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September 2007 issue

Contents
News
Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Direction 1
Direction 2
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
City Focus
Status

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Intimate Italy

Like many Mediterranean destinations, Italy is associated with quintessential holiday ingredients: good food, ice cream, beaches, sunshine and interesting cities and villages oozing cultural appeal. All this is on offer for students interested in studying Italian in a friendly, personalised environment, as Amy Baker finds out.

CThe pristine sea sparkles, the sun is ever-present and the atmosphere is vibrant and international,” says Alessandro Adorno, Director of Babilonia language school located on the southern Italian island of Sicily. This language school, located in Taormina at the summit of Mount Tauro, with views of the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna, offers a friendly and intimate setting with no more than 10 students per class, and finds its combination of small-scale learning and stunning scenery is a draw for many students looking for an authentic summertime experience. Adorno quotes a former student who said of the school: “The professionalism, direct teaching methods and incredibly fun teaching staff present to each student a unique environment for speaking, understanding and writing Italian”.

Sicily is a slightly alternative destination for studying Italian, compared with the popular city choices of Rome, Florence and Milan, but it certainly has its fans, and a choice of language schools. Another school on the island is Laboratorio Linguistico Scuola di Lingue in Milazzo. Francesco Di Santi at the school relates, “With the beautiful weather here, students like to go to the beach or to walk to Capo Milazzo; they like to spend time outside.” He says that a programme of extra-curricular excursions is offered to allow students to get to know Sicily and that students enjoy discovering the history, beaches, and visiting the Eolian Islands to the north. “Students like to be in a small school where you are not anonymous,” he underlines, “and sample the nightlife in the old town where you can meet a lot of Italians.”

Another language learning location that offers sunshine and an alternative to Italy’s most famous cities is San Remo, which is so close to the French border that students can make a trip into France if they are interested in a really multilingual experience. “The city of San Remo enjoys an average of 300 days of bright sunshine each year, offering beautiful sea, beaches, and blue skies in the Liguria region,” relates Atsuko Fukuda of Omnilingua. Renowned within Italy for being a city of flowers, San Remo also offers marine sports such as sailing as well as whale watching, relates Fukuda. “Our students enjoy relaxing in the resort air while being immersed in local Italian life,” she says. Being part of the Tandem network, Omnilingua follows the principle of enabling all its students to pair with an Italian student at least once a week and enjoy free time speaking in Italian. “Students can choose to visit local attractions, meet for coffee or meet at the school and use the facilities,” states Fukuda.

Also in northern Italy are the “big name” destinations of Milan and Venice, both of which are popular choices with students. Milan is known for its fashion industries and is one of the world capitals for design and fashion – indeed, the English word milliner (hat maker) comes from Milan’s name. Istituto di Moda Burgo is, according to Stefano Burgo at the school, the only fashion school that accepts international students in the “golden triangle of fashion” – the area in which all the well-known design houses are situated. “We organise fashion shows with creations featured by our students,” he says, “and visits to textile companies, arts and fashion fairs and all kinds of events in the fashion field.”

Milan is not just attractive to those students interested in fashion, however. Giorgia Bicelli of language school chain Linguaviva points out that it is the vibrancy of the city and reputation for culture and economic importance, as well as style, that draws students. “In Milan, there is a great range of music events, theatre options and trendy places to go out,” she says. “Our students enjoy a lot the aperitivo, which is a very Milanese ritual. After work, everybody in Milan meets for extended happy hours with a very good buffet and music in the trendiest cafés.”

Venice is also a bustling city, but one which relies on tourism a great deal. It is a truly unique city in the world, with the oldest part built on the water in a lagoon. This part actually consists of 117 bodies of land connected by more than 400 bridges over its 150 canals. Water bus is a common way to get around, although many tourists travel by gondola, a narrow rowing boat typical to the region, manned by a gondolier. Water-based life is well established in the city, with rubbish collection, for example, occuring by boat. Venice has many churches and palaces, lively squares, and meandering streets in which it is easy to get lost. Matteo Savini at Istituto Venezia says “daily walking tours” are organised to help students get to know the area, and students also enjoy renting a boat and discovering the islands in the lagoon as well as playing sports and attending music, dance, art or theatre events.

Savini points out that the wider Veneto region, in which Venice is situated, is the most popular region of Italy. Encompassing Verona and Padua as well as Lake Garda and Belluno – gateway to the Dolomites mountain range – the area has a lot to offer and, according to Savini, it welcomed 46 million visitors in 2006. Venice itself is the jewel in the crown, while Savini also recommends a trip to nearby Bassano, to test the famous home-made grappa (grape-based alcohol). He boasts, “Our students discover Venice is much more fascinating than they could ever have imagined through films and pictures.” With a lively cultural scene, Venice is home to a regular international arts festival, as well as the world renowned Venice film festival.

A location that is a far cry from the glitz and fame of Venice is Frontino, which is a hilltop medieval village in the region of Marche, below Veneto. Here, the school Rocca dei Malatesta offers courses in Italian language and culture, cookery, painting and ceramics as well as nature excursions. “We think students choose our school because the place is relaxing and we offer a good service to learn Italian,” says Nicoletta Amicizia at the school. She points out that because of the varied nature of the courses available, students can also “learn our culture and our real style of life”.

