St. Stephen’s School: Rome, Italy

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St. Stephen’s School is a co-educational, non-denominational, boarding
and day school, enrolling students from age 14-19 in grades 9-12 and for
a postgraduate year. Founded in 1964, St. Stephen’s provides a
demanding classical liberal arts education taking full advantage of its
location in the historic center of Rome. The school is modeled on the
American independent school tradition, and offers a rigorous program
based on well-rounded and comprehensive preparation by each student in
six major academic areas: English, Foreign and Classical Language,
History, Experimental Science, Mathematics, Arts. Primary objectives are
academic excellence, fellowship and cooperation among students and
faculty, and the development of students as independent, responsible,
and involved members of the larger world community. The curriculum
prepares students for the American high school diploma, including a
variety of Advanced Placements (AP) subjects, and the International
Baccalaureate (IB) which allows students to enter universities

Number of students

Boarding School:







Day School:








7 days boarding: 

About the school

Established by the Rev. John O. Patterson, former Headmaster of the Kent School in Connecticut, to epitomize the best elements of the classical liberal arts education, St. Stephen’s opened for classes in 1964 and the first seniors graduated in 1966. Its founder chose Rome as the site because he believed the city to be „the symbol and repository of the enduring ethical, cultural and religious values of the West”, as well as „one of the most cosmopolitan international crossroads of the modern world.”
The School’s first location, in 1964, was the Villa S. Valentino, in the Parioli area. St. Stephen’s remained there for 6 years, then in 1970 the school moved to the Appian way. In 1972, it relocated to its present site on the 'little’ Aventine hill, in an ex-convent located on a site of a temple that was once dedicated to the Roman goddess, Bona Dea.
In 1974, St. Stephen’s celebrated its first 2 International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma graduates. One of the first schools in Europe to adopt the International Baccalaureate, our IB program now has a current senior cohort of 60 DP candidates, a 97% pass rate and an average Diploma score of 35 points.
In spite of rapid growth, and a consolidated commitment to the local and international communities in Rome, as well as US citizens abroad, the founders’ dream of „a school whose reason for being would be a quest for excellence, for developing the maturity and wholeness of each member of the community, and maintaining the highest standards in all areas and all levels” remains vibrant and alive in a setting of incomparable historical and artistic traditions informed by a global vision and a commitment to service and world citizenship.

Boarders are housed in the school building, in two wings on the top two
floors where the boys’ and girls’ dormitories are located. All rooms
have Wi-Fi access and communal facilities, and the dorms are separated
from the rest of the school building by an access control system. Every
effort is made to create a family atmosphere for the residents, as well
as to provide a range of social and recreational opportunities. The
snack bar and lounge with TV and DVD/VCR are popular places for
relaxation. Meals are taken in the dining hall, where the emphasis on
Italian cuisine, and, in their free time, students can use the library,
sports and music facilities or just hang out in the cloisters or on the
terrace, enjoying the splash of the fountain and the Roman atmosphere.

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Academic life

Our academic program combines what is best in the American High School
and European educational traditions. Informed by the standards and
performance outcomes of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program,
the 4 year program of studies leading to the American High School
Diploma balances a broad exposure to the 6 major academic disciplines
(English, Modern and Classical Languages, Mathematics, Experimental
Science, Humanities and the Arts), while encouraging students to pursue
in-depth study in areas of personal interest through a choice of
electives. Each student is expected to carry at least 5 full-time
courses each year. The 19 credit requirement for graduation is as

  • English (4)
  • Modern Languages (3)
  • Humanities (3)
  • Experimental Science (3)
  • Mathematics (3)
  • Electives (2)
  • Arts (1)

In addition, non-credit sports and a service project are yearly
requirements, while graduating seniors must submit a research paper and
pass a computer proficiency test. Additionally, IB Diploma candidates
are required to follow a Theory of Knowledge course in grades 11 through

The 39-week school year is divided into two semesters, with
examinations at mid-term and end of year. All courses meet 4 times per
week (3 x 45′ plus 1 x 90′ periods) and classes enrol 10 -18 students,
permitting individual attention and personalized teacher-student
interaction. Tutorials in specific subject areas and/or study skills are
available upon request, and English as a Second Language support is
provided for those students who need it. While 85% of upperclassmen are
IB Diploma candidates, a limited number of Advanced Placement
examinations are offered beyond the regular program requirements,
primarily to accommodate the needs of visiting semester/year abroad
students. A post-graduate cultural enrichment program is available as a
boarding option.

Sport and culture

Arts & Humanities Summer Program

  • 2013 Dates: June 30 – July 13. Application Deadline: June 20, 2013.
  • Students 13 – 18 years of age
  • Parents and families are welcome to attend.

Encouraging a harmonious balance of intellect and creativity, the
Arts & Humanities Summer Program at St. Stephen’s School offers
students the opportunity to explore both academically and artistically
in a program tailored to their individual interests and talents.
Students in this program are enrolled in one core course, a language
class (either Italian or Latin), and one or more elective courses.

2013 core courses include Renaissance Art, and Ancient Roman Topography
(a St. Stephen’s School signature course). Both courses are held
on-site in the city of Rome, allowing students to visit the significant
monuments and sites in person, and to attain an in-depth knowledge of
the city for the period in question.

The 2013 elective courses include Creative Writing, 2D/3D Studio Art,
Music Appreciation, Cooking, and Dance. Student exhibitions and special
performances will be held at the conclusion of the summer school
session. A trip to Pompeii and other sites in the south of Italy is

Parents and families wishing to accompany students will
board at a nearby hotel, and may eat all meals at the school. They are
welcome, too, to attend classes or site visits.

Brown University-St. Stephen’s School Pre-College Summer Program

  • 2013 Dates: July 14 – August 3. Application Deadline: April 30, 2013.
  • Students 16+ years of age

This three week session is a joint pre-college program offered by
St. Stephen’s School and Brown University. The pre-college program fully
immerses students in the study of Rome and Italy’s history and culture.
All students in this program are enrolled in one core course, a
language class (either Beginning or Intermediate Italian), and one
elective course.

Summer 2013 core courses include Introduction
to Ancient Rome, Secrets & Symbols of Roman Art & Architecture
and Renaissance through the Baroque. The 2013 elective courses include
Digital Photography, Music Appreciation, Italian Cinema, and Creative

Student exhibitions will be held at the conclusion of
the summer school session. This program’s weekend trips include visits
to Pompeii and the south of Italy, as well as cities in the north
including Siena, Florence and Orvieto.

Students wishing to apply to this program (as boarding students) should apply via the Brown University website, at:

Location Description

Via Aventina 3, Rome, Italy 153

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