Image of a group of students in front of the Flatiron building in Manhattan, NY.

From High School to Higher Education… in Italian!

New 2017 Summer Italian Immersion Course for College Credit

See MAIN PAGE for info about current edition

See flyer

General description
Instructors’ short bios and special guests
List of off-campus activities
Location, transportation, parking and dining on campus
Course specifics
Scholarships offered
List of participating high schoolsFeedback from participating students
Recognition of program organizers


A brand-new program that seamlessly links the high school and college learning experience will be offered this summer. Taught by a native speaker instructor and coordinated by an experienced high school teacher on the Montclair State University campus, its aim is to consolidate rising senior students’ intermediate Italian skills on their way to an advanced level. Students will benefit from an engaging college experience on a campus boasting a dynamic Italian program and proximity to New York City and richly Italian local NJ venues.

The course will be taught in the target language. This immersive approach will lead to the study of more complex structures of the language and the expression of emotion, personal opinions, agreements and judgments. The analysis of literary and journalistic excerpts will increase the student’s vocabulary and ability to comprehend written texts. Guided exercises will develop the student’s ability to write an essay in Italian. Verbal exercises will support fluency and the ability to communicate spontaneously and effectively. Videos and film excerpts support communication and cultural discoveries. The development of these competencies, skills and communicative abilities will prepare students for college-level (e.g. Advanced Placement) courses and exams. The students will explore different topics: immigration and Italian identity, Made in Italy and sustainability, fashion, food, movies and contemporary film directors and other aspects that are fascinating to and suggested by the students.

An article about this initiative (in English and Italian) has been published by La Voce di New York on June 4, 2017.

Summer course official photo gallery


Morning class instructor: Matilde Fogliani
Matilde Fogliani was born and raised in Italy and she moved to the USA five years ago for her Ph.D. She is a Ph.D. candidate at The Graduate Center, CUNY in the Comparative Literature Department, in the Italian Specialization. She has been teaching Italian Language and Literature for undergraduates for five years. She will be teaching at Memorial High School in September as Italian Teacher. She is certified by Syracuse University in the teaching of high school coursework bearing college credit and she will be soon certified to teach Italian AP. She speaks Italian, Spanish, English and French.

Afternoon cultural activities instructor: 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 11 years ago. She has taught all levels of high school Italian and has also taught English as a Second Language and Linguistics at local colleges, including Montclair State University, Kean University and Bloomfield College.


  • Marisa Trubiano: 7/17 (3:15-4pm), Intro to Translation and AVT and Related Opportunities in the Montclair State University Italian Program
  • Enza Antenos: 7/26 (1-1: 45 pm), Il Made in Italy
  • Teresa Fiore (via video conference): 7/25, Learning Italian Language and Culture through Public Events and Internships: The Case of the Inserra programs


07/11: Visit to the Metropolitan Museum, NYC
07/13: Pizza at Queen Margherita, Nutley, NJ
07/18: New York City walking tour with Laura Caparrotti
07/20: Visit of the Botto House, Haledon, NJ
07/25: Walking Tour and Flash Lab at Eataly, Flatiron, NYC
07/27: Visit of Veroni’s factory, Swedesboro, NJ

Click HERE to see the off-campus activities photo gallery


To find out about the location of the classroom (CS Schmitt Hall 125) and other buildings, see campus map
The Montclair State campus is very well connected by public transportation: see bus and train sections on this web page.
For those interested in driving, please contact Patti Grunther at to receive information about a parking permit.
For those interested in carpooling, please contact Patti Grunther at
Dining facilities: Cafè Diem at Sprague Library, Venture Cafè at the Business School until 2 pm, Red Hawk Diner open 24/7 (see dining options map).
Note that lunch bags will be required for the days of the trips since there will be no time to have lunch on campus.
This information and further specifications will be included in emails sent to students prior to and/or during the course.


  • Classroom, dates and time: CS Schmitt Hall 125, July 10-27, 2017, Mon.-Thur. (9am-4pm)
  • Cost: $750 (a bargain price for the equivalent of 3 college credits!)
  • Open to rising seniors with demonstrated interest and achievement in Italian
  • Earn 3 college credits while still attending high school through the Early-College Program at Montclair State University (the earned credits are fully transferable at Montclair State University and other universities upon approval)
  • Full-immersion (3 weeks, 4 days a week, 84 hours of instruction including lunches and field trips to be conducted in Italian)
  • Intensive language and culture course (7 hours a day of classroom and off-campus activities)
  • Fun and interesting trips and activities outside the classroom (conducted in Italian): film screenings, museum visits (The MET, NY), thematic walking tours and visits in New York (EATALY), Italian-American heritage sites (Botto House in New Jersey), etc.
  • Great preparation for senior advanced/AP Italian courses and AP exam
  • Open to NJ, NY and CT students (*Students from other states are invited to apply as long as they can provide their own accommodations)

