Piccola Università Italiana | Boutique Italian Language Schools in Fantastic Locations


FAQs

This is the Frequently Asked Questions section.
However, contact us for any further query the staff of our school remains at your complete disposal.

ABOUT THE SCHOOLS

Seals of quality at Italian language schools in Italy

When choosing your Italian language school in Italy, pay attention to the professionalism of the language institute. The following attributes are indicators that willl help you find the right school for you.

1. State approval from the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research
Be sure that your chosen school is state-approved and has been given permission by the ministry to teach Italian to foreign students.

2. IALC – International Association of Language Centres
Founded in 1983, IALC is a global community of leading independent language centres, providing outstanding language courses with accommodation, social and cultural activities in the country where the language is spoken. This association unites leading language schools worldwide and guarantees for highest quality standards of all member schools.

3. Recognition for educational leave for German citizens
Recognition for educational leave is an indicator of professional schools, as the German states test these schools on their didactics, teaching materials, methods and teaching programmes.
4. Recognition by CSN and Lånekassen
The Swedish National Board of Student Aid and the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund have a strict selection procedure for language schools as the language courses are paid for by the respective state.
5.
Recognition for academic credits at US universities
American students have the possibility to learn Italian at a language school of their choice and can receive academic credits for this at the respective university.

6.
Language courses with a limited number of participants
Take note of the maximum number of participants allowed in the language course groups. In groups of 6 people or more, there is no guarantee of efficient learning. At our school, Italian is taught in mini-groups of 3 to 8 students maximum.

7. Language course regulation
Take note that the language school puts you a group at the right level for you even if the minimum amount of participants is not achieved for a certain group. Your language course should neither challenge you too much nor too little.

For more detailed information about our Italian language school’s commendations and accreditations, go to the designated page.

Are the schools accredited?

Our Italian language schools have been approved by the following institutes.
That is a seal of quality for you, that emphasizes the professionalism of Piccola Universita Italiana:

  1. Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research
  2. International Association of Language Centres (IALC)
  3. Universities, Institutes and Colleges in the USA
  4. European Union and European Commission
  5. Educational leave
  6. CSN: Study Grant Sweden
  7. Lanekassen: Study Grant Norway

Booking instructions

We would like to assist you in booking your language holiday in Italy as best we can.
Please use the following guidelines for the perfect planning of your language holiday.

The simplest way to book your language holiday is directly on our website.
1. Simply click on ENROL NOW and fill out the form.
2. At the end of the registration form click on “send” and the first step is complete.
3. You will receive a confirmation for your language holiday within 48 hours by e-mail.
4. We ask you to pay the deposit within one week and the confirmation is only valid after we receive this payment.

See Also

Opening hours

Our Italian language school in Trieste is open all year round from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 2 pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm, we only close on public holidays.

Our Italian language school in Tropea is open from March to November from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 8 pm, we close on public holidays and during the Winter holidays of our language school.

Public holidays

Here is a list of public holidays in Italy.

DateName
January, 1New Year
January, 6Epiphany
variableEaster Monday
April, 25Liberation Day
May, 1Labour Day
June, 2Republic Day
August, 15Assumption Day
November, 1All Saints
December, 8Immaculate Conception
December, 25Christmas Day
December, 26St. Stephen's Day

How old are the students and where are they from?

The minimum age is 16 (for students aged 16-17,99 an authorization form signed by parents needs to be sent together with the booking).

Depending on the month of the year, age and nationality may vary.

 

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Can I pay by credit card?

Our Italian language school students can pay for their language holiday online by credit card at home through the international payment gateway FLYWIRE, which was specially designed for students!

We would like to highlight that we provide a certified secure online payment service that conforms to the most up to date security standards.

Please note that any service booked on spot (cultural activities, extra nights etc.) has to be paid in cash.

See Also

ABOUT OUR COURSES

When is it possible to start a course?

All classical language courses can be started every Monday at every level (also beginners)!
Special Programmes and evening courses have different starting dates and are performed in certain periods.

