Study Italian in Italy: Choosing a Course & Visa options

If you are committed to learning fluent Italian, full immersion and some time in Italy is probably one of the best ways to fast track your language. Choosing to study Italian in Italy is also a great way to get you a visa and start your new life in Italy. But, not all courses provide you with a visa. So before just choosing any route, here are some things you should know about studying Italian in Italy, from choosing the best course to knowing your visa options.

When can you get a visa to study Italian?

You can get a study visa to come to study Italian in Italy, but to be clear it isn’t always accepted. Since too many people took advantage of this “easier” loophole, the consulate did start rejecting applications. However, it is an option to look into.

Usually to ensure a better chance of getting a study visa you should apply for a full-time Italian course (over 25 hours/week). It also helps if it is a higher-level Italian course (from B1 up), and the longer the course the better it will be for the situation. So basically ideal would be a year-long, full-time program for a B2 level or higher would be best.

Now, that being said know that every situation is different. Some people will get a visa for a short, few-month course, or even for an A2 level. There is not necessarily an official strict rule.

I do always recommend the year-long course however as it will give you time to deal with the permesso di soggiorno and time to settle into Italy, considering your next steps.

What does an Italian course look like?

There are many different types! Some courses might want you to have full immersion, live with a host family, using Italian in and out of the program, while attending courses. Others might just have you join classes for half a day during the week, learning grammar and following a textbook style, expecting you to go out on your own to practice in the afternoon.

Find out beforehand what works best for your learning style and look for a course that matches that. Even if you do choose one that does textbook style, I recommend pushing yourself to practice outside in the afternoon!

What makes a course official?

You can, of course, go to study Italian with anyone and learn something. But there are a few certifications that will give you an officially recognized level. The most common ones you’ll hear about are CILS (Certificato di lingua italiana) or CELI (Certificazione di Italiano come Lingua Straniera).

Specifically, you’ll need one of these official certificates for citizenship and possibly carta di soggiorno, attesting to the fact you know Italian at a B2 level.

You can take the exams to receive one of these without having done an official course. But an official course on the right path will prepare you for the exam and specific grammar points.

How to choose the best course to study Italian in Italy?

Choosing a course of study in Italy can be tough as there are many options. But you can slim it down by understanding what you need. If you need a certification, make sure the school offers it. If a visa is important, make sure to choose a school that understands that need and can give you assistance.

And as mentioned above, better to look for a year-long program.

Some of the highest recommended courses are with Centro Linguistico Italiano Dante Aligheri, and Scuola Leonardo Da Vinci

I’ve compiled a whole list of schools throughout the country that provides long-term courses. Check it out here.

If you found this information helpful you can show your support by buying me a glass of wine 🥂. I really appreciate it and each glass inspires me to research more into life in Italy!

If you found this information helpful you can show your support by buying me a glass of wine 🥂. I really appreciate it and each glass inspires me to research more into life in Italy!

And if you are looking for more help on your journey of making Italy home or looking for local insight to plan the best trip, get in touch, let me help you experience authentic Italy.