language schools?

Travel Forums Europe language schools?

1. Posted by popolina (Budding Member 53 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

has anyone ever spent a significant amount of time at a language school? would you say it's a good way to immerse yourself in another culture? pro's/cons? has anyone had any experience with italian and spanish language schools specifically?

2. Posted by Noseclump (Respected Member 301 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

i have not, but my family is renting our basement suite to students from language schools. from what i see, the students get accomodation and food (that depends, of course), but with us (since they do have accomodation), they get to interact and speak the language at home (with us). at this school, there are after school activities, so they attend those, so you meet more people etc - they played soccer last night. we just got them yesterday (coincidence!), so i'm intending to take them out and about, show them around, introduce them to a few people, etc, etc. now, we live in vancouver, so culture here is a bit spread out..since there are so many different nationalities here. but i think it would be pretty good, if you wanted to experience the culture. especially if you're interested, i think. i don't see people without effort or care getting much culture-wise, wherever they are.

good luck!

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Language school can be a good way, but only if the pupils are mixed from all over. If you intend to learn Italian in Italy and 80 % of all the students in you class are English speakers (native or otherwise) chances are you'll end up chatting in English instead of practising your first words of Italian.

The class needs to be set up so that the only means of communicating with each other is the target language. This works best when you've got people with at least intermediate knowledge of the language, which equals to about 1-2 years of studying. The teacher should also insist upon "Italian/Spanish only in my class!". These programmes are usually more expensive, but worth it. Beginner's classes where everybody speaks English are a bit of a waste of time, you usually pick up more on the streets or by watching TV than in the lessons. In some cases you could have had these beginner's lessons cheaper at home.

4. Posted by caro-line (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!


I’m Spanish and last year I decided to go to Rome so as to improve my level in this lovely language. I choose a French organization Nacel and I stayed 4 weeks there. I stayed in a typical Italian family which was very welcoming. The school was very nice; we took courses in a very elegant building surrounded by a big garden. Actually I have a real passion for this country and for Italian culture and I was very glad to visit some beautiful monuments the afternoons and week ends. I really recommend that school if someone is looking for improving his level and I think that the host family also helped me a lot! I don’t remember the name of the school but I just found the link of the program I made

I hope it can be useful!!

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

Post 5 was removed by a moderator
6. Posted by mariase (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Dear Popolina,

for sure it is much better to learn a new language where it is spoken, because attending an Italian course in Italy you will not only make much faster progress but also get to know the Italian way of life. Studying the language in your home town you will never get a real impression of the country and its people.
The best is to choose a language school that offers courses with few students, ensuring that the teachers take really care of your interests and needs. If you don't want to learn only the language but really get in touch with the everyday life in Italy, you should consider a course that is offering many additional activities in the afternoon, a course that offers visits, dining in typical restaurants or agriturismi and so on.
A really great way to learn in an interesting way making really fast progress is a study-vacation where you learn Italian while travelling through Italy.
Whatever course you will finally choose, be sure to get an insight into the Italian culture as you will never be able to really speak and understand a language if you do not get in touch with the culture and people.

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]