed. July 6 – Teresa Fiore: Professor of Italian and Inserra Endowed Chair at Montclair State University offers a campus tour to students and parents
  3. Fri. July 8 – Valentino Agunu: Political activist, actor, singer, and US Navy veteran introduces students to Italian art production in support of the Black Italy movement
  4. Mon. July 11Enzo Barracco: An Italian Emmy-nominated photographer living in Montclair leads students on a nature walk and photography workshop on campus
  5. Tue. July 12Julian Mossuto: A field marketing specialist for Adidas soccer involves students in learning and practicing some basic soccer skills.
  6.  Thur. July 14Giulia Baldini: NY-based Italian Brazilian journalist/blogger and former model leads a hands-on workshop about creating a fashion blog
  7. Mon. July 18 – Megan Biondi: A certified yoga instructor leads a hands-on yoga session in Italian
  8. Wed. July 20Frank Gerard Godlewski: A Montclair resident joins Jenny Pollack (Education Director) in leading an Italian-American-focused tour of the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center (Montclair State University campus)

The program is offered by the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies and the Italian Program (Department of World Languages and Cultures) at Montclair State University, in association with Summer Sessions, with the kind collaboration of IACE (Italian American Committee on Education), and the support of Mr. Inserra. Additional funding is provided by Seton Hall Prep and the Language Institute of Caldwell in New Jersey.

The program is the only one of this type in Italian in the U.S. It has been recognized as a Best Practice in Italian teaching in the Tri-State Area at the 2018 national meeting of the U.S. “enti gestori” (managing units), which are in charge of the promotion of Italian language in connection with the Italian Consulates.

Over time, the summer program has produced a consortium of local high schools, which is bound to expand given the great benefits to both the HS and the university systems created by initiatives such as this program.


Original developer and coordinator: Patti Grunther

Patti Grunther lived in Italy for more than 20 years and has been teaching Italian language and culture at Watchung Hills Regional High School since she moved back to the U.S. with her family 15 years ago. 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 Board of the Italian American Committee on Education (IACE), co-directs the TANDEM project on creating virtual exchanges with Italian schools, and is the recipient of the 2019 AATI Distinguished Service Award in the K-12 category for her achievements in bridging high school, university and pre-professional experiences through Italian.

Instructor for 2022 edition: Roberta Scortechini

Roberta Scortechini was born and raised in Italy. After graduating from the University of Perugia with a degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures, she taught in the Italian public school system for a decade, before moving to the United States. Since then she has been teaching Italian on several university campuses in New Jersey, including Montclair State University for over half-a-decade. She regularly participates in professional development workshops and collaborates with various entities as a translator.

Program director at Montclair State University: Teresa Fiore 

Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies and Professor of Italian) is a widely published scholar; coordinator of interdisciplinary cultural programming; and the recipient of awards and grants. As a faculty member, she is strongly committed to curriculum innovation and pedagogical experimentation in dialogue with the high school system. Since 2017, for the summer program she has served as the supervisor for content and activities, the active liaison with a variety of offices on campus as well as with supporting institutions and individuals off campus. To learn about the projects she has spearheaded and coordinated over the years (and continues to support via the Inserra Endowed Chair) in order to strengthen the relationships between the HS and university systems, see here.

RA and Intern for 2022 edition

Tyana Truong, a life long NJ resident has been teaching at Watchung Hills Regional High School since 2016 following her graduation from the University of Pittsburgh where she earned her MA in Italian Language and Literature. In addition to teaching Italian in public school, she was a teaching assistant of Italian at the University of Pittsburgh both on campus and in Italy as part of the Pitt in Genova summer abroad program.

Note: Dr. Marisa Trubiano served as faculty co-developer with Dr. Fiore for the period 2017 through 2019. See her bio on the main page of the summer program.

Quick link to this page:
See also 2018 video


ID Card Office webpage (for inquiries, contact Joseph Rodak: