I am finishing an online university course similar to a post-graduate degree at an Italian University.
The course is very poor and basically it is a self-guided study -- teachers don't explain, they give lectures in PDF and tests you afterwards.
Whenever we tried to make questions, the teachers reply with 1-2 sentences and suggest to look up on the internet. They provide 2-3 URLs that do not necessarily address our specific questions. Some teachers snapped at us whenever they felt our questions weren't strictly related to their tests but to the subject in general. We paid a few thousands for this course and learned very little, but what is more enraging is some teachers' behavior. It is appealing how much of their personality can surface even from a very bare communication on an online forum.
Most teachers I had in Italy (in public school) were very strict, some snapped easily, and it was normal because 'they knew so much' and it was considered 'the price to learn'. The bitter the teacher, the higher his/her regard. Which is quite stupid in retrospective...
I am wondering if this is/was specific of the Italian school system or if it is a historical issue. After living abroad, I can see that outside of Italy such behavior would get the teacher fired, especially when the students are paying good money to attend.
I am not saying they shouldn't be strict, but being formal and strict doesn't necessarily means to be insulting and snapping. What was your school experience abroad? I don't have fond memories of my school time in Italy!