A comprehensive guide to the most important language schools in Milan
Arguably the most fundamental tool in your life in a new country is the language, especially if you move to a place where your native tongue isn’t widely spoken. While Milan boasts a higher proportion of English-speakers than most areas of Italy, you won’t get by without help in complicated situations – interaction with officialdom, for example – until your Italian is up to speed. Spending your working and free time immersed in the language is, of course, the best way forward, but it can be slow and frustrating until you’ve broken that barrier and feel more confident every day with your new vocabulary and grammar.
Fortunately there is a wide range of language schools in Milan to fit every demand – and every pocket. Milan has a long tradition of welcoming expats, and investing in some professional tuition will soon open so many doors.
Here is a list of some of the best Milan language schools earning top marks from their students. Buona fortuna!
Founded in 1996, the school specialises in teaching Italian in classes with no more than 8 students in order to guarantee personal contact with the mother-tongue teaching staff. The school is officially recognised by the Italian ministry of education (MIUR). It offers intensive courses, evening courses and Skype tuition, as well as academic courses lasting a year or a semester, and special arrangements for companies.
Viale Monte Nero 80
20135 Milano MI
International Language School
The International Language School offers group and individual courses in 11 languages, including Italian for foreigners and English, at elementary (A1, A2), intermediate (B1, B2) and advanced (C1, C2) levels. Specialities include translation and interpreting. Apart from classical classroom teaching, ILS also provides workshops, virtual classroom teaching, “telelanguage” courses for students needing intense training for working on the telephone, and videoconferences. An initial diagnostic interview helps the student choose the appropriate product.
Via Disciplini 5
20123 Milano MI
Spazio Lingua offers group courses – maximum 8 students – in standard (three daily lessons), gold (four daily lessons) and mini formats, individual courses, evening courses and company courses at the client’s location. Course material, handouts and slides are included in the course fee, as are books for standard or gold format students. All teachers hold officially recognised qualification for teaching Italian to foreigners. Certificates of attendance are provided, as well as a certificate of final level achieved. Courses are appropriate for students of all ages and backgrounds. The school is qualified for obtaining a study visa to Italy.
Via Giosué Carducci 17
20123 Milano MI
Istituto Dante Alighieri
Founded in 1923, the Istituto Dante Alighieri is specialised in bringing students to CILS level – the official Certificate of Italian as a Foreign Language. The school works in close cooperation with the University for Foreigners in Siena and with many other specialist academic institutions around the country. All teachers are fully certified, mother-tongue professionals. Specialist courses include Business Italian, Italian for Fashion and Design Schools and Italian for Opera Singers, as well as courses for students preparing for University admission and CILS, CELI and PLIDA exams, and teaching by Skype. The school also offers help in obtaining a student visa. The institute has examination centres in six other Italian cities and in Moscow.
Via Leopardi 8
20123 Milano MI
Accademia di Italiano / Scuola di italiano per stranieri
The Accademia was founded in 2003, and has 12 classrooms in the very heart of Milan, close to all public transport. Fully qualified teachers do not stop at grammar and vocabulary teaching, but work with role play, dramatizations, classroom discussions, group work and films, all in full immersion. Classes vary from 4 to 12 students, always at the same linguistic level. Courses go from elementary (A1, A2), intermediate (B1, B2) to advanced (C1, C2) levels. The school organises museum visits, walks in the city and aperitif meetings, all accompanied by teachers. Students at the school qualify for study visas. The Accademia also provides students with help in finding trusted accommodation with families, in a residence, in bed-sitters or shared apartments or in hotels or B&Bs.
Piazzale Cadorna 10
20123 Milano MI
Officially recognised by the Italian ministry of education, the My Way School of English prepares students for the Cambridge ESOL, Trinity, TOEFL and IELTS examinations. The school accepts pupils of all age-groups for in-school or extracurricular classes, as well as company and Skype classes. For the very youngest, Let’s Play!, Saturday Labs and Summer Courses are available.
Via Solari 8
20144 Milano MI
British Institutes Milano
British Institutes was founded in 1973 and has 150 schools across Italy. BI is officially recognised by the Italian ministry of education, and issues Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) certificates recognised throughout the EU and by UCAS in the United Kingdom. The schools offer courses for children, youngsters and adults, tailored for studying, work or leisure use. The main focus is on school years, but courses are also offered for teaching professionals. Student groups range from the Junior Academy (3 to 13 years), and then up from level A1 to level C2 of the CEFR.
Via Carducci 5
20123 Milano MI
Gold Language Institute
Gold specialises in one-on-one teaching, either in their school in Milano’s Citylife area or at the student’s home, for pupils aged from 3 to 18 years. After a free and non-binding trial interview, the school helps the student plan a personal course in general English, conversational English, business English or preparation for taking examinations. Lessons, all with mother-tongue teachers, can be flexibly scheduled for one per week, two per week, or from three to seven per week. All teaching material is included in the fee. Senior students will be prepared for Cambridge, KET, PET, FCE (First) and IELTS examinations. A special course called “Mommy and Me” is available for mothers to study with their child.
Via Paris Bordone 13
20149 Milano MI
British School BDS
Founded in 1951, the British School now operates in 60 cities throughout Italy. The school uses the Natural Method to teach Italian for foreigners, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German. Students study for the Cambridge ESOL, CaMLA, IELTS and TOEFL examinations. Staff are also trained specifically for distance learning, including web conferencing and with the submission and marking of written exercises. British School BDS also offers translation and interpreting services.
Via Giuseppe Frua 14
20146 Milano MI
International House Milan
International House Milan belongs to the group of over 150 schools in 50 nations, dating back to 1953, and which also operates 20 teacher training institutes. The school offers courses of Italian for foreigners, including a specific “Italian for Driving Licence” lessons (not all foreign driving licences may be freely exchanged for Italian ones without taking an examination). For students of English, IHM is an authorised test centre for Cambridge and IDP IELTS exams. IHM also offers English courses for adults and for companies, study abroad programmes, collaboration with schools and translation and interpretation services. A second school is located in Via Alfonsine 40, 20097 San Donato Milanese MI.
Via Brenta 27
20139 Milano MI
Scuola Leonardo da Vinci
Founded in 1977 and officially recognised by the Italian ministry of education, the school is one of a group operating language teaching centres in Rome, Florence, Siena and Viareggio. The Milan centre is located in the university campus of the New Academy of Fine Arts in the busy Navigli zone. It offers a wide range of courses and timetables to suit every student, from private lessons for one to three pupils up to a maximum of 12 pupils per class, and including intensive, super-intensive, evening, Skype and professional classes. Specialist subject classes include courses for teachers of Italian, art history, Italian cooking and Italian wines. The Leonardo school provides assistance with finding high-quality accommodation, and also organises social, sporting and cultural excursions.
Viale Darwin 20
20143 Milano MI