Past students, our partners, visiting and faculty-led program instructors are the best way to tell you a bit more about our school especially if you are looking into the best Italian language courses in Italy...
What past students say
"Quasi una settimana ha passato. E’ stato il homestay splendido. E’ stato piu meraviglioso di quello che pensavo. Sono potuta divertirmi da cuore con voi e con Siena. In fatti, mi avete dato un sacco di memoria. Grazie mille! Vedendo le foto, mi mancate..Non vedo l’ora di vedervi ancora."
Alessandra und Ihrer Familie sind wundervoll. Und ich bedaure schon heute, dass ich dieses Jahr aussetzen muss. Denn ganz gleich, welches Level an italienischen Sprachkenntnissen vorhanden sind oder auch nicht - hier kommt jeder auf seine Kosten. Egal, ob während des Unterrichts, den Mahlzeiten oder den verschiedenen Aktivitäten am Nachmittag und/oder Abend - man ist Teil der Familie und wird ganz natürlich in das tägliche Miteinander eingebunden. Für mich gibt es keine besseres Konzept, Land und Leute, die Sprache, die Mentalität, die Kultur und Geschichte kennen zu lernen. Zudem sind die Unterrichtsstunden niemals langweilig. Alessandra hat immer wieder neue Ideen, wie man die Sprache und Grammatik mit abwechslungsreichen Methoden erlernen kann - sei es durch Kino, DVD, Musik oder Hörspiele. Mir hat Italienisch lernen noch nie so viel Spaß gemacht, wie in Viterbo und meine Sprachkenntnisse haben sich in den jeweils zwei Wochen Aufenthalt um Einiges verbessert - das war bei den herkömmlichen Kursen nicht so der Fall. Ich freue mich schon auf meinen nächsten
Mes études et ma vie à Viterbo. Di Admin (del 28/08/2008 @ 18:40:32, in Testimonial, linkato 1155 volte) Il y a quelques années désirant retrouver mes origines italiennes ,j’ai commencé seul l’apprentissage de l’italien.Voulant progresser , je me suis adressé à la Dante di Siena et choisi le stage en full immersion a Viterbo. Chez Sandra , j’ai éprouvé un réel plaisir à étudier . 3 heures tous les matins à apprendre la grammaire , lire et commenter la presse, étudier le cinéma italien , les œuvres lyriques sans jamais être lassé et ce ,grâce à la compétence ,la pédagogie de Sandra. Mais le stage , ce n’est pas que les études , c’est aussi la vie , l’ambiance familiale les visites , les discussions toujours en italien. Je me sentais dans ma famille .Je me sentais tellement bien à Viterbo , que j’ai réussi à convaincre ma femme d’apprendre l’italien et de suivre les cours .Cela fait trois ans que nous y allons , elle en étudiante , moi en dilettante et nous y sommes toujours aussi bien.
" I did an intensive course at your school. I am a journalist and, although it has taken me a while, I have finally written an article about my experience in Siena and at your school, which has now been published in the Guardian newspaper’s website."
Candace Call (BYU):"Dante Alighieri is truly an amazing school. They are dedicated to helping students with whatever they need and giving them a fun and professional learning experience. Everyone here is so helpful and kind and you feel like you become part of a family. The school itself is beautiful as well. I highly recommend studying here. It has been such an unforgettable experience and I am sad to leave."
Lindsey Komes (Chicago, Illinois): "My experience at Dante Alighieri has been great! I have learned much more here than at school at home, in just a few weeks! In addition, the staff is extremely helpful when organizing other leisure activities for students."
Nick Rizzi (COD): "Coming to Dante was one of the best experiences I have had so far in my life. The entire staff is extremely nice and helpful. The staff goes out of their way to make sure every student feels welcome and that they provide an environment conducive to learning."
Chrissy Nash (COD): "Dante Alighieri is a wonderful school that has helped my Italian skills get better and they’re helpful with planning weekend trips."
Elaine Goodall: "Dante Alighieri is a wonderful school to study Italian. All the teachers are dynamic and well organized. I like being in a class with a variety of students of different ages and changing classes to accommodate each student’s needs and goals."
Anonymous: "I love the school of Dante Alighieri. The teachers are very helpful; sometimes taking us outside the classroom to learn more about the language and people of Italy. The school is a great place to meet people from all over the world. Living in and outside the city is something that is worth experiencing."
Anonymous: "My experience thus far at Dante Alighieri has been wonderful. My professor is very helpful and nice. Also the secretary has been so helpful when planning trips. She helped us find a hotel and booked it for us. She also helped us with transportation."
Anonymous: "My experience at Dante Alighieri has been great! My Italian teacher is very nice and has been very helpful in learning the language. The secretary office is great! All the secretaries are extremely helpful and nice. Dante Alighieri school has made my stay in Italy wonderful!"
