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Academic Year in Italy

The Academic Year course not only immerses you in Italy and all things Italian, but prepares you for serious Italian language exams and introduces you to different aspects of Italian culture. Fabulous locations in their own right, the experience of life in one of these cities plus the quality of the language tuition in the Italian language schools, is an unbeatable combination.


Built along the banks of the Arno, in the heart of Tuscany the city appeals to Italian language students of all ages. It was the cradle of the Renaissance. You can admire the original masterpieces of Giotto, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci in the Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti, but also in the many historic churches dotted around central Florence. The Ponte Vecchio connects the lively and historic city centre, to the quieter, more relaxed neighbourhood south of the river.

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Florence is a blaze of beautiful squares, such as the Piazza della Repubblica and the Piazza della Signoria, fabulous shops and cafes, all connected by small streets and medieval alleys. Dominating the city is the cupola of the Duomo. Today Florence attracts students from all over the world, who come away with wonderful memories of the delicious Tuscan food, superb local wines, the numerous bars, trattorias and night-clubs that make up this fascinating city.

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The Italian language school in Florence:
Established in 1977, the school is located in the heart of the city. Situated on the first floor of a historic building, it offers a quiet working environment, yet is only 4 minutes by foot from the Duomo.

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There is also a lounge with snack machine and coffee machine. The lounge is equipped with tables and chairs and may be used as a study room for student use. There are 18 classrooms for group course and private tuition use and the staff are always on hand should you have any questions once on your course.


The Eternal City – world renowned for its centuries of history, picturesque monuments and ancient ruins. If you want to sample Italian history or the wonders of Italian Art over the years, Rome has so much to offer! However it is equally famous for its vivid night-life and can offer a million entertainments throughout the day too; shops, elegant squares, theatres, restaurants, wonderful churches, markets and cinemas abound.

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Of course the art galleries and archaeological sites are a major draw for language students, but the city has so much to offer, that is really is an ideal base for long term study.

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The Italian language school in Rome:
The school is located in an elegant historic building in the city centre, in a pedestrian area, beautifully situated between San Pietro Basilica, Castel S Angelo and Piazza Navona. It has a long history of language teaching, having been established in 1984.

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There are 12 classrooms for group and private tuition lessons. The school offers wifi and internet access via 6 computers, a student lounge and disabled student access. The immediate areas has plenty of cafes and restaurants to tempt the hungry language student! There are also enough shops, small boutiques and libraries to explore to satisfy all tastes!


With a population of 1.4 million, is the city that sets the trends. It is one of the most cosmopolitan and vibrant metropolis of Italy. A fascinating mixture of traditional and modern, design, fashion and culture. Its character is a melding of its historical past and its present day booming industry. The fantastic art treasures and the architecture attract visitors, bearing witness to 2000 years of history.

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The temperature can range from 6/10 o C in the winter months to 20/35 o C in the summer. In Milan you meet people from every region of Italy and the world. Its citizens are friendly and extremely open to visitors. During the day you can visit artistic places or simply walk around the shops in the fashion district, where all the best-known names in fashion have boutiques. During the evening you can enjoy a fantastic ‘apertivo’ in one of the hundreds of bars and cafes in the Navigli, an area with a large population of artists and formerly the harbour of Milan, where the canal still flows today.

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The Italian language school in Milan:
The school in Milan, opened in 2005, 

The Italian Academic Year Programme is the ideal long-term course solution for Gap Year students, graduates and young adults looking to take a serious career break. These long-term courses allow students to focus on all aspects of Italian over several months, whilst placing the language within a meaningful cultural framework. In-depth study over an extended period ensures better mastery, subtler understanding and far greater long-term retention of key skills.

  • Minimum age: 16 yrs (recommended for 18 yrs+)
  • Duration: 32 weeks
  • Italian tuition (480 lessons)
  • Class size: 12 people
  • Cultural sessions
  • Preparation for AIL exams (80 lessons)
  • Minutes per lesson: 45
  • Ability levels: Beginner/Intermediate

Course information

The Academic Year Programme is ideal for students who wish to combine their study of the Italian with an exploration of Italy and the Italian culture, through living and studying in Italy. It is aimed at students with beginner to intermediate Italian, who aim to achieve fluency over a number of months. This Italian language course ensures rapid acquisition and long-term retention of all aspects of language knowledge and is an invaluable way of focusing on your language skills development, with like-minded people away from the pressures and demands of daily life at home. It aims to provide a solid grounding in core skills across a wide range of ability levels. Whatever your current ability, key teaching techniques will ensure you gradually acquire and develop the necessary strategies to understand and communicate in Italian.

At beginner/elementary levels spoken Italian is the most important part of the tuition. Continually promoting the use of verbal communication permits students to learn Italian “naturally”, to unite theory and practice and increase your knowledge quickly and with confidence. In high elementary/intermediate/advanced classes the written aspects will be thoroughly covered and specifically so towards the latter stages of the programme, in preparation for the AIL exams.

