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 Post subject: Kindergarten in Italy
UNREAD_POSTPosted: April 21st, 2017, 10:20 am 
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Joined: September 9th, 2014, 11:31 am
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Hey folks. I thought I'd try asking here to see if anyone has done it - we're considering having my wife (US citizen only) and daughter (US/Italian citizen) move for a year to Italy specifically for my daughter to spend a year in school there next year. Over here she'd be 5 and Kindergarten age, and in Italy, would probably be headed into the last (or possibly second to last, unsure of the cutoff) year of Asilo. We thought it might be a workable idea since Italian schools tend to work on socialization through age 6, and the primary goal on our end is for our daughter to pick up Italian better than I can teach her at home (given that I'm at work all day, and Pre-K is in English).

The first question is are we crazy for considering this?

If not, does anyone have experience doing something similar? I would be staying back, given that my work is here. I presume that my wife is free to live in Italy since my daughter is a citizen, and in any case, I'd be covering the living expenses from here.

The other question if we get this far is where to attend school. I have family in Alfedena, but for a number of reasons - earthquake zone, tiny town, very little to do, heavy dialect - we'd rather not attend there. We were thinking either a town outside of Rome or a mid-size Tuscan town - primarily since the language spoken there will most closely resemble what I use at home. Not necessarily in the city, but just outside where there might be social opportunities for both of them, and reasonable English spoken if they get jammed up on something, but not so much to find an expat community and never speak Italian since that is the point.

I suppose this is kind of open ended, but we're kicking the tires on the idea. It would be for the following school year with the intent to return and head back to 1st Grade here. For whatever it's worth, our child's ahead academically and verbally, which has us thinking the transition back should be okay. It'd be sort of the reverse of what I did, as I spoke Italian exclusively until about age 5 and then picked up English at school and in the neighborhood.

Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Kindergarten in Italy
UNREAD_POSTPosted: April 21st, 2017, 10:56 am 
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As far as the child is concerned it is absolutely no problem. My son, who spoke no Italian beforehand, had absolutely no problem fitting into to an asilo just outside Milan, making friends, socialising, etc. I wonder whether your wife speaks Italian. If she doesn't, will she be able to communicate with the teachers?


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 Post subject: Re: Kindergarten in Italy
UNREAD_POSTPosted: April 21st, 2017, 2:09 pm 
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Riccardo wrote:
As far as the child is concerned it is absolutely no problem. My son, who spoke no Italian beforehand, had absolutely no problem fitting into to an asilo just outside Milan, making friends, socialising, etc. I wonder whether your wife speaks Italian. If she doesn't, will she be able to communicate with the teachers?


My wife can understand basic Italian pretty well. She doesn't speak that well, but she can communicate to some degree. She's taken classes, which helps because I'm at work all day. I'm fluent, first language and I've mostly retained it, so for bigger things I can always get on the phone. Plus, if you're near the cities, I suppose I was assuming most teachers would have some basic English knowledge as well - they start English education pretty early, although I'm not sure that they do it in asilo. Primary school I think they start right away, though. I'd have to think the teachers would work with you if they know the whole reason you're struggling through it is so that your kid can learn their language - is that a bad assumption?

I suspect that my wife has enough of a foundation that over a year's span, she would likely return with a very good grasp of Italian. She'd probably always have a heavy American accent, but she's picked up very basic grammar and vocabulary, it's just limited right now.


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 Post subject: Re: Kindergarten in Italy
UNREAD_POSTPosted: April 21st, 2017, 6:11 pm 
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mained wrote:
I presume that my wife is free to live in Italy since my daughter is a citizen, and in any case, I'd be covering the living expenses from here.

"An interesting question." I think you'll need to investigate that one further.


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 Post subject: Re: Kindergarten in Italy
UNREAD_POSTPosted: April 21st, 2017, 11:48 pm 
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You may find someone who speaks English but certainly not to a level sufficient to discuss, for instance, behavioural problems. I think the point I was trying to make was that the focus of your question is most relevantly your wife's ability to be comfortable in a situation where she has an imperfect understanding of day to day interactions among everyone at the asilo. I suspect that as long as she doesn't feel excluded, it will all work out fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Kindergarten in Italy
UNREAD_POSTPosted: April 23rd, 2017, 8:02 am 
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BBCWatcher wrote:
mained wrote:
I presume that my wife is free to live in Italy since my daughter is a citizen, and in any case, I'd be covering the living expenses from here.

