Advantages of language courses in Italy

  • Variety of programs. There are about 30 different types of programs at Italian language schools. Everyone can find a course to their liking. If you are interested in the culture of Italy, then there are Italian + "Cooking and Wine" and History of Italian Art courses. Likewise, future students can prepare for language exams, and company employees can improve their business Italian.
  • Prices. The average weekly cost of a language course is 229 USD. This price is lower than in many other European countries. For example, a German course in Austria costs 305 USD/week, and a weekly English program in the UK costs 431 USD.
  • University preparation programs. Many Italian universities offer a Foundation program. This is an excellent language learning option for those who aim to receive their higher education in Italy: you simultaneously improve your language proficiency and finish your 12th year of study necessary for admission.
  • Year-round enrollment. Italian language schools accept new students every week. Granted, you can start learning Italian at any time convenient for you.
  • Jobs. Students with a national D visa can work 20 hours per week.

Disadvantages of language courses in Italy

  • Courses for children and teenagers. Italian language courses in Italy are mainly aimed at adult students. Finding a school with an interesting program for children and teenagers is quite difficult.
  • University courses. Universities do not have regular language courses — only Foundation programs are available. As such, General Italian courses are to be found at private language schools.

Cost of language courses in Italy

SchoolProgramNumber of weeksTuition/weekCitiesResidence/weekHomestay/week
Scuola Leonardo da VinciIntensive course1+245 USD

Florence, Rome, Turin, Milan, Viareggio

163 USD / 222 USD

190-340 USD

Super Intensive course1+398 USD
Super Intensive course +51+463 USD
Super Intensive course +101+681 USD
Sabbatical Year486,015 USD/course
La Dolce Vita1-2648 USD
Italian Tour2-5414 USD/2 weeks
Preparation courses for the AIL41,607 USD/course
Individual lessons1+38 USD/lesson
Professional courses2+1,613 USD/2 weeks
"Italian wines" culture course1 day114 USD
Italian cuisine1 day114 USD
Gap Semester183,536 USD/courseFlorence, Rome, Turin, Milan
Academic School Year326,533 USD/course
Italy Today course1+463 USD
CILS preparation courses4- 6283 USD
Art History1-2153 USD
Super Intensive Small Group course2+1,286 USD/2 weeksFlorence, Rome, Viareggio
Italian and Hiking2610 USD/2 weeksViareggio
Part-time8-12392 USD/8 weeksFlorence, Milan, Rome
Preparation course for studying at University41,629 USD/4 weeks
Preparation course for Fashion & Design Academies41,629 USD/4 weeks
Intensive Italian language evening course4-12392 USD/4 weeksMilano
Italian Language Course for Families1 -12414-741 USD/week
Discover your Origins2-12556 USD/2 weeks
Need to learn a language?

Types of language courses in Italy

Type of programIntensityGroupMin. language levelAvg. cost per week
Part-time / Evening Courses1010-14Starter (A0)392 USD/8 weeks
Standard Courses208-10Starter (A0)229 USD
Intensive Courses25-305-10Starter (A0)392 USD
Super-Intensive Courses35-408-12Starter (A0)425 USD
One-to-one LessonIndividual1Starter (A0)38 USD/lesson
One-to-two LessonIndividual2Starter (A0)27 USD/lesson
Combined Courses258-10Starter (A0)392 USD
Italian Language Exam Preparation (CILS or AIL)101Beginner (A1)EUR/2 weeks
Italian Language Exam Preparation (CILS or AIL)308-10Beginner (A1)1,144 USD/2 weeks
Italian and Volunteering258-10Elementary (A2)937 USD/4 weeks
Learning While Working258-10Intermediate (B1)1,689 USD/8 weeks
Italian Language Course for Families2010-14Starter (A0)567 USD
Italy Today2010-14Intermediate (B1)463 USD
Discover Your Origins2610-14Elementary (A2)556 USD/2 weeks
Sabbatical Year2010-14Starter (A0)6,015 USD/lesson
Gap Semester2010-14Beginner (A1)3,536 USD/lesson
Academic Year205-14Beginner (A1)6,533 USD/lesson
Flexible Program203-12Starter (A0)2,877 USD/lesson
Professional Italian Courses25-305-14Intermediate (B1)425 USD
University Preparation355-14Intermediate (B1)1,629 USD/4 weeks
Courses for Children and Teenagers208-12Starter (A0)845 USD
Foundation30-4010-15Intermediate (B1)5,449 USD/year

