What are your options for studying Italian in Italy?

We all know that learning a foreign language in a non-native country is challenging, therefore, many students opt for an in-country learning experience. Depending on the age group you belong to, you will have different options to study Italian language in Italy. I am sure most of the possibilities I will share with you in this post, you will have already thought of by yourself. However, given the amount of students asking me how to study in Italy, mostly interested in learning Italian, I am writing this post to give out some ideas.

The majority of the available options are targeted to high school students. You can apply for the exchange year abroad through various associations. For example, I was an exchange student for one year in Norway thanks to a scholarship with AFS – Intercultura. There are many possible durations you can choose from, from a one-year stay to a two-month summer experience. You can do the same with EF, another organisation which organises exchange programs for young students. The age limit to enroll is 18-19 years old. If you browse their websites, you will understand that language learning is not the primary objective of these two organisation, they want students to focus on cultural immersion.

If you are at university and you are an European citizen, you can apply for the Erasmus program. I am pretty sure you all know what it is about. If you are an international student, you will have other options. Ask your university if they have partnership with Italian universities. Other than that, you could also choose to travel to Italy as an au-pair girl or boy, during your studies (in the summer months, for example) or after you get your degree.

If you are not a student, you have options, too. Enrolling at an Italian language school is one way to go. There are plenty of them all over Italy. You could organise a holiday here and add a language course to go with it. Also, there are bloggers and travel professionals who organise language trips: just to name one, my friend Melissa. In addition to that, EF have programmes for adults and professionals as well, you might want to check their websites (linked above).

If you have other options to suggest, do not hesitate to write them below.

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È risaputo che uno dei modi migliori per imparare una lingua è quello di stare a contatto con i parlanti nativi, preferibilmente anche nel paese dove si parla quella determinata lingua. 

Per quanto riguarda la lingua italiana, ci sono alcune opzioni per poterla studiare in Italia, a seconda della fascia di età a cui appartenete.
Se siete liceali, potete fare il quarto anno anno di studi in Italia. Potete chiedere informazioni a riguardo a varie organizzazioni, come EF o AFS. Se non volete stare un intero anno lontani da casa, potete optare per soggiorni più brevi, anche solo nei mesi estivi. 
Se siete studenti universitari, potete accedere ai programmi di scambio. Se siete cittadini europei potete partecipare al programma Erasmus o Leonardo. Se invece siete cittadini extracomunitari, chiedete alla vostra università per avere informazioni quanto sulle convenzioni con le università italiane. Un’altra possibilità è diventare un ragazzo o una ragazza au-pair durante l’estate, per esempio. 

Un’opzione che è accessibile a tutti è organizzare una vacanza studio appoggiandosi ad una scuola d’italiano per stranieri. Ci sono molte persone che scelgono questa possibilità, sia giovani studenti che adulti e professionisti. È sicuramente l’opzione più cara rispetto alle altre, ma sicuramente anche la più adattabile alle esigenze di ognuno. 


  1. For American students, you might be surprised that studying abroad through your university might actually be cheaper than remaining at school for a quarter or semester.
    It is also important to plan ahead especially if you are a science or engineering major, but if you can’t fit study abroad in during the school year, there are still other options that can be done during the summer:

    1. RUE – Research Experience for Undergraduates allows students to research at other universities including international universities.

    2. Apply for research funding at your school- you can always make a case for studying anywhere you want whether it is Italy or the Galapagos.

    3. WWOOFing – I’ve never done it, but my friend has. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms is for all ages and is perfect for the adventurous and hardworking.

    4. Make friends with an international student and stay with them for the summer.

    These are all do at your own risk…especially WWOOFing.

  2. About 12 tears ago I spent a month at an Italian language school in Florence. I have no doubts that this helped enormously in improving my Italian.

    BUT …. one thing to check. My Italian teacher (in England) used a very conversational – rather than grammatical – approach to teaching Italian. This is particularly suitable to an English person as we do not learn much grammar in English schools.

    However, the Italian language school used a very grammatical approach – and i think this is common. It made learning more difficult and inefficient (for me).

    So it might be a good idea to check that any language school you intend to go to (of whatever language) uses an approach that is suited to YOU.

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