Italian language and cultural school for foreigners
The language studies abroad in Florence of our students portrayed in Piazza Santo Spirito
People of all Cultures

Language studies abroad

Our students and their reasons for learning Italian

Students attending the Centro Machiavelli come from very different countries and also differ in their previous learning experiences.

When the Italian language school was founded, the majority of students came from Western European countries and sharing interests, study habits and ways of relating was easy for the most part. Today, many students come from Asia and Middle Eastern countries, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

This calls for a reflection on the intercultural aspects related to the profession of teaching Italian as a foreign language and training methods of the group that are necessary in order to put everyone at ease and allow them to interact with other members of the class. In addition, great care is required in selecting materials, topics of conversation and group activities, so as to involve and interest different students. The common thread is, however, a love for our country and its culture in the broadest sense, such as traditional and classic culture, or popular culture, music, crafts, film and cuisine.

Reasons for studying Italian also vary: from university students that benefit from language studies abroad in Italy to enhance their oral communication skills, to those who decide to live in Italy for longer or shorter periods and need to acquire all the elements of the Italian language allowing them to live in our country.

In addition there are all those who study Italian for business reasons, tied to the marketing of our products abroad or to the opening of offices in Italy by foreign companies.

We also welcome public sector employees from foreign countries at the Italian language school Centro Machiavelli that invest the hours of training required by their contract of employment in the study of the Italian language. In particular, over the years, the school has established relationships with foreign entities that do in-service training, such as Bildungsurlaub from the cities of Hamburg and Berlin, as well as private companies such as Philip Morris, and with Italian Cultural Institutes abroad and universities that regularly send students to the school.

Countries of origin of our students over the last 3 years

Western Europe Eastern Europe Latin America Asia North America
22% 9% 26% 38% 5%

The Italian courses offered by the school also take into account different student needs, from the time they have available for their course to the different paces of learning, related to their native language. While a Spanish student, regardless of educational level, takes a month to reach a level of knowledge of Italian which we consider intermediate, a Japanese student takes six months to reach the same level. The different types of students and their interests have therefore required a solution which is effective, flexible and adaptable in terms of organisation of courses, timing and methodology.

An important factor is the pre-existing knowledge of the Italian language and culture that is assessed when the students arrive at our institution. The evaluation test allows us to assess the communication skills of the students and to place them in one of the levels accordingly.