Dear Fellow Citizen,
Firstly, I wish to extend my cordial greetings to you and to your families.
As you may know, we recently concluded the "2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States" in the course of which a multitude of successful events were organized throughout the country and in particular in our consular jurisdiction, as a demonstration of the strong sentiment of friendship and affection that the American people feel towards Italy.
In this context, the entire Italian diplomatic-consular network is firmly and strongly committed to the diffusion of the Italian language in the United States, where, according to recent data provided by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Italian is the third most requested language after Spanish and French.
Italy ranks as one the top nine world economies and many employers in Italy and in the US are seeking people who speak both Italian and English. Knowing Italian is greatly beneficial in numerous fields of employment, such as culinary arts, interior design, fashion, graphic design, furniture design, machine tool manufacturing, robotics, electromechanical machinery, shipbuilding, biotechnology, renewable energy, aerospace engineering, construction machinery, and transportation equipment.
Italy's cultural prominence spans from antiquity through the present day, of which the Roman era and the Renaissance are perhaps the two most influential periods. According to UNESCO, over 60% of the world's art treasures are found in Italy. Knowing the Italian language places you in a position to personally explore Italy's past treasures and present "way of life" from the most unique and fulfilling vantage point.
For the older students who already speak Italian, there is an extraordinary opportunity to follow in a formal school setting or privately, a short preparatory course for the AP exam ("Advanced Placement Program"). As you may be aware, the purpose of the AP exams, which are administered throughout the United States by the College Board organization, is to test the preparedness of High School Students in over thirty academic subjects.
It is good to remember that whoever earns a High School diploma in the US, along with the Italian AP exam, plus two more AP exams, may enrol directly in Italian Universities without being required to first attend one or two years of college in the United States (http://www.usspeaksitalian.org). Moreover, by successfully passing the Italian AP exam, it is possible to earn valid credit towards colleges and universities in the US and in many other countries throughout the world, in very little time and at an extremely advantageous cost ($89) (http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/28458.html).
If in your families you have high school students who speak Italian, they are ideal candidates to successfully pass the AP exam. Knowledge of the language would allow them to take the Italian AP exam, with little effort, as early as the first year of High School. The advantages are significant because in addition to the university credits already mentioned, there is the possibility to improve their transcripts with a high score demonstrating significant preparation in a subject and thereby reinforcing one's acceptance application in college. I therefore urge you to schedule the youth in your families in an upcoming session for this exam which is of fundamental importance for their academic program of studies and to promote the Italian language in the United States. If your children (as homeschooled students and students whose schools do not offer AP) are able to take the exam this year, (specifically the date is May 15, 2014), I urge you to enrol them by the March deadline. You will find all the information on the College Board website (https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/apcourse/ap-italian-language-and-culture).
For further information or clarifications, you may contact Dr. Nicoletta Villa-Sella
(firstname.lastname@example.org) – an expert in the AP exam testing and procedure – who is available to assist any candidates with lessons via Skype and suggestions on study methods and materials – as well as our Italian Language Office (email@example.com). Moreover, this Consulate General will not only host an award ceremony for the top AP students, but it is also in the process of offering financial contribution and online courses in preparation for the AP exam.
I would like to remind you that this year, the Eduitalia association will be awarding 22 scholarships to the students who will be taking the AP exam. The scholarship application deadline is April 14, 2014. Each scholarship covers the enrolment fee, course attendance, accommodation expenses, any class materials and extracurricular activities for a study experience at one of the prestigious academic Institutes in Italy (see http://www.ambwashingtondc.esteri.it for more details).
As for my part, aside from inviting you personally to contact our Language Office as soon as possible and to register in our language database by completing the survey on the webpage http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/G6SRNHD, I also count on your help to extend this message to any potentially interested persons and to promote, effectively, the Italian language thanks to the support of our community.
With the hopes that you will find this information useful in your search for activities to help your families rediscover their Italian roots, while living in the United States, I extend to all of you my best wishes.
Hoping to meet you in Philadelphia, I remain, yours
The Consul General
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