information for global expats

Language Schools for Expats in Italy

Submitted: February 2014

If you have ever studied Music Theory, you would know that Italian is the language of music, allegro, staccato and a cappella. While it is commonly said that the best way to learn a new language is to immerse oneself full in the culture, enrollment into a language school can help to alleviate any trepidation. Grasping the language will invariably make your stay in Italy a more pleasant and rewarding one.

The multitude of language schools in Italy makes finding the right school a challenging decision. The cost varies according the number of lessons, level of student and accommodation in some cases. The following link is a good starting point to begin researching language schools in Italy:


Many language schools assist students with finding suitable lodging for their time in Italy. Accommodation may range from private rooms to rooms in apartments with Italian natives.

In choosing a language school for yourself or your family members, there are several factors to take into consideration:

  • Association Membership- As with any service, it is difficult to ensure that your expectations are met. Ensuring that your language school is a member of an association offers some degree of consumer protection. Membership in the association is usually an indicator of more established and reputable language schools. The main association in Italy is the Association of Schools of Italian as a Second Language (ASILS). Their website is https://www.asils.it/en/. Schools that are members of the association ensure that all instructors have the appropriate qualifications, including a University degree. The teachers also have experience in teaching Italian to foreigners.
  • Program Flexibility- You must determine your foreign language needs before choosing the right school. For example, if you would like to learn/improve your Italian for business purposes, some schools offer such programs. Another consideration to be made is whether you can change classes based on how far you progress rather than the entire duration of a course.
  • Application requirements- these vary according to the school. It is best to contact the school and check the requirements prior to registration.
  • Obtaining a qualification- If your goal is to gain access to higher education in Italy, improve your resume or simply validate your skills, it is worth going to an institution where you can prepare for a language proficiency examination. The Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language (CILS) is the official title of the qualification for linguistic competency of Italian as a foreign language. The University of Sienna offers this course for non-speakers of Italian. The qualification is six-tiered, each level increasing in difficulty. Examinations cover the basics of language acquisition such as speaking reading, writing and listening.

You do not have to wait until you arrive in Italy to improve your Italian language skills. There are numerous free resources on the Internet that can help to improve your skills. You can read Italian newspapers online.  The website https://www.onlinenewspapers.com/italy.htm offers a list of major newspapers in Italy. The website https://www.101languages.net/italian/ is also another useful resource to help improve your skills.

To help you get started on choosing the language school that is right for you, the website https://www.esl-languages.com/en/adults/learn/italian/italy/index.htm is particularly useful.



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