A deep passion for all things Italian has seen year 11 Prairiewood High School student Lauren Canta presented with the chance of a lifetime.
In December she will travel to Rome after winning a six-week scholarship from the Mamma Lena and Dino Gustin Foundation.
The prize was announced in March, with Lauren being one of only a handful of successful applicants from around Australia.
The application process started in October last year. Lauren, along with her teacher and school principal, Alan Maclean, had to produce an essay in support of her application.
While in Rome, Lauren will stay with a host family and attend an Italian high school.
It is no surprise Lauren has an affinity for Italy. Her mother and grandparents migrated from there in the 1970s to make a new home in Sydney.
She said she was looking forward to taking in new experiences and further her understanding of the Italian lifestyle and language.
"It's going to be tough going without family, friends and my boyfriend, but hey, I'll be in Italy," Lauren said.