Overwhelming myself with choices, I went from Milan to Montepulciano to Florence and more, I changed my location from week to week, along with which school to attend. However one thing was for certain, I didn’t want to live in Rome or any further south from there because I didn’t want the intensity and touristy filled vibe of Rome, but I wanted a bit of the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the north. Finally, after a lot of conversations with many different people asking for opinions and thoughts on the matter, we settled with Florence, deciding that it was a happy medium between town, city and touristy vibe. It is also in central Italy, making it easy to have a weekend trip away.
Once I chose a destination, I then had the hard task of choosing a language school. With so many choices I compared and contrasted prices, hours, content, location and reviews. Finally, I spoke to a fellow blogger who had spent time in Florence, (Lisa from She Comes From Boston blog) which really helped me decide.
However, when making this decision the main questions I asked myself were:
You need to choose a city that suits you, if you want big city life (similar to Sydney) then go to Milan, if you want monuments everywhere and a more touristy vibe go to Rome, and if you want a small town feel – go further south to Catania or Palermo. There are benefits in both bigger and smaller cites, such as: In the smaller the cities, there are less English speaking people so you will be forced to learn Italian, otherwise in bigger cities there is more to do and see on the weekends/week nights if you like to go out.
First of all compare the price, because this can be a real deal breaker, from there read reviews of other peoples experiences at the school. I believe there are lots of great schools out there and if you do enough research you will easily choose a good one. Location is also another big factor, it’s probably best to find a well priced apartment first, then choose a school near it. We walk five minutes a day to and from school which is perfect, because at 1pm when we have finished, we are so hungry and ready to get home – I wouldn’t want to have to walk another 25 minutes.
|Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.|
I chose my school for the following reasons:
1. The cost of class is extremely reasonable.
2. The school is a three minute walk from where I am living in Florence.
3. Finally, that word of mouth recommendation really made a difference. Lisa – the voice behind ‘She comes from Boston’ advised me that is a small school that has that personalised touch, and that’s what I really wanted.
Some aspects I love:
I love that there are only seven other people in my class, so I’m not fighting to speak over people and if I don’t understand something I can easily get help. I also like that they organise activities after school, that make me excited to explore Florence (not that I wasn’t already like this).
Some aspects I don’t love:
Overall I am really satisfied with the learning experience so there isn’t much I don’t enjoy about language class so far! It is exactly what I expected and studying Italian 4 hours a day is enjoyable because I am learning enough to see myself progress!