Chinese has been added to the graduation exam list by an Italian high school and 29 students will take the test this year, the Guangming Daily reports quoting Italian local media.
Sophie Scholl, a high school specializing in linguistics, in Trento, northeastern Italy, has become the first school in the country to list Chinese as a graduation exam subject.
The Chinese course has been running at the Italian school for five years, and 145 of its 910 students have chosen to study the language.
Maria Silva Boccardi, director of the school, said Chinese will become a global language in the future and they set up the course because many students had asked for it.
"There were only a few schools (in Italy) who provided trial Chinese courses back then, but now, Chinese courses have become a crucial part of our overall teaching plan and we are welcoming our pioneer batch of graduates this year," she said.
Roberto, a Sophie Scholl student who is going to take the Chinese test before graduation, said writing Chinese characters is the most difficult aspect of learning the language.
"Although learning Chinese is difficult for Italian students, when considering looking for better job opportunities overseas, China would definitely be my top choice," he said.
Statistics show that there are now about 150 schools providing Chinese courses in Italy, according to Guangming Daily.