PON (Programma Operativo Nazionale)

What are the PON and POR Programmes?


(Programma Operativo Nazionale) is an EU funded scholarship programme for Italian public school students. PON projects are coordinated by the Italian Ministry of Education and operate at a national level. Funding is available until 2023 for projects under the current 7-year programme.


Programma Operativo Regionale) programmes are regionally administered projects. Italian regions administering POR projects under the current scheme include Molise, Veneto, Calabria and Puglia. The policies for regional and national projects differ in regard to final language certification (for example, POR programmes allocate specific funds solely for an exam).

PON Projects for stays abroad

Groups of students aged between 16 and 19 receiving PON funding for either of the following projects may travel to the UK, Ireland or Malta:

  • Promoting work experience (Alternanza Scuola Lavoro)
    Designed for students in the 3rd, 4th and 5th year of high school and the students of Istituti Tecnici Superiori - this initiative is aimed at strengthening work experience paths normally developed during the academic year.
  • Development of European Citizenship (Cittadinanza europea)
    The purpose of this initiative is to raise the students’ awareness of the idea of Europe and the European Union.

Students participating in either the Alternanza Scuola Lavoro or the Cittadinanza europea project must already have achieved certified B1 level of English before departure for the stays abroad.

Certificates must be issued by an awarding body on the Italian Ministry of Education list, such as Trinity’s GESE Grade 5 and Grade 6 and Trinity ISE I at CEFR level B1.

Taking a Trinity exam at the end of the stay

It is possible, though not obligatory, to add an English language test at the end of the stay abroad.

The minimum certification level for the end of the stay abroad is CEFR B2. Trinity GESE Grades 7, 8, 9 or ISE II at CEFR B2 are approved tests suitable for this purpose depending on the aims of the project.

  • GESE exams assess effective speaking and listening skills in English
  • ISE exams assess four skills - reading, writing, speaking and listening

For PON projects that include a Trinity exam at the end of the stay, the schools in the UK and Ireland listed opposite under 'book a course' have successfully offered courses leading to Trinity exams. Trinity College does not accredit or endorse courses or schools - details are provided for information only.

Obtain PON Funding

Italian schools wishing to obtain PON funding must follow 4 steps:

  • Follow guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education
  • Present the project including school aims, objectives and distinctive characteristics
  • Gain approval for the project
  • Tender for suppliers (eg external teachers providing English language courses, tour operators and/or travel agencies for work abroad experiences, etc)

Book a Course

Use the button below to find schools that offer courses for PON students in the UK, Ireland and Malta.

Trinity College London does not accredit or endorse courses or schools. These details are provided for information only.

Find Schools

Keep in touch

Make sure you don’t miss the latest news from Trinity College London. Sign up for email updates about your subject area.