Anonymous: "The staff and professors of Dante are beyond helpful and provide the best experience possible! It’s the place to be!"
Anonymous: "Dante Alighieri has been a very welcoming and cooperating school. I enjoy going to class and learning Italian."
Katie T: "Studying here has been a lot different than studying at a university. Not only are the surroundings beautiful but the school is too."
The past six weeks have brought a slew of new experiences, demanding trials, and overwhelming happiness. Siena is a city with a rich and fascinating culture that has molded me in unexpected ways. Though my stay in Siena was brief, I feel as though I will carry the feel of this city with me for the rest of my life. The sounds and scents of Siena will remain the strongest, but the sights, tastes, and feels have been at times the most powerful. I am unable to describe in detail all of the ways I have been visually exposed to the city, but can summarize the few memories that I look forward to bringing home to my family. I remain in awe from seeing buildings and alleys left unchanged since the 10th century. When I stood below the unusual diagonal archways and low ceilings, it was easy for me to envision how this street appeared during its patron age. I felt transported back in time, and through my mental transformation I felt more connected to the city and its heritage. In fact, Siena had this affect on my numerous times during my stay. When I stood in front of the frescoes in Santa Maria della Scala, or within the light beaming through the rose window inside of the Duomo, I understood why the Sienese people felt such immense pride and devotion. Not only because of its beauty, but because of its impressive and everpresent history. I can only describe the taste of Siena with one memory - the Torre contrada dinner. It was a true Italian experience to have a home-cooked meal made for a large happy family. Though I cannot recall every food that was placed before me that evening, I remember the taste of the dressed tomatoes that all of my friends (by now, more like brothers and sisters) had given to me to replace the meat I could not eat. I had never, and still have not to this day, had a tomato so sweet and delicious. I do not know the magic powers that the Torre's chefs had, but I was entranced by how such a simple side could be the best dish I have had in Italy. Aside from the tastes of Italian cigarettes, no other could match the impression made on me by that meal. I am not a person much affected by the sense of touch. When considering this prompt I was forced to really reflect on how Siena reached my fingertips - and then also, my feet. The feel of the cobblestone streets (both in my muscles and against my feet) have been markedly different from any other touch sensation I have had here. Each stone is unique, slightly raised or slightly dipping in unexpected ways, and always ready to trip the passerby who is least expecting it. In all seriousness, I have been impressed by the notion of touching these streets , the smoothed marble in the Duomo, or the grass that peeks through the bricks laid in the Piazza del Campo. The scents of Siena - one of my most favorite aspects of the city. Never in my life have I visited a city that smelled so delicious, precisely around 6 or 7 in the evening. The smells of garlic and onion would linger in the air, floating out of the apartments along every block between the school and the Campo. At times, it took a lot of self restraint to keep my self from shouting to the windows above "It smells too delicious, please let me in!" On the other hand, some smells of Siena reminded me of the scents I have loved my entire life. The open markets in Palazzo Pubblico provided me the chance to sift through old treasures, and especially old books, that clung to that musky and mysterious scent that everyone knows but struggles to describe. Like the aging glue in an old book's binding, this scent hovered around open markets and occasionally in museums and churches. I close my paper with the most memorable aspect of Siena - its sounds. I know that I will miss the sounds of Siena when I return to Chicago, especially the music that erupts from the city almost daily. From nights in the Campo to the feverish celebrations before Il Palio, I have loved hearing Sienese citizens sing. One night in particular, I was awoken at 4 in the morning to a group of six or seven older Italian men crooning sadly (although drunkenly) outside of my window. In Chicago, this kind of disturbance would boil my blood - but here in Siena, the sound was surreal and beautiful. Even when the men switched to a playful jingle to laugh away the police officer that was summoned, I was pleased to be awake to take in those sounds. I will truly miss the practicing of drummer boys, the whirring of speeding vespas, the symphony of bell towers, and even the song-like voices of Italian families fighting over dinner.
When we decided to move to Siena, we began researching the language schools in the area and speaking with locals. It didn't take long to determine that Dante Alighieri was the best choice for us. First of all, the school was very prompt in responding to my inquiries and provided all the necessary information needed in a very friendly and helpful way. Because our situation was more long term, we chose the year long program, but they also have many different program types and schedules to accommodate a diverse student population. For example, before the school year began, they worked with us to customize an intensive 2 week program with our middle school aged children to help prepare them to start Italian school. We are 1/2 way through our program at this point and are very satisfied overall with the program. We have met many interesting people from all over the world and have enjoyed the diversity of the classes. The information is presented by professional, experienced instructors in a clear, easy to comprehend, fun way. Also, when needed, the instructors are able to explain a complex or difficult concept in English, which is extremely helpful to the overall learning process. I have seen the school work with many students with a wide variety of needs, and they always seem to go out of their way to assist them with class schedules, placement, housing, or any other needs they may have while here. Learning a language is a serious investment and DA definitely understands that. We would highly recommend them to anyone who is serious about learning Italian.
