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Most students learn a language out of a book or in a classroom in their home country, but traveling abroad to learn is a way to become immersed not just in the language but also in the culture. To study Italian in Italy is to surround yourself with the sound of Italians speaking their language all around you while you take in history, architecture and art dating back hundreds of years. Studying in Italy also brings the opportunity to feast on one of the world's most loved cuisines.
Find a Destination
Decide where you want to study. You might prefer the hustle and bustle of a big city like Rome or Milan, which have many tourist sites you can visit on your free time.
If you are still a college student, consider a university town like Padua or Bologna, home to some of the world's first universities. Even if you are no longer college-aged, you might enjoy being surrounded by students from all over the world.
A small town is a good choice if you want to concentrate on your studies and have fewer distractions.
In summer time, a school near the beaches of the Mediterranean or Adriatic coasts will provide you with time to enjoy the pleasures of the warm season.
Pick a Language School
You can search for one through an Internet search engine. Most printed travel guides to Italy also have a section about opportunities to study there.
Contact the study abroad office at a local college. Many have programs open to the general public. College bulletin boards regularly post notices for study abroad programs.
Ask Italian teachers at a local high school, college or adult education program for recommendations.
If you are still in college and want credit for your studies, make sure to look for a university whose credits are transferable. The Italian Department at your college can provide you with a list of accredited programs.
Decide on Accommodations
Staying with a family will fully immerse you in both the language and the culture. However, you may sacrifice some privacy living in a family home.
Dormitory life presents the chance to meet a lot of fellow students, but older students might not find the living standards comfortable. Ask the school if you can talk to or email former students to ask their opinions about dorm life.
If you stay is short--a few weeks or a month--a modest hotel, pensione or bed and breakfast could be suitable. Ask the school for recommendations and see if any local places offer a student discount.
Learn Some Italian at Home First
If you are a total beginner, study a little at home first. You will be more self-confident if you arrive in Italy with a little knowledge under your belt.
Enroll in an introductory course at your school or an adult education program.
Alternatively, get a CD or book of Italian language basics.
Buy materials at a local bookstore, order them online or borrow them from the public library.