If you are planning to come to the country just to learn Italian, choose Standard courses. They differ from each other only in intensity. In these lessons, you will actively develop your speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. In addition, you will thoroughly practice grammar and vocabulary. These courses are open to students of all levels, from Beginner to Advanced. These include:

  • Part-time / Evening Courses. Evening courses for those who work or study in Italy during the day.
  • Standard, Intensive, Super-Intensive. Standard courses of varying intensity.
  • One-to-one / One-to-two. Courses for individual students or couples. In this format, all of the teacher’s attention is on you. In such lessons, you learn the material better, but the cost is higher than that of group lessons.
  • Combined courses. Combined courses, during which you study 20 hours a week in a group, and 5 hours individually.
  • Sabbatical Year. Courses with a minimum duration of 48 weeks.

Italian schools also offer courses with additional options:

  • Italian and Volunteering. A program offered by Solemar Academy, which combines 2 weeks of learning Italian with 2 weeks of volunteering at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The price includes meals and accommodation.
  • Learning While Working. A program including 4 weeks of language courses followed by 4 weeks of an internship at an Italian company.
  • Italian Language Course for Families. A program for all family members. Parents and children study in groups suitable for their level and age, but spend their free time together.
  • Italy Today. A course for those who already have basic knowledge of Italian. This program is suitable if you want to learn more about the culture, economy, and political situation of modern Italy. During class, you will discuss these topics with your teacher and other students.
  • Discover Your Origins. A unique course for the descendants of Italian emigrants abroad. In addition to language classes, the program includes lessons on the history of Italian emigration, an analysis of the region in which the student's ancestors lived, a study of the native dialect, investigation of the student's surname, and a direct trip to his ancestral homeland. To enter this program, you need to prove the presence of Italian roots (birth certificate of parents and grandparents).
  • Flexible Program. A course suitable for those who want to start learning the language, but have not yet received a visa. The program consists of online and in person lessons, lasting 24 weeks. You can choose how many weeks to study remotely, and how many to study in Italy.
  • Professional Italian Courses. Courses including Business Italian and Italian for Professionals. Here you will learn business Italian, which is necessary for working in a local company or running a business.
  • University Preparation. Courses for those who plan to study at an Italian university. The program is aimed at developing academic Italian skills for successful learning at the university. During the course, students learn how to make presentations and write essays. At some schools, these programs have narrower specialized areas: architecture, design, and art.
  • Academic Year / Gap Semester. In addition to the language, you will study the history of Italian art and the development of civilization, business, and fashion. 4 weeks before the end of the course, the program conducts language exams preparations, at the end of which students take the ALI or CELI. The academic year lasts 32 weeks, while the gap semester — 18.
  • Courses for Children and Teenagers. Less intensive courses — only 15-20 hours per week. The course cost includes accommodation, meals, and all forms of entertainment: excursions and sports, along with trips to the beach and neighboring cities.

University courses

Foundation. It is impossible to enter Italian universities after 11th grade. You need to have 12 years of education. However, many Italian universities offer an annual Foundation program. Among them are University of Pisa, University of Siena, University of Rome La Sapienza, and several others. During this preparatory year, you can improve your language proficiency and other subjects necessary for studying in the chosen program.

You can enter such a program without knowing Italian, but your English must at least be at the B1 level. At some universities, such as the University of Pavia, the language of instruction is not English, but Italian. In this case, you need an A2-B1 level of Italian. Upon completion of the Foundation program, you can enter the same university without a language exam. Some universities automatically enroll students into the Foundation program, but information on guaranteed admission should be checked on the website of the chosen university.

Apart from the Foundation program, there are almost no language courses at Italian universities. Some offer language studies, but these are programs strictly for university students.