"An interesting question." I think you'll need to investigate that one further.


Definitely. I'm hand-waving for the purpose of this thread, but would be something I'd have to firm up if my wife decides she's up for it. This situation has come up under less relevant facts (custody, divorce) but there was an ECJ ruling back a few years ago that essentially states that non-EU parents of an EU citizen minor child are entitled to residency and work permits because refusing it would essentially force the child to leave the EU, which is a deprivation of the child's ability to exercise his or her rights as an EU citizen. Here's a news article on it:

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/non-eu-p ... s-1.566938

Honestly, this is 100% discretionary on our end, so I'd be running it past the consulate anyway - someone would still have to issue a residency permit. There'd be no intention to work, so that end of it wouldn't matter. I do agree it's interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Kindergarten in Italy
UNREAD_POSTPosted: April 23rd, 2017, 8:05 am 
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Riccardo wrote:
You may find someone who speaks English but certainly not to a level sufficient to discuss, for instance, behavioural problems. I think the point I was trying to make was that the focus of your question is most relevantly your wife's ability to be comfortable in a situation where she has an imperfect understanding of day to day interactions among everyone at the asilo. I suspect that as long as she doesn't feel excluded, it will all work out fine.


Good point there. I think my wife is willing to throw herself into that situation and figure it out, but obviously, that's her call. Her biggest concern at the moment is all of us being separated for most of a year. I could get over once a month, but that's less than ideal for all of us to be together. We're weighing that against picking up a language over that span. If the Italian employment situation were better, I'd just find something there for a year.


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 Post subject: Re: Kindergarten in Italy
UNREAD_POSTPosted: April 23rd, 2017, 9:06 am 
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mained wrote:
....but there was an ECJ ruling back a few years ago that essentially states that non-EU parents of an EU citizen minor child are entitled to residency and work permits because refusing it would essentially force the child to leave the EU, which is a deprivation of the child's ability to exercise his or her rights as an EU citizen.

That case involved different circumstances, in particular the fact the child was already an EU resident, from birth. Your child is not an EU resident. That's why I said it's an "interesting question."

However, there's an "interesting" possible loophole if you think about this topic for another minute or two. But I won't elaborate in this forum, if that's OK.

Leaving that possible loophole aside, there are a couple straightforward options. One is that your wife can naturalize as an Italian citizen jure matrimoni. Another is that there might be a visa available for her, as the primary caregiver while her/your child is attending school.


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 Post subject: Re: Kindergarten in Italy
UNREAD_POSTPosted: April 26th, 2017, 9:59 am 
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BBCWatcher wrote:
mained wrote:
....but there was an ECJ ruling back a few years ago that essentially states that non-EU parents of an EU citizen minor child are entitled to residency and work permits because refusing it would essentially force the child to leave the EU, which is a deprivation of the child's ability to exercise his or her rights as an EU citizen.

That case involved different circumstances, in particular the fact the child was already an EU resident, from birth. Your child is not an EU resident. That's why I said it's an "interesting question."

However, there's an "interesting" possible loophole if you think about this topic for another minute or two. But I won't elaborate in this forum, if that's OK.

Leaving that possible loophole aside, there are a couple straightforward options. One is that your wife can naturalize as an Italian citizen jure matrimoni. Another is that there might be a visa available for her, as the primary caregiver while her/your child is attending school.


My child is not an EU resident, but it is her right to be. But again, I do agree it's a really interesting question, but I tend to find these sorts of things interesting :D

We are probably thinking of the same loophole. I can go that route if necessary.

Jure matrimonii is in the plans, she might even start the process in Italy if this works out. In any case, I'm sure there is a visa available if it has to go that route. It may not include the right to work, but since we're not interested in that, I'm reasonably certain there's some solution.


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