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Language class help

As a senior adult not having studied Spanish since senior high school, I am interested in locating Spanish, French, Italian or Portuguese classes that provide a homestay option and/or cultural extensions beyond in-class instruction. Considering France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Posted by
1121 posts

Not a recommendation based upon personal experience but the location is fabulous and I have heard glowing reviews from several independent sources:

Institut de Français in Villefranche.

Posted by
31071 posts

np,

As I recall, the Italian language school in Assisi offered classes at different levels, and also assisted with living arrangements for out-of-town students. One of the options was to stay with a local family, which would offer more opportunities for practicing the language with locals. Of course, this is all "on hold" at the moment due to Covid-19.

There's at least one language school in Orvieto, but it's been awhile since I last checked on that one. Of course activities there will also be suspended at the present time.

There are lots more choices in larger centres such as Rome, Florence and Siena.

I'm also a "senior", so I spent some time looking into places that would be suitable for my age group.

Posted by
17140 posts

This sort of question comes up from time to time. You may have some luck with the Search function here; I have never found it very efficient. I just tried Googling ricksteves.com/travel-forum alliance francaise (remembering that Alliance Francaise is often mentioned) and I got a lot of hits. You could try something similar, substituting "italian classes", etc.

An awful lot of language schools do have some sort of home-stay option. In fact, it's my guess that most of the sizable ones do. Therefore, I'd focus first on locating a respected school in a location I liked and then verify that it offers home stays.

I've twice taken private or semi-private classes (staying in hotels), and my suggestion is to think about how much sightseeing you want to do on class days. If that will be important to you and you expect to do most of that independently, rather than on school-organized trips, you may find taking classes in the morning most convenient. I found it not so easy to use my mornings for efficient sightseeing when I needed to be in class at 1 PM or 2 PM. (It didn't help that I'm not particularly a morning person.)

Posted by
125 posts

In 2008 and 2009 my wife and I spent most of the two years in Perugia. We attended the smaller language school there (not the one associated with the university) - sorry I cannot recall the name. Although we did not use this service, we were told by other students that the school assisted them in finding lodging, although I do not specifically recall whether that was with Italian families or just rental apartments. The school is located fairly close to the medieval center of the town, which is quite charming. We had to fortune of having quite good teachers, and they did offer some trips outside the city. I would recommend it, although we thought it was a bit pricey (but did not compare it to other schools, so maybe we were just being unrealistic). Bus transportation in Perugia was pretty good, although it helped that my wife already knew some Italian. And there is a train station in Perugia which provides access to Rome and to Florence, and of course from these cities you can get to almost anywhere in Italy. Peter

Posted by
17140 posts

One thing to be aware of is that language schools (based on my internet research) typically do not reduce their fees if your period of instruction includes one or more holidays on which they are closed. That is perhaps not significant if you lose a day of classes during a stay of a month or longer, but if you're there for just two weeks...