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Matteo: 32 weeks Italian Gap Year Course

Matteo, 19, wanted a Gap Year to remember, to have fun but to really tackle his languages.
He followed a full Academic Year course in Italy and then booked again for a German course in Berlin – now that’s dedication!

“The thirty-two week Academic Year programme in Italy was fantastic. I divided my time between Rome, Milan and Florence. Being away from home is difficult for some people but I figured that the more I travelled the greater sense of independence I developed. Spending time in a different culture really does act as a launch pad for personal development. By the time I finished the course I feel more self-confident and mature in so many ways – interpersonal and communication skills.
It was a privilege to spend time in the Italian capital for 3 months. I loved it in Rome! The Standard course format was made up of classes at different course levels, composed of people from all four corners of the planet; Serbia, Holland, China and Brazil. Only 6% of the students were British, this is to our advantage. We had two grammar classes and two conversation classes x 45 minute lessons each – no English whatsoever.
Milan was a little cold. However all the Fiats and girls did contribute to global warming so it wasn’t that bad! There were lots of Japanese students over here. The school bureau established a campaign in Japan to promote learning Italian. The great thing is, I spoke Italian with my Japanese friends in Milan, despite my Japanese background. My Italian has improved mostly here, at the fashion capital (3 months into studying). It was around this time where I could start to put congruent sentences together, having studied the basics in Rome.
The extra curricular activities were diverse, weekly outgoings to Casablanca – a bar with happy hour appertivo, 6 euros for a drink, and eat as much as you want for free! Going out to the ‘San Sio’ to watch prestigious teams in Series A : AC Milan, Internazionale.

Florence was the best! I ended up living with 8 other students from the college in one huge flat – one which was famous for partying! Here I also met people from diverse cultures including Germany, Sweden, Korea etc. I felt getting together from all over the world somehow promoted peace on a subliminal level. The clubs are fantastic and the city is small enough to be accessible by foot.”