I came to Italy to work at the University of Siena while on sabbatical, living here as a visiting professor, and working in the area of computer design. At the university, both research and classes in computer design are conducted in English, as that is the de facto language of computers world-wide. I went to Dante Alighieri to learn to speak the language so that I could interact with the wonderful people of Siena and the rest of Italy, better appreciate the culture, and, in general, more fully participate in daily life here. I am beginning my second semester of classes and am still learning important material every single day ... the more Dante Alighieri teaches us, the more we are introduced to topics that go far beyond textbooks and get to the heart of the way the language is actually used. This made me better realize just how idiomatic American English is, and modern Italian is certainly no less idiomatic than that. Dante Alighieri provides students with both the solid grammatical foundation and the ability to recognize, understand, and use Italian as it is really spoken. I highly recommend the school.
What our partners, visiting and faculty-led program instructors say
"The University of Utah is very proud of its partnership with DA Siena. We have continuously sent students every summer for over 25 years, and would, without reservation, recommend this program to our international colleagues around the globe. Recognized as one of the leading Italian language institutes in the world, Dante Alighieri – Siena is our standard of excellence when selecting intensive language programs."
"As a representative of U.S. institution of higher education, I have worked with Dante Alighieri in Siena for several years. My expectations has been surpassed in the quality of academic program and logistical support the offer my students."
"I have been taking students, from the University of Illinois, to study abroad for the past ten years. This upcoming year 2011, will be our fourth year working with Dante Alighieri in Siena. We have (and I speak on behalf of my students and other faculty members that help me organize this program each year), the most magical and wonderful time for our five week program. We are there in the heart of the summer during the Palio. The Dante teachers are fantastic, the administration is awesome, the director Mr. Luca Bonomi is out of this world and the Principal Mrs. Sonia Di Centa is so very gracious, witty, and makes everyone feel at home. The welcome lunch and farewell dinners, the out of school excursions, the daily encounters, the availability of everyone is what makes Dante Numero 1. Come to Siena for the culture, art, food, gelato, people, vino, the history, the Palio. Come visit the Real World Siena!"
Siena... A Place where all Your Senses are Satisfied As any other individual, the minute you step into a place all the human senses start operating; smell, sight, hearing, taste and touch, all these experience many unexpected situations. Siena, a new place where all these senses are vulnerable and await new experiences... Siena aside from being a wonderful place to visit, it has grown in me; it's a place where I can really call home. After experiencing three and a half weeks it has also impacted me with its wonderful culture and many beautiful details it hides only for those who seek to see the true beauty it holds. Siena has a distinct smell, its neither salty like Daytona due to the ocean, nor humid, it's more of a fresh smell brought by the smooth breeze that caresses your face each time you step outside. This smell makes me feel rejuvenated, as if each time the breeze reaches my face I become much closer with Siena's culture, I feel as if "I am" Siena. Sight, so much more that I feel there is to see. Siena aside from its buildings and its historic locations it provides you with a wonderful sight. People laughing, helping each other, talking and hugging; this is what I have observed in Siena. Siena is filled with wonderful people, people that care about each other which is something that you not see very often. Compared to the United States where everyone is in a rush, trying to get somewhere every time; instead, in Siena, each person seems so relaxed just enjoying each day as it comes with its good and its bad it doesn’t matter Sienese always have a great smile ready to have a good chat. Now onto the hearing part of my senses, although it's hard to understand at times hearing tights in with sight; When I walk to school or around Siena, I hear people chatting, having good conversations, laughing and from their face expressions its seems to have a good time. Taste has been really an enjoyment for me during this trip to Italy. It is quite different I should add, but never a bad experience has gone by. The food here is definitely a lot better that the United States, although I still do not understand how much a person eats here, with the "aperitivo, primi pliatti, secondo piatti" it has been wonderful. The pasta is really different from what I’ve been used to, it is cooked a lot quicker therefore the pasta is not as soggy as it is in the USA. Also I noticed that a lot of the food is cooked with olive oil. The food in Italy is very fresh, which is something that will be truly missed, since in the USA pretty much everything is canned or frozen. Touch. It's fairly difficult to explain how this has impacted me these past weeks in Siena. I can definitely tell that it’s a rough feeling every time I touch a rock, stone or building. It shows me that Siena is a strong place, full of strong people that are willing to fight no matter the circumstances. I absolutely love when I sit at Piazza del Campo and I feel the roughness of each stone, but then the softness experience at the fountain. As everything was set with a specific meaning, love and dedication; something I will never forget. Siena, you have my heart, soul and mind. With each sense in my human body I have experienced I cherish every moment you have given me. From smell, sight to hearing your wonderful language, tasting your food and touching your story you have inevitably embedded yourself in me.