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BABILONIA - Center for Italian Language and Culture Header Image BABILONIA - Center for Italian Language and Culture Header Image

Centre For Italian Studies - Taormina, Sicily

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

When learning is an active experience

At Babilonia a constructivist approach is taken regarding the Italian lessons for foreigners. All Lessons are held every morning from 9am to 1pm with a break at 11am. I had the pleasure to take learners from Exeter College (Devon, United Kingdom) during the week of the 17th to the 24th October. Students of Classics and Geography were attending Italian lessons for beginners, which they found interesting and stimulating. My class, students of Italian, was attending classes tailored for their level and with topics related to their IB Italian ab Initio syllabus. We aimed to help them prepare for their Interactive oral exams, an exam taken internally and moderated externally. Classes were taught in Italian with the relevant up-to-date material. Petty (2016, online) states that ‘Tasks should be authentic, set in a meaningful context, and related to the real world’. The school promotes active learning strategies. The learner is at the centre of the learning experience and all the activities are related to the real world. This is an important aspect of learning a foreign language: to have the opportunity to experience the language and culture in the real world with authentic materials e.g. books, local newspapers, films, trips to local markets, etc. By living with local families, attending the school lessons and experiencing enjoyable lunches in the school’s restaurant, our learners have had the opportunity to understand the culture of the country they were visiting and totally immerse themselves in culture. A huge thank you goes to the incredible effort of the teaching staff, receptionists, and, ultimately, to the relentless work of Alessandro Adorno. Well done all at Babilonia! Santina Micalizzi, IB Italian ab initio teacher and first-year tutor.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

One of the best experiences of my life

I’ve been to Babilonia School in Taormina, Sicily, three times and I only have good things to say!

I could speak about the school, that has a beautiful garden where you can meet other students (not only those with whom you attend lessons). Or about the teachers, who are really nice, friendly, funny and “bravissimi”! I could mention the school's organized excursions, like going up to Etna and many many others. There is also the city of Taormina itself, an amazing place that you’ll never forget...

But if you guys have already read something about it, you already know all this. So the only thing I can say is that this is an unforgettable experience that you just cannot miss.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

conocer Sicilia a traves del italiano

Solo puedo tener buenas palabras para la escuela babilonia, los profesores y la gente que he ido encontrando allí año tras año. Hace 5 años que voy a la escuela Babilonia para aprender italiano, y aunque el primer año la motivación fue puramente educacional, año tras año he ido descubriendo nuevas cosas que me han hecho querer repetir mi estancia el año siguiente. No solamente se estudia y aprende italiano en las aulas sino que también a través de las numerosas actividades que la escuela organiza cada semana (cine, clases de cocina, seminarios de lectura, excursiones etc.) y sobretodo hablando y compartiendo tiempo con otros estudiantes y con los profesores. Taormina es un sitio maravilloso que enamora a todo el mundo que lo ha visitado. He recomendado a varios amigos la escuela Babilonia porque realmente creo que es un buen sitio donde estudiar por una parte italiano y por otra parte mezclarte con la cultura italiana y disfrutar de la comida y de los maravillosos sitios que hay en Sicilia.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Two-week Teacher Scholarship

I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from AATI to attend classes at Babilonia for two weeks. I myself am an Italian instructor in the United States and have a lot of experience in study abroad programs, having attended another program before as a student and having worked for a different program as a teacher. Babilonia is one of the best run programs I have ever encountered. My teachers for both grammar and conversation always remained in the target language, were friendly and helpful. The dedication of everyone at Babilonia to keeping all students speaking in Italian was greatly appreciated and the staff fostered an encouraging environment where all students, even beginners, felt comfortable trying to speak the language. I also thoroughly enjoyed all of the cultural experiences the school offers, and I took full advantage of them. From lectures on Baroque architecture, to cooking lessons, to climbing Mt. Etna, I learned so much inside and outside of the classroom.
I have nothing but positive things to say about Babilonia and hope to come back and attend the school again in the future. I also recommend the school to many students that I work with back in the United States.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Study Abroad Semester in Taormina

I have studied at Babilonia twice now; my first time in the fall of 2012 for a full semester, and then again the summer of 2014 for a two week program. When I first arrived in Taormina, I knew only "hello" and "thank you" in Italian. Yet, when I left the program, I had a great grasp of the language and was very comfortable speaking, reading, and writing. The teachers are all wonderful and have a very hands on approach to learn, which facilitates a rapid absorption of the language. And what better place to learn Italian than in Taormina. The location is just spectacular and the cultural experience is life changing.