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> Where to study in Italy?
post Apr 4 2010, 10:59 AM
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I have been reading through some of the blogs on this website and found them useful for information. Therefore I have decided to post my own query in the hope that some advice may help me with some immediate concerns.

I already take Italian lessons here in London (at beginner level) and I have now decided to go over to Italy for an initial period of three months (July/August/September 2010) to help move my language skills on to the next level and to get more immersed in the culture. I am 34, single, and consider this to be the best opportunity to take this experience.

So, I have the whole of Italy to choose from when searching for a school. I have been informed that the north is a better option to learn because there is less regional dialect and the accent may be better for me to learn with.

I am travelling solo and would also like to stay with a family, a couple or even an individual. I do not want to be eating dinner on my own in the evening! I have been making some enquiries through the language schools and as expected, the agencies arrange the host families and it is evident in the price. I would like to avoid the agency if at all possible.

Finally, I am taking a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course. It is not a priority but I would also like to consider an area of Italy where teaching English within a school or privately is an option. It may be something that I consider seriously if I wish to stay longer than three months.

So, can anyone advise on a region in Italy that accommodates for the following:

a. Italian School
b. Accommodation*
c. Possibly Teaching Opportunities

* I can obtain character references from my native Italian teacher if someone can recommend accommodation.

Thank you for any help and advice.


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post Apr 5 2010, 05:56 AM
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Buongiorno Ben,

I studied only for a week in Sorrento a couple of years ago and lived with an Italian couple. I booked it all through an agency because it was my first time to experience this sort of holiday. It was great to meet people from Canada and Norway and to mix with the locals. It was by far the best way for me to learn Italian, completely submerged in the language and culture. I learnt more in that week than I ever did during my 10 weeks of evening class. The only downside was that having travelled to a number of regions in Italy, I really noticed the Naples local dialect in Sorrento (which most other Italians can't even understand!)and decided that if I was to do it again I would definitely go somewhere in the north.

So my advice to you would be to head to somewhere like Bologna or Verona, but definitely the Emiglia-Romagna/Veneto region because there are good rail links to other cities/towns/sites to visit. There are plenty of schools you can study at which can be booked through the internet and I'm sure you can find reviews on each school. Then search on Tripadvisor for a good B&B in the town you'd like to stay in. You can get some good deals especially if you are staying longer and if you email them they may even recommend other options to you. Italians usually like to help others so don't be afraid to ask them. I have stayed at a few Italian B&B's and quite often the owners would ask me to join them for a drink or dinner. Also you'll be meeting people at the school and you may go for dinner with them, plus the fact you'll be IN Italy, you won't be eating alone for long! Biggest tip I can give you is to frequent somewhere i.e bar for your morning espresso or an afternoon snack and get to know the locals. Don't be afraid to chat to them and practice your Italian, they will welcome you. Last time I was in Italy I chatted to a local and he said "Why are the English so frightened all the time?" Maybe if he lived here he'd understand!

Well I hope some of my advice helps you to make some decisions and investigate further. You'll have a fab time and the experiences will remain with you forever.
Buona fortuna e divertenti!
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