All Italian schools seem to have this aim as a goal for their students, as well as teaching the language. Bicelli at Linguaviva says, “Every month, Linguaviva schools organise a daily programme of activities for our students, so that they have the possibility to broaden their knowledge of Italian culture.” Watching Italian films, visiting museums, other cities and beauty spots, taking cooking classes or dining out all feature on the activity schedule. Linguaviva’s junior school in Lignano, between Venice and Trieste, also offers many sporting and entertainment options and ensures students make friends from around the world.

Another popular region of Italy is Tuscany, a rural region of rolling hills and charming villages which also has the glorious cities of Florence, Siena and Pisa in its midst. Linguaviva has a school in Florence, or for students wanting a more intimate urban environment, there is the option of OrbitLingua in Orbetello, located on the coast in a “sparkling lagoon”, says Marco Di Agostino at the school, and just two hours from Florence and Rome. “We accept a maximum of 40 students at one time and no more than eight per class,” says Di Agostino. “We provide the ideal atmosphere for learning Italian and are surrounded by enchanting beaches, rocky coastlines, protected nature reserves and beautiful islands.” He continues, “In relation to big cities, Orbetello offers a higher standard of living and students find a friendly atmosphere from their arrival onwards.”

Orbetello seems an idyllic location for relaxing in, but the school organises many activities nonetheless, including a visit to the medieval village of Manciano followed by an exciting night-time swim at the waterfalls in Saturnia and a boat trip around the lagoon. Di Agostino says this “ideal study-holiday” location sees students enjoying the beaches or medieval villages in the week while travelling further afield at weekends or staying in Orbetello to visit the Saturday morning market, walk in the countryside or practise sports.

Yet another small and friendly school is Accademia Leonardo in Salerno, located just south of the Amalfi Coast, below Naples. “Students [here] will never feel like a tourist among thousands of other tourists in cities such as Florence or Rome. They will soon become one of us,” suggests Milena Petraglia at the school, who says that Salerno has a small town feel. Like Adorno, Petraglia cites the feedback of one of her students when summing up the appeal of the school, which offers many activities and puts an emphasis on fun. The client said, “Instead of just learning to say the words in Italian, I learned to live Italian. The staff all care whether or not the students are learning. The personal care and involvement of the staff [ensured] the wonderful experience I had during my stay.”


Agent viewpoint

“Salerno has proved to be an important destination for LanGo in Italy after the big three – Rome, Florence and Milan. Most of all our clients like the proximity to the sea. It is a seaside location just like Viareggio, Rimini or Ravenna. Salerno is also a very traditional Italian city with a friendly atmosphere and lovely Italian restaurants and trattorias. The countryside surrounding the area is also ideal for weekend excursions and visits. Watersports and other outdoor activities are very popular with our students and there is an abundant variety to choose from.”
Marcus Pettersson, LanGo, Sweden

“We offer more than 20 schools all over Italy. There has been a slowdown in bookings for Tuscany, while the south and northern regions like Veneto and Emilia Romagna are attracting more students. Sicily is one of the more exotic destinations for learning Italian. And Goethe mentioned that without seeing and travelling in Sicily you don`t know anything about Italy! In Sicily there are beautiful beaches, gorgeous islands and amazing wines.”
Martin Martschnig, Travelplus Group, Austria

“Our clients go to Sicily, Florence and Salerno. They choose Florence because of the good shops like Miu Miu and the wide range of shoe shops. They go there as the city is beautiful and rich in culture and they love our school which is in the city centre. They go to Salerno as this is the starting point for the island of Capri and Pompeii and because of the sun, the beach, the food and the southern Italian style [of people]. They choose Sicily because of the rich culture, history, good food, sun and friendly people. They get in touch with locals, go out at night, go to the beach and so on.”
Erik Schulze, Lisa! Reisen, Germany

“Our clients love Florence, Milan and Rome. These three cities have unique attractions and historic sites plus entertainment options for all tastes. Our clients like to explore the cities, visit galleries and museums and of course being Brazilian, do some shopping! At weekends they enjoy participating on the schools’ excursions. Usually it´s quite easy to ‘sell’ Italy as it´s a country with great appeal among Brazilians combining beautiful sites, plenty of history and options for tourism everywhere in the country.”
Tereza Fulfaro, CI Central de Intercambio, Brazil


Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

Name

Company
Country

Telephone

Email


ASSOCIATIONS / GROUPS
Capls Canada
CLC Canada
Eaquals
English Australia
Fedele
Feltom
Ialc
International House
       World Organisation
MEI-Relsa
Perth Education City
Quality English

EXPOS /
WORKSHOPS
Fedele
Ialc
IEFT- International
       Education Fairs
       of Turkey
International House
       World Organisation
WEBA

INSURANCE
InterGlobal Ltd

TOURIST BOARDS
Cyprus Tourist
       Board
Malta Tourism
       Authority

AUSTRALIA
English Australia
Perth Education City
Southbank Institute
       of TAFE

