Language Schools in Italy

Me and my fellow student, Renate

I’ve always enjoyed learning new things, so going to school has been one of my hobbies. Bellingham has been a great town for us because there are plenty of interesting classes offered at the local community college, the university and many other convenient spots. So, to enhance my study of Italian, I decided to try a few courses over here in Italy.
When we were in the north, I studied at Reggio Lingua, where I had studied about two years ago. Daniela and Paula are both great teachers and they allowed me to join a group for two weeks. The other three students were young women who were living in Reggio full time thanks to the Italian men they had met. They all spoke much better (and faster) than me, but they were in need of help with their grammar and pronunciation. It was a good experience to practice speaking with them and it was especially interesting during our espresso breaks.
These small language schools provide a lot more than Italian language lessons. First of all, the teachers are often like a special host. They help us get to know the town and often give us more information about the way things are said in their region. It’s also fun to hear about the politics and attitudes of the locals. When there are special events going on, we find out which ones might be the best to attend. Also, they always give us great advice on where to find the best food and where to shop.
In Perugia, I tried Comitato Linguistico for the first time. It’s not as well known as the University for Foreigners, but it’s much smaller and flexible. I only studied for one week, but it was very worthwhile and fun. I met other students from Germany, Switzerland, Guatemala, Australia and Holland.
The classes are small, so I had lots of practice speaking Italian. This school offered daily events in the afternoon that gave us more time to speak and interact. They also allowed me to bring Bob when he was interested. Sometimes the activity was a short excursion or it might be a film or cooking lesson. They had plenty of planned events, but they also adapted to the group. For instance, this week we’re going to Gubbio to see the Feast of the Candles.
This past week of study went by very quickly— but, I’m so glad I was able to fit it in. We found out about more local events, such as a few small concerts, because the staff or teachers mentioned them. We also are having fun socializing with some of the students and teachers we’ve met. It’s like we’ve joined this multicultural club for a few weeks.
Below: The sign for our language school, a field trip to Arezzo (our teacher is the younger guy with the shades)



About msraaka

I am an artist, writer and desktop publishing consultant living in the Pacific Northwest. After our first visit to Italy, my husband Bob and I have found ways to spend more and more time there and other countries in Europe. We love to travel, but especially to stay in one area and get a better sense of place. I love learning languages, so I continue to study Italian, French and Spanish so I can communicate a bit more with the locals. Even learning the basic greetings can make a big difference.
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