Leisure Italian courses

Type of programIntensityGroupMin. language levelAvg. cost per week
Italian Tour2010-14Starter (A0)414 USD/2 weeks
Dolce Vita Course2010-14Beginner (A1)648 USD
History of Italian Art63-12Elementary (A2)153 USD
Italian + "Cooking and Wine"3-306-12Elementary (A2)109 USD / 458 USD
Learn-and-Go31-3Elementary (A2)131 USD
Italian and Hiking203-12Starter (A0)610 USD/2 weeks
Club / Senior 50+20-258-10Starter (A0)763 USD/2 weeks
Italian + Tennis258-10Starter (A0)414 USD

Combining language learning with a vacation in Italy is easier than in any other country. At every school, you will find an Italian course that allows you to study art, cuisine, and history, or play sports with an instructor in your free time.

  • Italian Tour. If you choose a school that has branches in several Italian cities, then you may be offered such a program. It allows you to alternately live and study in each of these locations. Scuola Leonardo da Vinci has one such program.
  • Dolce Vita Course. La Dolce Vita, or "Sweet Life" translated from Italian. This program is divided into two parts. You study the language in the morning, and enjoy a varied program in the evening: cooking classes, exhibitions, and excursions.
  • Italian + "Cooking and Wine". Fans of Italian cuisine will appreciate this course. At some schools, this is simply an additional three hours that a student can buy in addition to their main course. But there are also full-fledged programs where you spend 15-20 hours learning Italian, and the rest of the time you taste wines and learn how to cook Italian dishes under the guidance of an experienced chef.
  • Italian and Hiking. A two-week course that consists of morning Italian lessons and evening hikes to interesting places near the city of study.
  • Club / Senior 50+. The cultural and language programs of these short courses are designed for the interests of those aged 50 and over.
  • Italian + Tennis. If you love tennis, then some schools in Italy have a suitable course for you. You will hone your Italian skills in the morning, and play tennis with a professional instructor in the evening.

Features of admission to Italian language schools

First, you need to fill out an application form on the school's website. You will then be sent a link to pay the registration fee or deposit. After that, your place in the course will be reserved and you will be sent an invitation letter, which is needed when applying for a visa. The last thing to do is to pay for the program itself. Payment terms depend on the school: for some, you need to transfer the money a week before the start of the lessons, in others you can pay on the day of arrival.

Admission to Foundation programs is more difficult. You need to collect a package of documents:

  • Completed application
  • Copy of your school diploma and transcript translated into Italian and English, and legalized or apostilled
  • Passport copy
  • Certificate confirming a B1-B2 level of English (IELTS, TOEFL, or Cambridge) or Italian
  • Motivation letter

Learning process in Italian language courses

At most schools, enrollment for standard courses takes place every Monday. That being said, Beginner groups are formed less frequently: once every 2-3 weeks.

On the first day of class, students get to know the teachers, school and city. Then, they are tested for their knowledge of Italian, according to which students are divided into groups.

In the following days, students combine learning with rest. Schools often organize excursions, trips to restaurants and bars, and other activities. Some, however, require additional payments for these activities. Therefore, it is important to carefully read the contract when booking, in order to know what exactly is included in the price. If you buy a course without entertainment, set aside 87-109 USD for each week of the course to fully enjoy your vacation.

As a rule, students take an assessment test at the end of each week. This allows the teacher to determine the academic progress of the group as a whole and of each individual student.

Accommodation options while studying in Italy

Accommodation optionsMealsNumber of people per roomMin. cost per weekAvg. price per week
School residenceOptional1-2163 USD223 USD
Host familyBreakfast or breakfast / dinner1-2191 USD283 USD
ApartmentNone1381 USD572 USD
HotelBreakfast1-254 USD/day98 USD/day

Additional expenses

Consular fee38 USD54 USD
Registration fee54 USD76 USD
Medical insurance22 USD/week33 USD/week
Airport transfer65 USD109 USD
Additional summer tuition fee22 USD/week44 USD/week

Check the school website for additional costs.

Cost of UniPage services

Visa for language courses in Italy

Once you have received an invitation letter from a school, start applying for a visa. For courses lasting up to 90 days, a Schengen category C visa is required. If the program lasts over 90 days, apply for a national category D visa.

