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Standard Course, Viareggio

5 / 5
Standard Course (20)
Number of weeks
5 weeks

I expected to learn quite a bit of Italian whilst having a really good time! I expected it to be quite hard work but enjoyable and satisfying. I expected the quality of teaching to be high and for the teachers to be friendly and helpful. I thought that there would be a lot of social events and things to do. My expectations were definitely met. I feel that my Italian improved a great deal, I started at beginner level and I progressed very quickly. The teachers were friendly and helpful as I expected and there was plenty to do outside of lessons.
The lessons were good and I liked the way they were split into two lessons: grammar and conversation. I enjoyed conversation most because we got to learn about the other students in our class, this was very interesting as the students were from different countries all over the world.
I felt comfortable there and the staff and teachers were always very helpful and tried hard to answer our questions. The school was very well situated as it was close to our apartment, the beach, the park and the shops.
The lessons were taught entirely in Italian. Although I understand that this is an effective method of learning the language it was sometimes difficult and confusing when trying to understand things. For example the meaning of a word or a grammar rule. The upside of this was that the class had to talk and communicate with each other, i.e. explaining things to each other. The best part of the course was getting to meet lots of people and also the sense of satisfaction that I got from learning the language.
In general I was very happy with the course and I think there was a good balance between lessons and free time. The social activities that the school arranged were good. I particularly liked the weekly spaghetti parties on the beach as the food was absolutely delicious!
Viareggio was a great place to be. I felt safe there and the locals were friendly. It was reasonably cheap to eat out; however, to go to a nightclub was expensive. Some places charged 10 euros a drink!
There was plenty to do during the day, most afternoons we went to the beach! At weekends we went on trips to Pisa and Lago Puccini for example. One weekend we went to Cinque Terre, which was absolutely beautiful. I would defiantly recommend everyone to go there (the school provides lots of info on trips such as this). We also discovered a great restaurant called ‘Angelli’, near our apartment which served delicious food and was really good value for money.
I stayed in an apartment with other students. The apartment was really well situated, only 10 minutes walk from the school and bars, shops, restaurants etc. It was a good experience to live with other students from other countries (USA, Croatia, Switzerland), and I made some good friends.
The staff at CESA were very friendly, helpful and easy to talk to. They seemed fairly knowledgeable about Viareggio, e.g. distance to/from Pisa airport and approximate taxi costs.
I did not want to come home from Viareggio, and I would definitely go again! It was a fantastic experience; I had a great time as well as learning a lot. The classes were enjoyable and there was plenty to do in our spare time. I would recommend staying in a Shared apartment as you get to know other students and can be more independent.