See Also

Do I have to take a placement test?

Yes, all students have to take an oral and written placement test. It is of great importance to us here at our Italian language school that our language students complete a language course at the right language level.

The students receive an online placement test approximately 2 weeks before arrival.
The oral proof will then be performed on the first day at school, which is usually Monday.
The first lesson will start on the same day.

Can I choose my time schedule?

It is not always possible to arrange class groupings for your pre-selected time frame.
Therefore, your timetable may vary from week to week to accommodate your chosen times as best as we can.

Time schedule

The classes and the time table will be communicated on Monday at 11.00 am orally and at 1.00 pm in writing on the notice board in the hallway.

Should you have lessons in the morning you will start at 11.10 am and finish at 1.00 pm. From Tuesday on lessons will start at 9.00 am.
At the school in Trieste the lessons in the afternoon are scheduled from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm.
At the school in Tropea the lessons in the afternoon are scheduled from 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm.

It might not always be possible to organize the schedule according to your preferences, and therefore the time table may vary from week to week.

Minimum length of stay

At our Italian language school you may also stay for only one week.
This applies to all classical Italian language courses in our program.

Reconcile your learning target with us. The secretary’s office will be happy to help with questions and advise you to choose a language course for you.

General

Currency

The currency in Italy is the EURO. There are banknotes in the denominations EUR 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500; coins are available in the denomination EUR 0.01, 0.02, 0.05, 0.10, 0.20, 0.50, 1.00 and 2.00. 1 EUR is 100 Cent. The Euro has been the legal currency in Italy since 2002. It replaced the Italian Lira.

Please note that only Euros can be withdrawn from cash machines (ATM) here. These withdrawals can be made by EC-card or credit card. The maximum daily amount is EUR 250. If a withdrawal is made by credit card at the Maestro cash machine (ATM) a bank charge of 3% usually occurs. Withdrawals by EC-cards are usually free of charge or come with a set charge of EUR 3.00 to EUR 5.00. In many shops and restaurants, you can also pay by credit card.

The time zone in Italy

Italy is in the Central European Time zone (CET).

At the end of March, the clocks go forward by one hour, and the time changes to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
At the end of October, the clocks go back again by one hour and CET commences.

Climate in Friuli Venezia Giulia

The climate in Friuli Venezia Giulia is considered mild, but of course, it depends on the season you choose!

During winter, it is not that cold. For example, in January, which is the coldest month of the year in Trieste, the maximum average temperature is about 7.6°C, and the minimum one is in general 3.8°C. And, last but not least, in this beautiful city, you can experience an incredible naturalistic phenomenon, which we call bora in Italian. It’s a strong katabatic wind coming from the North-east. It can blow up to 120 km/h! Pay attention, but don’t be scared, enjoy it! It usually lasts only 3 days, and the inhabitants of Trieste love it!

During summer, the temperature it’s almost between 23-30 °C. So, let’s enjoy the sun, and go swimming in Barcola or Sistiana!

Climate in Calabria

The climate in Calabria can be described as the Mediterranean. Because the region is in 3 geographical zones, Calabria is also divided into 3 climatical zones.

– By the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west, there is a subtropical climate with precipitation in the winter months.
– By the Ionian sea, there is a rather hot and dry climate with low precipitation.
– In the mountainous regions, it is cooler than on the coastline and in the winter months, snow falls to 1200m. The climate in these regions can almost be described as Alpine.

In January, depending on region, average temperatures lie between 7° C and 14° C and in July and August between 29°C and 40°C. In the coastal regions ( Tyrrhenian and Ionian coasts) the winters are mild. Even in winter, temperatures do not drop below 10°C.

Due to the favorable climate conditions, a language holiday in Tropea can be enjoyed all year round. In the somewhat cooler months of the year, however, our holiday apartments in Tropea are provided with gas heating.

Living cost in Friuli Venezia Giulia

The cheapest way to live is to do self-catering during your language holiday. Our apartments in Trieste come with all fittings, and some of them even have an oven. The supermarkets in Trieste offer everything you need to enjoy the tasty cuisine of the North-east.