List of required documents for both visa types:

  • Application form
  • Photograph 3x4 cm
  • Payment receipt of the consular fee (38 USD / 54 USD)
  • Passport
  • Accommodation proof (Booking of a room in a school dormitory, apartment rental agreement, invitation from an Italian citizen, or hotel reservation)
  • Flight booking confirmation
  • Proof of financial solvency
  • Medical insurance
  • School invitation

If you plan to stay in Italy for more than 3 months, you must apply for a temporary residence permit within 8 days of arrival. You can do this at any post office that has a Sportello Amico (Friendly Window)the Italian Post Office network. There, you will receive a form that you will need to fill out along with attaching the following documents:

  • Passport copy (pages with personal information and visa)
  • Medical insurance copy
  • School invitation copy
  • Application fee payment receipt (33 USD)
Financial solvency calculation

The amount needed for financial solvency depends on the length of stay. You can calculate it yourself.

Trip durationOne person
1-5 days: fixed amount294 USD
6-10 days: per day49 USD
11-20 days: fixed amount + per day56 USD + 28 USD
more than 20 days: fixed amount + per day225 USD + 30 USD

Example: for a trip of 25 days — 225 USD (fixed amount) + 30 USD * 25 days = 985 USD.

Work while taking a language course in Italy

If you enroll in short-term courses up to 90 days, you will not be able to legally work. Category C visas do not allow for employment.

With a category D visa, you can work 20 hours per week.

Need to learn a language?

Most popular language schools in Italy

Scuola Leonardo da Vinci

Scuola Leonardo da Vinci was founded in 1977 as an institute for the Italian language and culture. Since then, the blending of language and culture in teaching has become a hallmark of the school. Therefore, along with the usual Professional and Preparation courses, you can find language courses that include the study of Italian art, history, and cuisine.

The school has centers in five Italian cities: Rome, Florence, Turin, Milan, and Viareggio. Because of this, students also have the option of living in each of these five cities for the course duration.

Up to 2 students live together in hostels or host families. If you want to rent a room or apartment for the duration of your studies, the school will help you with the search. In addition, students attend cultural events every evening: excursions around the host city, along with visits to museums, exhibitions, local wine cellars, and pizzerias. During the weekends, schools organize tours to neighboring cities.

Best cities to learn Italian


  • Rome was established in 753 BC.
  • Legend has it that the city was built by Romulus, one of the twin brothers who were fed by a she-wolf. This plot is depicted on the coat of arms of modern Rome.
  • Inside Rome is the smallest country in the world — Vatican City. It is an independent state with its own flag and anthem run by the Catholic Church.
  • There are about 2000 fountains in Rome, the most popular being the Trevi Fountain. Every day, tourists throw about 3,269 USD worth of coins in it. All of this money goes to charity.
Monthly expenses846 USD


  • Milan is the capital of fashion. The headquarters of the most famous brands are located here: Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Giorgio Armani, Prada, and many others. Milan, together with Paris, London, and New York, form the "Big Four" in the fashion world.
  • Every evening, from seven to nine, is aperitif time in Milan: cafes and bars are filled with visitors who enjoy wine and snacks before dinner.
  • Milan is home to the famous Duomo Cathedral. It was built for over 500 years — from 1386 to 1965.
  • Milan is the “tallest” city in Italy. A total of 25 skyscrapers have been built here, with two being the tallest buildings in the country.
Monthly expenses959 USD


  • Turin is the fourth largest city in Italy and the capital of Piedmont.
  • From 1861 to 1865, Turin was the capital of Italy. It was then transferred to Florence, and only in 1870 — to Rome.
  • Turin is the industrial center of Italy, where everything from cars to vermouth and chocolate is produced.
Monthly expenses790 USD


  • Florence is the birthplace of the piano. In 1700, Bartolomeo Cristofori invented this musical instrument.
  • Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Dante Alighieri, Nicolo Machiavelli, and many other famous personalities were born in Florence.
  • Florence has over 20 sister cities. Among them are Kyoto, Bethlehem, and Philadelphia.
  • Florence was ruled by the Medici family for 350 years. Its representatives had enormous political power: four popes and two queens of France bore the Medici surname.
  • Gelato, the famous Italian dessert, was invented by Florentine architect and sculptor, Bernardo Buontalenti.
Monthly expenses866 USD
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