SCHOLARSHIPS OFFERED (each covering the entire fee of $750 unless otherwise specified)

  • Two scholarships provided by the Montclair State University Italian Program (Priority will be given depending on GPA, grades in Italian, teacher recommendation, need and demonstration of interest in studying at Montclair State). Winners: Sebastian Aviles from Watchung Hills Regional High School and Steven Ferrales from St. Peter’s Preparatory
  • One scholarship provided by Inter Club Facchetti of New Jersey (Priority will be given depending on GPA, grades in Italian, teacher recommendation and need). Winner: Stevent Cleto from New Heights Academy Charter School
  • Two scholarships provided by Focus Physical Therapy and Wellness (Priority will be given depending on GPA, grades in Italian, teacher recommendation, need and having at least one parent who is of a racial and/or ethnic minority). Winners: Hager Younes from Wayne Hills High School and Janice Owusu from Clifton High School
  • One $500 scholarship provided by the Associazione Italiana Ieri Oggi Domani. Winner: Gianna Klein from Passaic Valley High School
  • One scholarship provided by the Juventus Club, New York (This scholarship is earmarked for Palisades Park Jr./Sr. School and will be assigned to a student attending this school after s/he is approved as eligible for the summer course based on the information included in the application form. If multiple applicants from this school are interested in the course and the scholarship, Palisades Park will run an internal selection process. For more information, contact Maria Abate at Winner: Abbigail Fonseca
  • To apply for a scholarship, fill out the survey
  • Deadline: Passed
  • Scholarship committee: Patti Grunther (Chair), David Del Principe (Associate Professor, Italian Program), Gina Miele (Assistant Professor, Italian Program)

Once you have completed all the steps described above and you have received confirmation that you have been approved, the University will enroll you in the course and send you instructions on how to pay the tuition.

Original developer and coordinator: Patti Grunther (Italian teacher, Watchung Hills Regional High School)

Co-developers at Montclair State University: Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies) and Marisa Trubiano (Associate Professor of Italian)

This course is offered through the Early College Program in association with the Italian Program (Department of Spanish and Italian), with the sponsorship and organization of the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies at Montclair State University, and the support of IACE (Italian American Committee on Education), New York.

In partnership with Clifton Public Schools and Palisades Park Jr./Sr. High School, NJ.


Watchung Hills Regional High School, Warren, NJ
Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield, NJ
New Heights Academy Charter School, New York, NY
Palisades Park Jr./Sr. High School, Palisades Park, NJ
Saint Peter’s Preparatory School, Jersey City, NJ
DePaul Catholic High School, Wayne, NJ
Clifton High School, Clifton, NJ
Passaic Valley Regional High School, Little Falls, NJ
St. Mary High School, Rutherford, NJ
Tenafly High School, Tenafly, NJ
Wayne Hills High School, Wayne, NJ


“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)


Patti Grunther, developer of the 2017 Summer Italian Immersion Course for College Credit organized in collaboration with Profs. Fiore and Trubiano at Montclair State University was the recipient of one of the 7 Eduitalia scholarships offered by a network of Italian Schools and Universities to American High School teachers who prepared their students to the AP-Italian exam for the year 2017. The Italian Consular offices in New York City officially stated that “Ms. Patti Grunther has been selected for her outstanding teaching skills and the ability to organize courses of Italian Language and Culture AP Exam. Furthermore, Ms. Patti Grunther has shown the capacity to build a liaison between High Schools and Universities.” The 2017 Summer Italian Immersion Course for College Credit at Montclair State prepared the students for this experience thus proving to be a solid route in the efforts towards enhancing student skills in Italian and strengthening the study of the language across the HS and Higher Ed systems through collaborative projects supported by several American and Italian institutions (Montclair State U/Summer Session and Inserra Endowment; IACE/Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs) as well as local donors.


  • Application form (to be sent via email to Download form
  • Complete online survey about your experience as a student of Italian
  • Letter of recommendation from current Italian teacher indicating the student’s suitability (academic ability, maturity, personal qualities) and grades in Italian classes. Recommendation to be sent to by teacher upon receiving an email from summer course coordinators
  • All-inclusive payment of $750 fee is due by Fri. June 23 (open registration). After this deadline, students will be admitted depending on availability of seats, but they will be charged a $100 additional fee. The $100 late fee should be sent via check made out to The Montclair State University Foundation – please specify “For Inserra Endowment” on the bottom of the check. Address the envelope to Ana Gomez (Montclair State University, Overlook Corporate Center, 150 Clove Road 3rd Floor, Little Falls, NJ 07424)

For further inquiries and for information about the syllabus content and goals, please write to

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