APPROXIMATE PRICES IN RESTAURANTS

Restaurants normally have a €1.50 to €2.00 cover charge.

Average price for breakfast:

A caffe latte or cappuccino with a delicious Cornetto (croissant filled with jam, chocolate cream or cream) costs about €3.00

Average costs for lunch:

– Pizza slice (pizza al taglio) from €2.00 per slice
– Spaghetti or risotto (primo) in a restaurant from €6.00
– Soft drink between €1.50-3.50
– A bottle of water ( 1L) €2.00
– Beer 0.5L (birra media) costs about €3.50
– A glass of wine is available from €2.50

Average costs for dinner:

Pizza with wine or beer can be found from €7.50
– Dinner with wine or beer, antipasti (cold starter) Primo (spaghetti or risotto) from €18.00
– Dinner with beer or wine, antipasti (cold starter) Primo (spaghetti or risotto) and Secondo (meat or fish) from €25.00

Please note that tap water in Trieste is drinking water!

We hope you could get an impression of incidental costs from this list. If you have any further questions about incidental costs during a language holiday, we would be happy to advise you!

Living costs in Calabria

The most economical way of all is to do self-catering during your language holiday. Our apartments in Tropea come with all fittings, some even have an oven. The market, the local grocers (Alimentari), and the supermarkets in Tropea offer all you need to enjoy tasty Mediterranean cuisine.

APPROXIMATE PRICES AT THE MARKET AND AT ALIMENTARI

– Cheese (Pecorino fresco o stagionato) approx. €10.00 per kilo
– Sliced raw ham (Prosciutto crudo) approx. €14.00 per kilo
– Tomatoes (Pomodori) approx €1.20 per kilo
– Onions (Cipolla) €1.00 per kilo
– Pasta €0.80 per pack
– Bread (Pane) €1.00 per kilo
– Swordfish (Pesce Spada) €0.00 per kilo
– Minced meat (carne macinata) € 0.00 per kilo

Please note that tap water in Tropea is no drinking water. We recommend that our language students buy water in the 2-liter containers available in supermarkets. One 1-liter bottle costs from €0.25.

It is, of course, difficult to tell you a total amount of incidental costs that will occur during your language holiday as it will depend on what you cook but from €90.00 per week you can live very well.

APPROXIMATE PRICES IN RESTAURANTS

Restaurants normally have a €1.50 to €2.00 cover charge.

Average prices for breakfast:

A caffe latte or cappuccino with a delicious Cornetto (croissant filled with jam, chocolate cream or cream) costs about €2.50

Average costs for lunch:

– Pizza slice (pizza al taglio) from €1.00 per slice
– Spaghetti or risotto (primo) in a restaurant from €6.00
– Soft drinks cost about the same as in other European countries and a bottle of water ( 1L) costs €2.00
– Beer 0.5L (birra media) costs about €3.00
– Wine, especially house wine is offered in restaurants at a fair price, half a liter of house wine is available for €5.00
– Depending on vintage and quality a bottle of the best know Calabrian wine Cirò can be bought between €10.00 and €15.00

Average costs for dinner:

– Pizza with wine or beer can be found from €7.00
– Dinner with wine or beer, antipasti (cold starter) Primo (spaghetti or risotto) from €18.00
– Dinner with beer or wine, antipasti (cold starter) Primo (spaghetti or risotto) and Secondo (meat or fish) about €23.00

We hope you could get an impression of incidental costs from this list. If you have any further questions about incidental costs during a language holiday, we would be happy to advise you!

Main voltage in Italy

The mains voltage in Italy is 230 Volt.

– C-Euro Plug
– F-Shuko Plug and Socket
– L-Plug

The Italian L plug is being replaced more and more by the German Schuko plug in new installations.

At the secretary’s office, we have several plug adapters that can be borrowed by students for a deposit of €5,00. In this way, electrical appliances you bring with you from home can be used here too.