BRAZIL
Diálogo Language
       Schools

CANADA
Bodwell College
Capls Canada
CLC Canada
College of New
       Caledonia
English School
       of Canada
ELS Language
       Centers
       (Canada, USA)
Eurocentres Canada
Global Village
       (Australia, Canada,
       USA)
Hansa Language
       Centre of Toronto
ILSC
Language Studies
       Canada
National School of
       Languages
Pan Pacific
       International English
       College
Richmond School
       District # 38
Saint Mary's
       University
Stewart College
       of Languages
University Canada
       West
University of Alberta
University of Victoria
Vancouver
       Community College
Vancouver English
       Centre
Vanwest College
Worldwide
       Language Institute
YMCA Montreal
       International
       Language School
Zoni Language
       Centers
       (Canada, USA)

CHINA
Mandarin House

CYPRUS
Cyprus Tourist Board

CZECH REPUBLIC
Global Study
       (Karlov College)

ENGLAND
American
       Intercontinental
       University,
       London
       (Dubai, UK, USA)
Bell International
       (England, Malta)
Bloomsbury
       International
International House
       World
       Organisation
WEBA
Cambridge
       Education Group
Camp Beaumont
Eaquals
English Language
       Centre Brighton
       & Hove
English School
       (Northumbria) Ltd,
       (The)
Globe School
       of English
ILS English Ltd
International
       House World
       Organisation
InterNexus Centre
       for Language
       Studies
Islington Centre
       for English
Kaplan Aspect
       (Australia, Canada,
       Ireland, Malta,
       New Zealand,
       South Africa, UK,
       USA)
LAF
LAL Language
       and Leisure
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa, USA)
Language in London
Language Upon
       Thames
Liverpool
       Community College
Liverpool
       International
       Language
       Academy
London Metropolitan
       University
Malvern House
       College London
Mountlands
       Language School
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
       College
Rose of York
       Language School
Saint Peter's School
       of English
Shane Global
       Language Centres
St Giles Colleges
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa,
       Spain, USA)
Tellus Group
Twin Group
       (Ireland, UK)
University
       of Manchester
University of Sussex
West London
       Business College

FRANCE
Alliance Française
       Paris
CIPEL
Lyon Bleu
       International
Institut de Touraine
Institut International
       de Rambouillet
SILC - Séjours
       Linguistiques
       (England, France,
       Spain)

GERMANY
BWS Germanlingua
Carl Duisberg
       Medien GmbH
       (England, Germany)
inlingua Berlin
International House
       Berlin - Prolog
Sprachcaffe
       International /
       Languages Plus
       (Australia, Canada,
       Cuba, England,
       France, Germany,
       Italy, Malta, Spain,
       USA)

IRELAND
Alpha College
       of English
American College
       Dublin
       (Ireland, USA)
Dublin City University
       Language
       Services
High Schools
       International
       (Australia, Canada,
       England)
Galway Cultural
       Institute
ISI- International
       Study 65 Institute
       Ireland
MEI-Relsa
Swan Training
       Institute

ITALY
ALCE
IH - Palermo
IH Team Lingue -
       Lecco- Merate

LATVIA
Durbe Ture

MALTA
EC English
       Language Centre
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa)
English Language
       Academy
Feltom
Linguatime
Malta Tourism
       Authority
NSTS

RUSSIA
AMBergh
       Management AB
       (Russia, Ukraine)
Derzhavin Institute
Language Link,
       Russia

SCOTLAND
EAC Language
       Centres and Activity
       Camps (England,
       Ireland, Scotland,
       Wales)
Live Language

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies
EC Cape Town
Eurocentres Cape
       Town
Good Hope Studies
inlingua Language
       Training Centre
       Cape Town
Interlink School
       of Languages
LAL Cape Town
LAL Durban
Shane Global
       Language Centres

SPAIN
Fedele
International House -
       Spain
Malaca Instituto -
       Club Hispánico
Pamplona Learning
       Spanish Institute

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
       Colleges Ltd
       (Australia, Canada,
       China, Ecuador,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, Malta, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Scotland, Spain,
       USA)
Eurocentres
       International
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Italy,
       Japan, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Spain, Switzerland,
       USA)
WEBA

USA
ALCC - American
       Language
       Communication
       Center
California State
       University
       San Marcos
ELS Language
       Centers
       (Canada, USA)
Global Education
       Services Inc
Global Village
       (Australia, Canada,
       USA)
Kaplan Aspect
       (Australia, Canada,
       Ireland, Malta,
       New Zealand,
       South Africa, UK,
       USA)
Saint Timothy's
       School
University of
       California Riverside
University of
       California San Diego
University of
       California Santa
       Barbara
University of Illinois
       at Urbana-
       Champaign
Zoni Language
       Centers
       (Canada, USA)



EDUCATION TRAVEL MAGAZINE

AGENTS
Felca

CANADA
Bodwell College
School District # 8
       Kootenay Lake

SCOTLAND
University of Stirling

USA
Lincoln Educational
       Services