Programme Structure

  • Language element: 480 lessons of Italian study, culmination in a final 80 lessons of preparation for two Italian Diplomas at intermediate and advanced levels
  • Cultural element: Italian Civilization & History, Art History, Business Italian, History of Design & Architecture and an introduction to Italian Gastronomy
  • Social programme element: In addition to the above all Academic Year students are welcome to participate in the various social activities offered by the college each month to all language students, some maybe cultural, whilst others are purely of a social nature


  • Intensive grammar study
  • Phonetics
  • Development of vocabulary
  • Syntax and application
  • Listening and comprehension
  • Dialogue and communication
  • Idiomatic language
  • Written and oral expression
  • Lecture and analysis
  • Live guided discussion and synthesis
  • Free conversation
  • Only Italian will be spoken from the first day of classes

Throughout all the courses offered, emphasis is placed on the spoken, living language. By continually stressing the use of verbal communication, students are able to learn Italian “naturally” to unite theory and practice easily and to increase knowledge quickly and with confidence. More advanced levels also include written language practice. Much of the teaching materials has been developed by the schools in house and is well suited to the needs and requirements of students. In order to enable students to gain an insight into the Italian way of living and thinking a whole range of extra curricular activities are provided, aside from the core language programme. The work of each group is tailored to each class’s ability level in Italian. The college divides students into six theoretical levels of ability. A student of average linguistic ability should allow four weeks to complete any one of the given Levels.
Classes are held from Monday to Friday each week, unless there is a public holiday. The colleges require all their teachers to have university degrees and extensive experience teaching Italian as a Foreign Language. The college is closed for two weeks over the Christmas holiday period, however accommodation can be reserved for students (and then has to be paid for) over this period if applicable to your programme dates.


AIL Exams offered

Do you speak Italian? Can you prove It!

Some people study Italian for self-enrichment or, they’re travelling to “il bel paese” and want to know how to tell the time or talk on the phone in Italian. or to satisfy short term language requirements in high school, college, university or career goals. Others however, though, such as art history students, aspiring teachers, translators or others with long term career goals, study the language as part of a formal training programme. For this latter group of students, formally proving competency in the language is a requirement and this is where the AIL Exams are of great value.

DELI Diploma Elementare di Lingua Italiana “Firenze” AIL.
A1/A2 level according to the European Language Portfolio

DILI Diploma Intermediodi Lingua Italiana “Firenze” AIL.
B1 level according to the European Language Portfolio

DALI Diploma Avanzado di Lingua Italiana “Firenze” AIL.
C1 level according to the European Language Portfolio

DALC Diploma Commericale di Lingua Italiana “Firenze” AIL.
The DALC tests business Italian.
C2 level according to the European Language Portfolio

Level: DELI: low (2) DILI: average (3)
DALI: high(4) DALC: very high(5).
Exams: are held on set dates throughout the year


Social Life & Activities

All students are encouraged to make the most of their time in each Italian location by participating in the guided excursions and activities offered by the college. The range of attractions, by day or night, ensures that each location is a stimulating and provocative backdrop for your experience of Italy and Italian life.

Visits are offered accompanied by a college guide, students are of course welcome to explore each location on their own, and many to do so. In addition however we suggest you try out the less well-known activities that the Italians themselves enjoy, wandering through the local markets; or simply exploring the hidden corners of the cities that the average tourist never gets to see.


All accommodation hosts have been inspected by the respective language schools. Students have to allow different commuting times depending on which location they choose to study in.

As a rule though students choosing to live in Milan must anticipate a daily commute to college of at least 25/40 minutes one way, whether they stay with local Italian hosts on a half-board basis (private household accommodation) or in shared apartment accommodation (which in this city is most likely to be with local Italian hosts), self-catering.
In Rome, hosts and apartments are based in the residential areas around the city centre and students should expect a daily bus commute of 25/45 minutes each way.
In Florence private household accommodation is generally offered 20 minutes or more from the college in the residential areas of the city, whilst the shared apartments (which can be with Italian hosts or with other language students), self-catering can be very central, 5 to 20 minutes from the college

Arrive: Sunday PM
Depart: Saturday AM

Option 1
Italian hosts, single room (or shared room on request), half-board basis (breakfast and evening meal). Host accommodation can be booked and paid for over the Christmas holiday period if required.
Please see the school description links above for the full accommodation description.

Option 2
Shared apartment, single room  This will most likely be with Italian hosts, single room (or shared room on request) in Rome and Milan on a self-catering basis. In Florence students generally share with other language students (this can sometimes be arranged in Rome and Milan, on request). Apartment accommodation can be booked and paid for over the Christmas holiday period if required.
Please see the school description links above for the full accommodation description.